Thursday, February 26, 2009

Habitat ReStore Treasures

I love the Habitat for Humanity ReStore! My decorator Julie and I have decided on going with a "Potting Shed Shabby Chic" theme for the bird feeding store. And it is just too much fun! I told her today after our second trip to the store for more stuff and ideas, that it was like "hunting through a grandpa's shed" experience. You never know what cool old stuff you'll come upon and what you can use it for as character decorating. Our imagination was out of control. Hopefully, it will all go together and be spectacular, but if some of it doesn't work.....oh well, that's okay, it wasn't very expensive to try, and it sure was fun.

Here is a picture of some of the stuff we found on the first trip. Old wooden trim windows and screens. A round metal and stainless steel topped rolling table, some metal screen fencing. The cart is not part of the purchases. It just wanted it's picture taken, I guess.

We had a meeting at the shop this morning to discuss the layout plan. I'll need Brian, the carpenter-husband-of-Sandi-who-I-lease-from, to build me an office structure for my bookeeping and supply ordering work, and then we need a checkout table and some task work areas. I also need an area to dispense bulk seed from for customers, so we went back and forth about two different areas for that. Overall it caused me to become excited about it all over again. Julie, too, oozed with excitement.

I shared with Julie that yesterday I had met with my marketing team who is working on designing me some tags for my custom bird feed. The tag colors Nina had chosen correllated very closely to colors Julie had picked out for the store. It was almost spooky scary how these kinds of things are happening throughout this new adventure. Because not only were the colors similar, but there were exactly the same NUMBER of colors chosen in these two separate areas of the project. Julie and "marketing team, Janice" both said out loud what I was thinking, that "you just know something is right when things like that happen". I told Julie that I feel like I'm in a dream and all of these things are all falling into place effortlessly, like it's happening TO ME, instead of me making it happen. Hmmm.....but then again, I am living my dream.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Watch the Transformation

Hi All. I know, it's been quite a while since I posted anything. Let me tell you what's going on with me and my business.

Once upon a time a bird feeding business woman (that's me) decided to peddle her wares to a Downtown Menasha store in hopes they would be willing to purchase for sale her darling items. During the visit to the store's manager, he tells the friendly bird lady that if her wares don't fare well in favor with the upper management of his establishmentl, that he knows of another business woman who will be leasing a different space just down the block that might very well wish to talk to me about sub-leasing space to display my bird feeding merchandise.

The nice "bird wares lady" thanks the kind gentleman for his time, and referral tip, and heads across town to see the other business lady this fine man talked to her about. The business lady, who has a shop called "Nest" is very intrigued by the bird lady's particular wares she is showing her. Upon further discussion it is mentioned that the business lady has already offered the space to another acquaintance who has a dream of opening a bird feeding store and is thinking about the very space she has available to sub-lease. This particular bird lady, me, almost faints with fear that someone else just may open a bird feeding store right beneath her beak! Her heart (and stomach) continues to flutter until a day later she hears that the acquaintance is not in any current position to realistically open a shop at this time and so the space is mine to sub-lease if I would like it!

This was just the type of scenario I had thought could happen to me, that is, someone would open a bird feeding store right in my hometown area, and I would be sick with regret. So back in December, when I thought of that possibility, is when I determined that I would need to go into retail with my existing bird feeding service business sometime in the near future.

So it was during the time of me looking into commercial real estate and rentals that I thought I'd just see if this particular store, the original one I went to first, would be interested in selling my feed and cute container. The night before I walked into that store, I had torn out a newspaper ad announcing the moving of another store, and I tore the ad out because I thought if the first shop wasn't interested I would go to the one advertising it's move. It seemed like the kind of shop that my product may complement.

I had that advertisement in my car when I talked to the nice gentleman at the first store. As it turns out the woman he was referring me to is the very one who owns the store that had the advertisement about moving right down the street from him. Coincidence or Fate? You be the judge. I know what I believe.

So here, dear readers, is a photo of my new retail space in Downtown Menasha, Wisconsin. I offer you the opportunity to watch the transformation occur. I will post some ongoing photos so you can see the progress. I hope you enjoy the ride vicariously, as I enjoy the switch myself from home business to onsite retail.

Wish me well. I welcome your support.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Redpoll Vacuums

Feeder discussion will just have to wait due to the arrival of these darling new yard vacuums!! The Redpolls arrival are just too fascinating to not share with you. Their chestnut colored caps are adorable. I'm in the process of learning to identify the two varieties - Common and Hoary.

I'm debating whether the close up is a Hoary Redpoll. I think it has too much striping on the breast area however, even though it is more white than the others. I have invited some of the Wisbird Network readers to aid in my education and give me comments on the identification.

And just above the Redpoll, is that a Pine Siskin? I'm going to go back to my trusty guide and learn about the markings of that bird now, too. Bird watching can be so much fun!