Why Chicken Feathers?
Stand out! Distinguish yourself! Be bold! Every entrepreneur article I read shouts this advice again and again. Find your niche...and then make yourself stand out! Well my niche happens to be about a bajillion different things, my standout qualities tend to lend themselves better to bar crowds than customers and clients, and my creative self falls asleep halfway through a design idea because let's face it, this mama is TIRED.
But this mama also adores her newborn, Dancing Feathers Farm, and wants to see her fly, unclipped, into a future of health, wellness in all of its forms, and earth-centered sustainability.
So I needed to find a way to stand out. Enter....the humble chicken feather.
It started innocently enough. My oldest adores collecting feathers. She grabs them from the coop. She swipes them from the air. She even plucks them off the curb outside the gas station. The girl loves feathers. When I was a girl, I was the same way..but my own mama, in all of her wisdom and with unadulterated dedication to my safety, wasn't having it. "Jennifer Kimberly," she would say. "Put that thing down, who knows where that bird had been! It's dirty! They carry germs!"
And so imagine my shock and horror when I found myself replicating my mother's exact words. "Anya Kimberly! Put that thing down! You're not bringing it in the house! It's dirty!"
I, dear friends, have become my mother. If she wasn't such an amazing creature, I would be thoroughly screwed by the inevitable fact of life that some parental characteristics are unavoidably deigned to be yours.
We're in our 6th season of owning chickens. I've since released my paranoia regarding my oldest's habit for picking up chicken feathers. A little of Anya's joy for color, texture, and delicacy seems to have transposed itself on me; I now find myself enjoying her finds, creating spaces for her to house them inside, and asking her which bird she thinks the feather came from. I am delighted by the variances, the gradients, and the simplistic beauty of this all-so-awesome design. These light little things allow flight. They are strong enough to overcome gravity...yet I can barely feel the weight of them in my hand. What a metaphor, eh?
I found my distinguishing mark. My unique characteristic. My wet-bandit calling card, Harry. Feathers. My products and services would include feathers, these light, unique little things that seem to triumph over the laws of physics and represent freedom, beauty, and light. Feathers would be my symbols of grace, my talisman, my identifying mark in the sea of beautiful producers we have in our communities. Anya was thrilled. More feathers to collect? Don't need to ask her twice.
And for the mamas like me out there, don't worry. I learned how to wash and sterilize the feathers, too ;)