For the past years, we have run a little parrot-focused company called Greywood Manor. Our products included teas and other holistic products for parrots and other pets.
Recently we announced we had sold our product catalog to new buyers (sorry, we signed an NDA - so please don't ask). Sometimes the right offer comes along, and the universe tells you it's time to jump. Yesterday, it was bitter-sweet blending our last batch of tea and putting it into the outgoing box, but it was time. I reflected on the past years and remembered the first bag of tea, the first labels, and all the discoveries of running a pet nutrition company.
The original intention of opening Greywood Manor was not to make much money; we didn't. We just wanted to make a difference in the avian community. We had been introduced to avian teas and had seen such excellent results we had to share! As a business, we couldn't mark up our retail prices the way most do because we had such specialty ingredients, and sometimes a pound of one component was upward of forty to sixty dollars. So we were responsible for finding the best quality, human-grade, and organic ingredients for the least amount. It was not easy, but I think we did a pretty darned good job!
During the Greywood years, as I am now referring to them, we supported causes, started and made guest appearances on podcasts, wrote published articles in the US & UK, and advertised in the famous Bird Talk (which I was so close to having my twelve-year-old dream of being published - of which that's another story for another article) and other parrot publications. There were a lot of great things that came from Greywood Manor. I remember there was also backlash for bringing holistic teas to the forefront; I then realized humans don't like change, and many of the human population fear the unknown. We, however, endured and helped a lot of pet owners all over the world. I loved hearing the personal emails and messages; those truly touched my heart.
The Greywood Manor years brought its lessons. We learned a few valuable ones. Some companies ordered all of our products and then replicated our recipes. Some created products with no experience or education to back up their formulas. Another lesson was the harsh reality of "research who you do business with." We found that not all intend to make a difference; for some, it's all about status and power. Then some get seduced by greed; for others, it's all about ego. These were all necessary and valuable lessons to learn, indeed.
I look back to when I adopted our Timneh; I dove head first into the nutritional elements of parrots. I did the research and honestly came out more knowledgeable than I ever imagined, especially regarding raw whole foods. I've always equated getting into the pet nutrition world to the part in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy and her entourage see behind the curtain and realize that "the wizard" is just a man, putting up the pretense and a facade with some fancy smoke and mirrors. Unfortunately, when you learn about the pet food business, you can never return to pre-curtain. However, there is a positive. You can use what you have learned, help people educate themselves on the post-curtain peek, and share your knowledge and experiences. Hopefully, some people will listen along the way.
You can expect some pretty incredible things coming from myself and Parrot Earth. Great guest interviews here and on the new podcast coming; yes, you read that right, the latest Parrot Earth Podcast. You'll be able to get content from Parrot Earth on all avenues. So, be on the lookout for that.
As we close our Greywood manufacturing space, our family and I are delighted and grateful for your support over the past seven years. You have made a difference in our lives, and I hope we were able to return the kindness. Truly, thank you!
I sit here and reflect; I am beyond excited about this new chapter in my journey in the world of parrots. Thus far, it's been a long road, and I have learned many lessons. All this reflection has reminded me about endings and beginnings, "Beginnings are scary. Endings are usually sad, but it's what's in the middle that counts the most."
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