Elise Stein of The Chameleon Enthusiasts
My name is Elise Stein. I originally hail from the Land of Maple Syrup, aka Victoria B.C. Canada, but now reside in Southern California with my husband, son, and all of our animals. Animals and insects have always surrounded and intrigued me. My Mother always kept cats and allowed my brother and I to have gerbils, hamsters, fish, frogs, etc. As children, we would play with our AAA Animal toys from The Wild Animal park at any chance we had. We frequented the Zoo’s, Animal parks, Butterfly gardens, and anywhere animal-related.
I fell in love with reptiles when I was about 12 years old; after my best friend and I brought home an Anole that we named “Jacque”. Over the years, my love for them has blossomed into a full-blown obsession. I started out with a female Veiled chameleon about 3 years ago. This was my first experience with chameleons, and what lead me to dive deeper into the reptile community. I started an Instagram for my new ‘baby’ and made quite a few sound contacts. From there, created a reptile group, The Reptile Enthusiasts, with my new friends.
Our mission: to share appropriate husbandry advice, our experiences, and learn in a community setting.
This is where my education on chameleon husbandry blossomed. I dove head first into articles, books, forums, and sought out the experts, breeders, and keepers within the reptile community for their knowledge. Then I brought in a second male veiled chameleon and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, you will find chameleons on just about everything in my life: from my home decor, clothing, art, etc. I keep a few species: Jackson’s, Nosy Be Panthers, Veiled and Pygmies – having also collected some bearded dragons and a Ball Python.
My friends and I created a secondary group: The Chameleon Enthusiasts. We even kick-started the Chameleon Aid Society, founded to fundraise in order to help send reptiles to legitimate exotic rescues. Most recently, I embarked on a breeding project with my captive bred, Jackson’s chameleons, and I spend many of my days assisting new keepers on various groups on social media, as well as working on my own personal small business selling reptile themed Jewelry and Art. I daresay that I wholly enjoy every facet of being a reptile hobbyist.