Today we’d like to introduce you to Dawn Bianchini.
Dawn, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Back in February 2013, a friend of mine that I met through a charity I run owned a bird store for over 25 years. She stated she was burned out and was going to move out of state and was I interested in taking over the business. She stated if I was she would just give it to me. Well, I was shocked, to say the least. I had purchased a Greenwing Macaw (Oliver) from her a couple years before that and all I knew about birds was from my own experience with Oliver. Also, I had never worked in retail before and knew nothing about it. The business had been struggling and against the advice of her accountant, I thought I would try something new. In just a short time, we started doing double the business she did. It has been an incredible journey so far and this year will be my 4th year owning the business and we are better than ever! I now run my own payroll do all my own bookkeeping and breed birds. It has been a lot of work but I have enjoyed every moment of it and getting to know my customers and their feathered companions have been amazing!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest struggle was being away from my daughter her senior year of hight school. I have been a single mom since her father died in 2002. I lived in Big Bear and had to commute to the store and because money was so tight in the beginning I had to stay in the store for the first 2 1/2 years. Depending on weather conditions or training new staff, I wouldn’t always make it home for days or weeks. Luckily, my parents lived right next door and could take her to school. We have never been apart and I felt like I let her down in her senior year. This past year, I was able to buy a house in the Santa Clarita area and she is living with me again.
Please tell us about Canoga Discount Birds.
The store has always been known for its hand feeding of baby birds on site. I became a certified avian specialist and we continue that tradition. I felt it was important to continue to give customers the experience of seeing their babies grow and it provides a better bonding with their companions. We also have two boarding rooms and have put a tv in where we show bird movies to the birds that are boarding there. We also do grooming on weekends and have created a line of seed free mixes. I’m most proud of the way we treat our resident birds and are known for taking all the “handicap” birds that other stores wouldn’t take. We have blind birds, clubbed feet birds and birds owners couldn’t keep.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
One of my favorite childhood memories is going to see my godfather at the post office in The Valley. I remember being 5 years old and barely being able to see over the counter. I get to relive that memory every time I go to the post office because that same one happens to be right next door to my bird store.
- Address: 21731 Sherman Way
- Website: Www. Canogadiscountbirds.com
- Phone: 818-883-3007
- Email: email@example.com