Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Budrock.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My mission started in 2011, after a very special, little rescued parrot passed away. When he died, my heart shattered. After having a reasonable amount of time to mourn, I was still carrying this sadness with me and I just couldn’t continue to function with it weighing on me. In order to fight the sadness, I decided to do something that would honor his memory and the people that saved him, so I started out by volunteering at the South FL Wildlife Center.
While I was there, I met some amazing people, and with their help, I started doing companion bird rescue as a hobby.
When I wasn’t working a full-time graphic design job, I was helping needy wildlife and companion birds. It’s exhausting, but so rewarding… oh, and expensive.
Focusing on special needs birds (the sick, elderly, and disabled), vet bills started piling up. I needed to find some way to help pay the on-going tab at my avian vet’s and that’s right when Birdhism first started.
The term “Birdhism” came about from a discussion with a good friend of mine. We were having a semi-philosophical discussion about belief systems and came to the conclusion, that no matter what we believe in, our love for birds and our drive to help them will always unite us. That’s what it means to be a Birdhists.
I made a Birdhism Facebook page with the intent to connect with like-minded people and teach them what I’ve learned over the years of doing bird rescue, and about life in general. I really wanted to help both birds and the humans that love them.
The thing about teaching patience and compassion for our cute, but also crazy, bird-friends is that patience and compassion tends to spreads to other parts of our lives, potentially bringing kindness to the world around us… or I like to think so. Truth be told, some days I get sassy from all the heck I’ve seen, but I try to make a conscious effort to be kind.
On the Facebook page, I started out with motivational posts with cute bird photos, but I eventually shared a kawaii-styled design of my very special, little, spokesbird Cody, and people loved it. I designed a cute cockatiel, too, and they loved it. That’s when people started asking me to design other species, portraits and eventually merchandise and it has taken off from there.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The struggle is finding a balance between all levels of responsibility and try not to get over-whelmed. I constantly need to remind myself to just do my best.
I find it difficult to ask people for help. I need to accept that a single person can only do so much and that relying on others is often necessary.
Saying, “No” is another struggle. I’m very much a people-pleaser and that’s not always a good thing for both mental health and long-term goals in general.
Please tell us about Birdhism.
My business is to design and sell cute bird merchandise in order in support a good life for real birds through funding rescue, sanctuary, and conservation efforts.
I specialize in custom and stock Kawaii-styled illustrations of companion bird species as well as bird-family portraits.
I’m known for The Chubby Bird Collection and sharing the adventures of my beloved spokesbird, Cody. Cody was born with a leg disability. With his help, I like to show the world that just because somebirdy is different, it doesn’t mean they deserve any less kindness than anyone else.
I’m proud of the Birdhists community. I love when they share stories with me in regards to rescuing a bird, pursuing college courses to become a vet or conservationalist, or volunteering at a sanctuary.
I don’t really like to compare myself to others. I’m not here to compete, I’m here to bring people together for a common goal.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I don’t see a way to get where I am now by doing things differently. There’s lessons learned in every failure and I wouldn’t want to deny myself of these lessons even if they were challenging.
- Custom Illustrations start at $75
- 3.5″ Outdoor Quality Chubby Bird Stickers $3.20
- Fine Art Prints start at $10
- Website: birdhism.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/birdhism/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/birdhism
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/birdhism
- Other: birdhism.tumblr.com