We can’t thank you enough for your patience as we had to shut down shipping last week while we began to organize our new workspace.
There are a host of reasons that we made this move aside from saving money on rent, utilities and taxes.
Interesting to note is that when you operate an Internet retail company, you can run it from anywhere on the planet, as long as you have a high-speed internet connection.
We are now poised to tackle the world wide web retail niche of pet bird supplies from a historical landmark house built in 1928.
Illinois residents will pay no sales tax saving Illinois Windy City Parrot customers 10.25% starting 5/1/19.
Indiana residents will now pay 7% sales tax.
Ironically it suffered a fire about 12 years ago thus the entire interior was rebuilt with modern drywall, electrical and plumbing into a useful commercial space.
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 1300 ft.² of living space which is slowly becoming a remarkable place to live.
One small issue is living in a town with less than stellar water pressure.
We have two bathrooms and each toilet uses a Flushmate pressurized water tank which has been a challenge in the upstairs bathroom,
I finally gave up on try to repair it as the cost of replacement parts was nearing the price of a new unit
I ordered Model 3 to be delivered today 5/3/19 which will end the walk downstairs in the middle of the night (in a strange building) just to access a working toilet.
One of the things that makes this house remarkable is that is owned by Sheets Funeral home just next door.
I can 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 and coffin parts.
In that, the town of historic Lowell’s Main Street, (IN Rte 2) is lined with antique and retail shops and we are front and center on that street that we too will be adding Avian Collectibles to our retail bird supply offerings.
We’ll also be offering a free coffee and toast bar.
We’re on the Keto diet and don’t eat bread.
During the move, Catherine recovered our three toasters stored in the garage.
Who wouldn’t want a nice slice of warm toast 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 display space than any Petsmart, Petco, Pet Supplies Plus or Petland store.
Many of these stores offer bulk bird food from dispensers.
We think that’s a terrible idea as bird food is perishable enough without being exposed too.
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”.
There’s a big problem with that.
Every bag of bird food has a “best used by date”.
When a large corporation buys tens of thousands of pounds of bird food, who is 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 year.
We hear complaints regularly about bird food purchases on eBay where the bird food is already out of date, the day it ships.
We try to offer manufacturer sealed bags of food that at the very least has six months of shelf life.
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 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 in more than 50 years.
100 Things We Won’t Miss About Chicago
- Divvy stations
- 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
- New 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
- Porch Pirates
- 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 other apartments windows
- Feeling the need to lock car doors everywhere
- 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 hanging from windows
- The miracle mile
- One way streets
- Traveling 6 blocks to go around the block
- Motor scooters
- Towing companies
- 24-hour Subways
- The Bishop Ford
- The Jane Byrne interchange
- Tiny Walmarts
- Grand Ave
- The closing of Meigs field
- Parking permits
- Insurance rates
- Snow routes
- The auto impound
- Crazy window washers
- Abandoned bicycle skeletons
- Cash only restaurants
- Swedish Covenant hospital parking
- The left turn on Damen from Costco
- The new Elston Ave reroute
- Rainwater sewer backups
- Clybourn Ave
- Hearing sirens all the time
- Grammer 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
- “Was that a gunshot or fireworks?”
- Guaranteed Rate Field
- No emission test stations
- Homey’s wearing pants around their ass
Okay, maybe it is a little harsh, but we are looking forward to a softer, gentler future ahead of us in beautiful Lowell Indiana while we continue to serve the needs of our wonderful customers.
Thank you all for being there.
Written by Mitch Rezman and Catherine Tobsing