The journey begins…..
In 2003 I opened my parrot supply store, Avalon Parrots, with the dream of helping companion birds while running a small retail store that specialized in companion bird supplies. My long term goal was to also have my own space for selling and displaying my art. After almost a decade of traveling around the country attending art fairs I was ready to stay in one place. But as my business grew it was my rescue efforts that began to consume all my time and energy, with more and more people contacting me and asking for assistance. After years of funding it myself through the store profits I realized it was time to create a nonprofit. I applied for and received nonprofit status and Parrot Rescue Services became a reality. For a number of years, from 2011 to 2018, I continued to operate my retail shop and the rescue in the same building, and worked on my home based business, which now included handcrafted soap, jams, salsa, and the occasional piece of art. I began attending areas farmer’s markets to sell my products in addition to running the store and rescue.
The dream grows…
After several years of planning, I have made another big decision. In order to better care for the parrots in my rescue and grow my home based business, I decided to restructure my retail store to an online store and no longer operate a retail storefront. Making this change would allow me to focus on my passion to create as well as continue to run the rescue. It would give me the flexibility I need to attend state wide art festivals and local farmer’s markets, and sell both my many homemade products and original art. I wanted to continue to sell bird products, but not out of a storefront. By switching to an online format with several delivery options available, I could find a space suitable for a studio and the birds without considering retail space. Initially I was looking at commercial buildings to purchase, but everything I looked at was dreary and not what I wanted for a studio.
Continuing my vision…
My commitment to unwanted companion birds has only grown over the years, and as I age I have become more focused on a long term care plan for the birds of Parrot Rescue Services. The need for a long term solution continued to pester me even after I realized I wasn’t going to find a commercial space I liked. But I could find a house. After almost twenty years of renting a space, I made the huge leap to purchasing a permanent space to serve as both my studio and housing for the birds.
Creating a legacy…
The mission of Parrot Rescue Services is to give companion birds a second chance at a new home, and the volunteers who help me day in and day out are just as committed to that vision as I am. But there will come a time, hopefully decades from now, when I will no longer be able to operate a shelter. This thought has been in the back of my mind for a number of years. By purchasing a place I will be able to ensure the birds always have a home, even if I am not there to run it myself. I am extraordinarily lucky; the fulfillment of my dreams have only been possible because of the dedicated help of volunteers and because I also have a very supportive husband and son. I also now have a beautiful studio space.
Visits will require a scheduled appointment, but it will still be possible to see the birds if you are interested in adopting, and Parrot Rescue Services will continue to use volunteer help to care for the birds. I will also be having studio sales and events as well as sell in fairs and festivals. It is my hope that my long time customers will support this new venture by continuing to buy bird products and food from me and that perhaps an online format will bring in new business as well. For me, personally, it is a full circle fulfillment of my life’s work: a chance to continue helping birds and also do what I love: making and selling art and crafts.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened” – Anatole France