- The Spider Shop
- Insight to TSS
Insight to TSS
TheSpiderShop.co.uk is a specialist supplier and breeding facility for all things Arachnid based in (Paradise) Pembrokeshire, West Wales. Tarantulas are our speciality and we offer a massive range of popular pet species as well as the rare and obscure. Whether you’re looking for your first Pet Tarantula or some of the rarest species in the hobby, we hope to have something that will interest you.
So how did this all start? Roll back to 2003 I (Lee) had been working in a couple of jobs in Reptile trade before decided to up sticks and go farm Reptiles in Guinea Bissau (West Africa). Though great to get out of Wales and into the bush it seems once you have seen one Royal Python or Bosc Monitor you have seen them all. So I turned my interest into the abundance of interesting Insects and Spiders that where everywhere and started exporting these to Zoo’s and Collectors around the world. Being only 19 at the time it was also pretty lonely out in the middle of the bush with nothing but a transistor radio for company. One night listening to Glastonbury Festival on the BBC World Service I decided it’s time to go back to the UK and set up a company selling exotic bugs with my lists of contact and new skills.
I understood quite early on if I was going to make this work I would need good suppliers and the best way to do this would be to go meet them and turn these suppliers into friends. So off I went visiting collectors in Shanty Towns in Africa, farms in Asia and Red Necks in Trailer parks in the USA among other places as well as travelling around Europe to meet breeders who I would work closely with over the next two decades.
In 2006 we moved into our first proper facility which was previously a Call centre in our local town. It was a massive building with 14 rooms so we were able to try out and experiment with a lot of things. However was very poorly situated above a Natwest Bank and the staff there didn’t have much of a sense of humour about the odd stray cricket.
In 2011 our lease was up on the Bank Chambers building so where able to start looking for a more viable premises to run TSS from. It’s not as easy as you might think to find a good premises, we struggled to find anything suitable until we walked into our current facility and I knew straight away it would be the new home of TSS. Our new facility is located on top of the Preseli mountains which was perfect as it is easier to defend against invaders, unlikely to flood, no immediate neighbours and good transport links. The only downfall is it seems to be the Welsh equivalent of a cloud forest and rains most of the year.
The facility itself is an old train station and then turned into a unit used for agricultural artificial insemination. As it turns out people who w@nk off cows for a living need a similar set up to people who breed spiders; insulated rooms, wipe down floors and lots of sinks to wash your hands in.
Over the last few years we have been concentrating more on breeding from our own stock and have set up dedicated rooms for breeding. Its seems of recent times that the common species and the desirable new species are regularly bred but the stuff in-between gets forgotten about so our main focus on breeding tends to be towards the more colourful mid range species. Though of course we also breed our own Curly Hairs and Salmon Pinks as well as some the latest must have spiders.
The next phase of TSS evolution started in 2021 during the great Wuhan Wheezer. After various visits from reps of major reptile brands trying to pitch us the usual shite products like water bowls with sponges and glow in the dark tweezers, we decided we could do it better. Over lockdown we started designing a developing our own range of complete products under the TSS brand everything from Tweezers to enclosures. The product range has had a great success and in early 2022 we completed purchase of an additional warehouse.
So if you bothered reading through all this thanks for your continued custom over the last 20 years and we look forward to supplying you with more great spiders for the next decade!
Lee, Vickie, Sam and TSS Minions