In the late summer of 2015, as a Registered Nurse turned stay at home mom, I found myself happening upon a possible business idea that led me to open an Etsy shop. As the days at home went by, I knew I needed to find a way to channel my creativity and if I were lucky, make a few bucks while I was at it.
One day, while scrolling through Pinterest looking for crafts to do with my daughter, I came across a recipe for bird seed ornaments. Everything I needed for the recipe I already had in the pantry, there was even a bag of bird seed sitting in the garage! My daughter and I had a ball making them using cookie cutters to make the shapes and straws to make the hanger holes. We hung them in our backyard Maple tree and watched the birds as they nibbled. It dawned on me, the ornaments were actually really cute. Cute as in, “I bet people would pay for these”, kind of cute. “That’s it”, I thought! I wonder if I could sell these online as party favors and gifts!
I quickly opened my laptop and searched for ‘bird seed ornaments’ on Etsy. There were less than a handful of sellers at the time. And, bird seed ornaments were one of many types of wedding favors. I decided that since the competition was low, why not just try it out? I did want to stand out from other sellers in some way, and used my creative skills to make original items that no one else was selling. Soon, the orders for party favors started trickling in as the holiday season approached. While my customers loved them, people kept asking if I could create some sort of “ornament gift box” instead of the party favors. It became clear there was a need for more than just party favors. People wanted a more substantial gift they could give friends, neighbors, co-workers, or even their father in law!
After the holidays while juggling motherhood and pondering my next move, I walked around the local “farm & feed” and pet stores, looking at their bird seed suet. I wondered why it appeared that no one was making these things prettier, more gift-worthy? It seemed like a missed opportunity. So, I took it.
Many Etsy sellers at the time offered “gift-wrap upgrade” options for an extra fee for certain items. This obviously adds an extra step in the production process and slows things down. I knew if I ever wanted to scale my volume I’d have to find a work around. So, I set my sights on designing ornament gift sets that come gift-ready, as is. Knowing that “bird seed wreaths” was a popular search term, I focussed on creating a product that by design, was already “gift wrapped”. I made wreaths and played with different styles of hangers. Many wasted strands of ribbon later, I landed on just the right thing: Twenty-eight inches of 3 ply jute twine, folded and knotted a certain way that it secures the wreath and ties into an appealing bow. Viola! My bird seed wreath was born! My boxed sets slide easily into poly mailers for shipping. This packaging decision both eliminated the extra steps of gift-wrapping during production, and satisfied the customer.
By the next holiday season I enlisted the help of my husband who works in marketing, to help design the logo, and we were ready! The (3) Wreaths Bird Seed Ornament Gift Set, was an immediate customer favorite. In 2017, I added the (1) Wreath Bird Seed Ornament Gift Set (Stocking Stuffer’), which quickly became another customer favorite both on Etsy and at local craft markets.
My original designs give off a rustic feel that vibes with the Pacific NW. As a 6th generation Oregonian I want the Portland Craft Co. brand and products to reflect all the wonderful things about the Pacific Northwest’s natural beauty. What I love most about Portland Craft Co. gift sets is they are regularly purchased and gifted to a wide demographic and for a number of occasions, Christmas, Birthdays, Sympathy, Mother’s & Father’s Day, Co-workers & Customers. The items are consumable and the packaging is recyclable.
Owner & Creator