BicBugs is the United States’ leading supplier of worldwide butterflies, moths, beetles, insects, and many other kinds of bugs. BicBugs not only supplies oddity shops and collectors, but also artisans, movies and television, museums, universities and those looking to start a new hobby. With over 2,500 different species of insects, and with new stock constantly arriving, there’s always something for everyone!
Before BicBugs was founded in 2011, business owners Alex and Victoria Bic were enthralled by the beauty and ecology of insects. Alex grew up spending every summer and school break in a different country where his parents were teaching, so he was able to see and learn about every variety of natural habitat and the animals that lived there. His interest in butterflies and other insects started at a very young age and continued through high school, when he volunteered at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum, then into college where he attended Purdue University to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Entomology with minors in Forensic Science and Conservation Biology. During his time at Purdue, Alex met Victoria while she was studying Veterinary Technology at the time. She always had a love of the natural world and Alex opened her eyes to entomology on their first date when he showed Victoria his collection- beetles as big as a hand! And butterflies and moths of every color and pattern imaginable. She was hooked! Once they both graduated, Alex and Victoria decided to move to Arizona and go into business together, turning their shared hobby into a career. 12 years later, their
business has grown from just the two of them at home to having a warehouse full of bugs and several employees!
Early on in their business venture, Alex and Victoria were challenged with maintaining a reliable supply of domestic and exotic bugs and insects. At first, they took trips to countries all over the world, including Peru, Indonesia and Japan, where they collected the insects themselves and returned to the United States to advertise the bugs. All that traveling paid off because during their trips, Alex and Victoria were able to start establishing relationships with insect collectors and butterfly aviaries all over the world. Through these connections, they steadily built a network of suppliers whose professions are now supported by BicBugs’ business.
Supporting butterfly aviaries and insect farms not only produces beautiful bugs, but also contributes to the conservation of insect species and their natural habitats. Deforestation, agriculture, and urbanization have had detrimental effects on the environment and insect populations, especially in developing countries where many extraordinary butterfly, moth, and beetle species reside. Offering an alternative source of income through butterfly farming and collection provides incentive to preserve the natural habitat of these insects, which in turn benefits the entire ecosystem that exists there.
With the rise in popularity of eccentric hobbies, BicBugs has seen massive growth over the past few years. Butterfly pinning and insect collection has long been a niche hobby that was gatekept by those already in the entomology profession, but through their work, BicBugs has made it more accessible to anyone who is interested, even if they’ve never tried working with bugs before. Especially during the height of COVID-19, people were looking to try new things at home, and being an exclusively online business, BicBugs was able to fill that niche without having to shut the doors to the public. Being in the natural history business, BicBugs is also expanding into the education realm, offering schools and students interactive lessons about the importance of insects in our ecosystems.
To new business owners and future entrepreneurs, Victoria’s advice is to pursue your passion and if it turns into a successful business, be sure to make time for your hobbies, friends, and family. Don’t allow your business to spoil your joy. Set strict work hours for
yourself and vacation days when you can. Don’t be afraid to accept help or ask for advice from those around you, and don’t wait too long to hire employees thinking you can handle it all yourself or that what you do can’t be taught.
You can find BicBugs at www.BicBugs.com and on all social media @BicBugs.
BicBugs (@bicbugs) • Instagram photos and videos
BicBugs (BicBugs) – Profile | Pinterest
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