by Ardie Arvidson
Wild Birds Unlimited celebrated joining the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce on Monday morning with a ribbon cutting. Chamber ambassadors were on hand to help celebrate.
The Florence franchise is owned by Art and Lisa Martin and opened in November 2018.
The couple said they never set out to become part of the immensely popular bird-feeding and bird-watching population. Lisa said bird-watching is second only to gardening in the United States in popularity as a hobby.
Lisa, a pharmacist by trade, was making candles, soaps and lotions under their Carolina Wren label when the couple attended a gift trade show in Atlanta, trying to grow their Carolina Wren business.
Lisa said she was trying to turn a hobby into a business for her retirement.
While at the show, Lisa said, they were approached by several retailers who owned Wild Birds Unlimited franchises.
Lisa said the more they worked with Wild Birds Unlimited franchise owners with their Carolina Wren products the more they noticed how happy the owners all were and how much they loved their work.
Art and Lisa decided they wanted to open a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise in the Florence area. In talking with Wild Birds Unlimited, Lisa said, they were told the company had been trying to get in the Florence market for about 12 years but hadn’t found the right fit.
It took less than a year for the couple to get their shop up and running.
Wild Birds Unlimited carries a variety of seeds and seed blends that have been specially formulated to attract birds in this region. Customers receive only the freshest bird food possible.
“Our food is extremely clean and extremely fresh,” Art said. “It is bagged when ordered.”
They order about every two weeks.
He said there are no fillers in the bird food they sell. He said every seed is edible by the birds.
They also carry bird feeders, bird houses, wind chimes and specialty garden and gift items, along with their Carolina Wren products.
Art said his favorite part of the business is going to people’s homes and setting up the feeders and establishing their bird-watching stations.
“We are all about bringing joy to your life,” Lisa said.
“We bring people and nature together,” Art said.
Wild Birds Unlimited is at 2151 W. Evans St., Suite E, in the West Gate Square.
The store hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
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