Thursday, May 5, 2011

How Jen's Jewelry became Grey Girl Designs

I thought I might write a bit about why I named my business Grey Girl Designs.  Who is the grey girl?  Well I am, but so is my 2 year old African grey timneh, Sadie Grey.  You see, I still remember sitting in high school art class and having one of my friends exclaim "Jennifer, you have a grey hair!!"  I started getting grey hair very early in life and I still have grey hair (well, white actually but I'll call it grey because it fits my story better!).  I have a sprinkle of grey mixed in with my brown along with a nice streak on the side.  So far, I like it.  It may make me look older but really I think of it more as a unique badge of my individuality.  I also love the color grey- all shades of grey, smoky, dreamy and with an almost mystical feel.  I used to think black was my favorite color but I've moved on to a softer version of it, mixed with light.  Along with calling me "mama" my little grey girl also calls me "grey girl".  So we are grey girls together. 

That brings me to my greys.  I haven't written anything about my birds in this blog yet and it is time to bring them into the story so you can see better who I am.  I absolutely love animals and birds are one thing that I just adore.  My love for them started very early with a little sky blue budgie named Tweety who was my childhood friend.  He simply mesmerized me with his little chirpy voice and his happy nature and those delicate and wondrous wings.  I have shared most of my life with birds, there have been many over the years and I even spent some years breeding various kinds of them.  I have raised cockatiels, ring-necked doves, Pacific parrotlets, black masked lovebirds and timneh African greys.  I really love them all but greys have a special place in my heart.  They are so intelligent and so mysterious at the same time.  They are little individuals with large personalities, and they truly captivate me.  I remember seeing videos of Alex the African grey Congo, who was known for his intelligence and speaking abilities, and just knowing I had to share my life with one of these beautiful birds.  Well, I have two unique little feathered children that I actually had the pleasure of hand feeding and raising myself.  Lyric and Sadie Grey are my timneh babies, and although they keep me very busy and tied down, I absolutely adore them both.  Lyric is the oldest of the two and he never decided to talk.  He was the only chick in his clutch that hatched and he had my undivided attention.  I even brought him to work with me to feed him and keep him company! 

My Lyric as a baby chick! Sept 2006

Lyric playing with an ice cube, 2007
When Sadie came along, there were two chicks in her clutch, her and her brother Sterling.  I think she learned to talk so well because she always had competition for my affection.  Her brother found a home with my neighbor and friend, Debbie.  I still get to visit him from time to time and it brings me great joy to see how he is doing and how loved he is.  Sadie is a very good talker and loves to let me know "I need a drink of water right NOW!" every chance she gets.  She amazes me with everything she learns and her ability to use words and even complete sentences.
Sadie Grey (on right) and her brother, Sterling, November 2008
Sadie, all grown up, April 2010
Me and Sadie Grey, November 2010
When I was trying to think of a unique name for my new jewelry business, it came to me pretty immediately that Grey Girl Designs would be perfect.  I added the red feather (with my brother Brian's artistic assistance) to the logo as a tribute to my feathered angels that mean so much to me.
I would like to add a side note to this conversation- parrots in general, including greys, are not the perfect companion animal for most families.  They require special care, lots of attention and a very long term commitment.  I spend hours cleaning up after them, paying attention to them, allowing them out of cage time and caring for them.  They are loud, messy, and generally have the attitude of a three year old child.  Please do not run out and purchase a parrot without learning all you can about them first.  Spend time with one and then decide if you are willing to devote yourself heart and soul to the care of one of these delicate creatures.
Lyric supervising a jewelry photo shoot, January 2011

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