Interesting to note is that when you run an Internet company, it will work from anywhere.
There are a host of reasons that we made this move aside from saving money on rent, utilities & taxes.
We are now poised to take on the World Wide Web in the pet bird supplies category from a historical landmark home built in 1928.
Ironically it suffered a fire about 12 years ago thus the entire interior was rebuilt with modern drywall, electrical and plumbing into a beautiful commercial space (zoned B2).
The upstairs has become our living space and as we expected not having to travel between home and a physical storefront instantly allowed us to be more proactive and productive.
Catherine and I now share 1400 ft.² of what was once an attic which is slowly becoming a remarkable place to inhabit.
Funny thing, although it’s only “upstairs” we both have this detachment when we’re on the ground level.
It’s two worlds, by design.
I may not come down for the day and she may not come up for a day and one of us may have made environmental modifications.
We moved sh*t, and always for the best.
Note to self: “Put on pants before going down between 9 – 4
One small issue, living in a town with less than stellar water pressure is flushing toilets.
We have two bathrooms and each toilet uses a Flushmate 503 pressurized water tank which had been a challenge in the upstairs bathroom to dial in.
I finally gave up the repair as the cost of replacement parts was nearing the price of an entirely new unit (about $125 on Amazon)
I ordered a Model 3 to be delivered which ended the walk downstairs in the middle of the night (in a strange building) just to access a working toilet.
Sheets Funeral home next door makes this house even more remarkable.
I now boast that we have three silver hearses in our garage and a basement (we share) filled with body bags on top of gurneys as well as a hefty inventory of coffins, cremation boxes, and coffin parts.
We are front and center on historic Lowell’s Main Street, (IN Rte 2) which is lined with antique and retail shops.
Avian Collectibles have been added to our retail bird supply offerings.
We now offer our customers free coffee, espresso, and toast.
We’re on the Keto diet and don’t eat bread.
During the move, Catherine recovered our five toasters stored in the garage.
Who wouldn’t want a toasted bagel with a schmear while shopping for their bird?
Speaking of shopping for parrot supplies I’d like to take a moment to further talk about Windy City Parrot V3.0.
There’s been a lot of upheaval in the pet industry recently.
We’ve noted the closure of Dr. Fosters and Smith who couldn’t survive on $300 million a year in sales.
Petland Discounts filed for Bankruptcy in NewYork state laying off more than 300 employees.
Chewy is about to file an IPO (Initial Public Offering on the stock exchange) because its owner PetSmart can’t afford to live on 8 billion dollars a year revenue in spite of paying cashiers $9.01 per hour.
So how do we survive in a land of retail giants?
Although any big box store sells supplies for pet birds, you’ll typically find about 500 square feet of retail space devoted to the avian niche (we’ve measured them all).
Our new space will be filled with 2000 square feet of everything for pet birds – 4 times more floor space than any Petsmart, Petco, Pet Supplies Plus or Petland store.
Many of these stores offer bulk bird food from dispensers.
We think bulk bird food is a terrible idea and explain why here.
Our selection of food and accessories for your pet bird is second to none.
We try to offer competitive pricing but sometimes the big box stores can make pricing very attractive.
They do this by “volume purchasing”.
Here’s the problem with that.
Every bag of bird food has a “best used by date” just like milk.
When a large corporation buys tens of thousands of pounds of bird food, who are watching for the “best used by date”?
The Amazon robots are not.
The product pickers at enormous distribution centers are not.
The reality is you don’t know the food that you are getting is going to be good for one month, six months or one year.
We hear complaints regularly about bird food purchases on eBay where the bird food is already out of date, the day it ships.
Windy City Parrot offers bird food that at the very least, has six months of shelflife.
Food that comes close to being out of date gets donated to rescues we work with.
You cannot call Amazon, Petco or PetSmart for advice.
Try walking into a big-box pet store and find somebody who can help you care or even knows what a noble macaw looks like.
Our move from Chicago (pop 3.6 million) to Lowell IN (pop 9700) will make us financially stronger and even more flexible strategically.
How do you know you’re in a small town?
When you go to your first meeting, in this case, the Lowell historical society to gain approval for signage on the historical building we’re now occupying and the chairman of this group starts the meeting by saying “let’s recite the pledge”.
There I stood hand on heart, with six other individuals facing an American flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance – for the first time I was at Soldier field for a bears game the year after they won the Superbowl.
100 Things I Won’t Miss About Chicago
- Divvy stations
- “Gunshot or Fireworks?”
- State Income tax
- Chicago sales tax (10.25%)
- Cook county liquor tax
- Bottled water tax
- Plastic grocery bag tax (.07/ea)
- English as a 2nd language
- The Dan Ryan
- Parking meters
- Looking for parking meters
- The CTA
- Dogs with shoulder harnesses
- Red-light cameras
- Speed traps
- City stickers
- Zone parking passes
- Illinois Department of Revenue
- State of Illinois building
- Black gay female mayor with no experience about to run the 3rd largest city in the US
- Watching politicians going to prison
- The daily shooting of humans
- Western Ave
- Stickers on everything
- Groups of millennials
- Chicago winters
- Currency exchanges
- Garbage and recycling trucks
- Panhandlers on every corner
- Rooftop parking over Mariano’s supermarkets
- Tiny gas stations
- The price of gas
- Tiny Menards
- Footsteps heard from neighbors on the second floor
- Shopping in the ghetto
- Chicago tree services
- Dog sh*t on sidewalks
- Speed bumps in alleys
- Speed bumps on streets
- Tiny Lowes
- No hardware stores
- Drive for 30 minutes to go 4 miles
- Looking out every window of the apartment only to see another apartment
- Feeling the need to lock car doors in certain areas of the city
- Safe passage zones
- Making friends with crossing guards
- Unintelligible rap music coming from teeth-rattling auto speakers
- Flags of foreign countries flying from car windows
- Flags of foreign countries flying from building windows
- The miracle mile
- One way streets
- Traveling 6 blocks to actually move 2 blocks
- Motor scooters
- Towing companies
- 24-hour Subways
- The Bishop Ford
- The Jane Byrne interchange
- Tiny Walmarts
- Grand Ave
- The closing of Meigs field
- Commercial neighbors
- Insurance rates
- Snow routes
- The auto impound
- Window washers
- Abandoned bicycles
- Cash only restaurants
- Swedish Covenant hospital parking
- The left turn on Damen from Costco
- The new Elston Ave reroute
- Rainwater sewer backups
- Clyborn Ave
- Hearing sirens all the time
- Grammar school pickup time
- Restaurants with no parking lot
- Movie theaters with no marquis
- The newly remodeled Lincoln Park Target
- The Kohl’s BestBuy parking lot
- North Ave and Halsted
- Channel 2,5,7 and 9 news teams
- Soldier Field
- Guaranteed Rate Field
- No emission test stations
- Homey’s wearing pants around their ass