Editor’s note: MyEverettNews.com is working to introduce our readers to more independent business owners here in Everett, Washington. We want to highlight their businesses, tell their stories and invite you to shop locally and help move Everett forward. If you know of a business we should feature, send us a suggestion via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Leland Dart – Publisher
While working at Boeing for more than two decades, Shannon Bailey was a long time customer of Wild Birds Unlimited in Everett. She first discovered the store at Claremont Village in the 4800 block of Evergreen Way when she moved to Everett in 1994. In 2018 she found out the store was for sale.
“I got excited,” Shannon told me recently. “Instead of thinking of Boeing at 2 AM I thought of this place.” She took a leap of faith and bought the store with her husband Jim in January of 2018.
Now Shannon’s store isn’t completely independent, she purchased a franchise. While that gives her some level of support when it comes to IT systems, employee training and even a coach, she doesn’t have the freedom when it comes to the layout of the store and how it should look. She recently completed a mandated remodel of her space which she admits was a bit stressful.
The Everett location opened in 1994 and with the closure of the Monroe Wild Birds Unlimited they are the only location north of Lake Forest Park and Redmond. I asked Shannon what she thought the best thing was about her store and she was quick to answer.
“My customers are number one,” she said. “They come in with a purpose.” She also praised her employees. “Jenny who is the manager has been here since March of 2018 and we haven’t had to hire in over a year.”
That gave me the opportunity to ask Melissa, who was working the sales floor and preparing seed, what she liked about working at the store. “It’s because of Shannon and Jenny,” she told me. “When you have a manager and owner who care, it’s stress free and drama free.” She added, “To have this environment it is worth it and the customers are great.”
I wondered if there was a type of bird that was most popular among the customers and hummingbird was the top choice. “People also love their chickadees,” Shannon added.
For those who would like to start feeding birds where they live I wondered what advice they give to folks.
They first ask about the environment where the customer plans to feed. Is it a big yard, lots of trees, an apartment balcony? Then they go on to suggest a style of feeder and types of food. They have a blend of seed that is unique to them. The primary seed is sunflower but there are a lot of varieties.
One thing I found interesting is there are various blends that contain hot pepper. While that doesn’t bother the birds, squirrels, rodents and bears tend to stay out of the feeder with the hot stuff.
In addition to food and feeders, the store has an amazing selection of yard art, decorations, reference materials and lots of great advice.
Shannon says sales have increased year over year and one thing that kept them going during the Pandemic was their ability to ship from the store directly to the customer. It’s a service they started right before Covid hit. While a lot of shipments are in the Puget Sound area they also have customers who have moved as far away as New York but still order from the Everett store.
Shannon is involved in the Everett community and a member of Everett Port Gardner Rotary. She and her husband Jim just celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary.
You can learn more about the store here on their website. The store address is 4821 Evergreen Way in Everett, Washington 98203. The phone number is (425) 252-2220. Hours are 10 AM – 6 PM Monday through Friday, 10 AM – 5 PM on Saturday and 10 AM – 3 PM on Sunday.
Oh be sure to say hi to Rosie when you visit. She’s been there longer than Shannon or any of the staff. Loves a little scratch between the ears.