If you don’t know precisely who she is, Rebecca Stockslager is the proprietor of Noah’s Bird Nest in Port Charlotte, Florida. By all appearances, you would think Rebecca would be what I like to call a “Land Sakes Alive! Lady.” I assure, you she is not. She has a head for business, she’s is brilliant and she has a heart of gold. But do not get her fired up. She is tough and doesn’t suffer fools.
What got her into doing what she does is her love of birds and her need to help people.
She saw a need and does her best every day to fill that need by supplying the needs of bird lovers with healthy food, great supplies and training, grooming and boarding services.
Noah’s Bird Nest is a gorgeous parrot supply store and she has lots of birds in the store. But they’re not for sale. Rebecca fosters these birds and helps place them in suitable homes for Florida Parrot Rescue.
She has quite an interesting background and was slugging it out at the glass ceiling before many women were even really aware of it.
Suffice it to say she succeeded.
She now owns her own business with her daughter Liz Shirey. Noah’s Bird Nest is a gorgeous little store that has grown over the years she’s had it. She will be moving to a new location as soon as her new store is built. Right now it’s still a pile of blueprints.
I came up with an interesting way of conducting an interview by not asking any questions.
I think the subject can better make use of the interview by forming their own thoughts about what they are thinking rather than leading them directly to an answer that I want. I gave Rebecca incomplete sentences written here in bold type and asked her to finish these sentences in her own words. And as I have found when doing an interview in this unconventional way, I get more than I would by asking direct questions.
Here is Rebecca’s interview:
A day doesn’t go by… without a bird surprising me. It might be the quiet little Goffins who says “Good night” for the first time. Or the African Grey I ask to go back into his cage and he mutters “Whatever.” I recently had to say goodbye to a cantankerous Macaw whose family was moving up north. I got teary eyed telling him I would miss him, and he wiped away my tear with his own cheek and told me it would be ok. The complete honesty and genuine understanding these creatures exhibit in response to our emotions just knocks my socks off every time!
Before I worked at parrot wrangling… I had actually retired! At some point in my past I was a secretary at a radio station, a Kelly girl, and a software librarian for an aerospace firm. The most enjoyable job I held was as an administrative assistant to a truly absent minded professor at Binghamton University. We oversaw an economic development incubator in upstate NY and I worked with everyone from grad students, professors, corporate CEOs and even entertained the governor of NY! While there I became a full time student in sociology/psychology. I never imagined my true calling was parrots but now I can’t imagine NOT doing this!
Most days at work… are physically and emotionally challenging. While what we do is primarily about the best interests of the birds, we also have to address the needs of the humans who share their lives with them.
My best ideas… come early in the morning. They usually need some trial and error before they come into full potential and that’s ok.
I have always wanted… to have my own business.
If I could accomplish… a few things in my life it would be achieving a well-respected reputation for my business and a legacy for my daughter and grand-daughter to take into the future.
Sometimes your gut tells you… something isn’t right – trust your gut, it doesn’t lie. If a bird tells you someone isn’t “right”, trust the bird.
The one thing I learned… is I don’t know everything and they don’t know everything, but together we can network to share what we do know and everyone benefits.
If you ever get a chance to visit the store, say hello to Rebecca for me. She’s a wonderful woman and she really knows birds.