What do you do?
Where do you work, what type of business is it, and what is your title?
I am the owner of Songbird & the Orchid, a new merger between Island Orchids and Songbird, which is a backyard birding and nature gift store on West Colorado Avenue.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
I’m in charge of not killing the orchids! Actually, they are very easy to care for. Orchids are one of the toughest and most adaptable plants, growing in almost every climate, even in alpine tundra! All people need is a little good advice when they buy one.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
Island Orchids has been an Old Colorado City store for almost 30 years! The backyard birding component I finally opened in 2013, but I started contemplating it seriously about 20 years ago. It was my life passion, so I decided to just go for it.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
Something new to learn every single day. Being in two very niche hobby segments, there is so much detailed knowledge and experience to gain. We help educate our customers, but they also help educate us.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
To invent a bear-proof birdfeeder! To me, it's vital to keep our wildlife wild. I'm constantly trying to help customers enjoy their backyard wildlife while avoiding conflicts with bears.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
I came from 15 years in the nonprofit world where the end goal was the common uniter amongst different groups. Now, in the small-business world, the end goal of profit seems to keep competing small businesses from working together. I wasn't ready for the hostility of competitors.
What makes working on the Westside special?
Westsiders value local more than the rest of this town. They understand that you can buy both orchids and birdseed at the big box stores, but if you actually want big quality, you shop small.
“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer, geared for people who have interesting jobs on the Westside but don't necessarily live here. If you or someone you know seems like a good fit for this column, please give us a call at 471-6776 or e-mail email@example.com.
(Opinion: What Do You Do)