I decided to interview my mother for the entrepreneur questions. I have watched her continue her schooling from the time I was in high school til last year when she graduated from Fresno State with a business degree, with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. I have heard her excitement about certain classes like social entrepreneurship (which actually led me to the path of the Humanics Program), as well as her distaste for some, like statistics. She has such a creative mind and is always thinking of specific niches that need to be filled within communities. Her dream is to eventually open a combination coffee shop and nursery that teaches classes about organic, homegrown foods. Her selfless attitude has shaped me into the person I am and has influenced the person I want to become. I've never known someone as determined as her and I am incredibly proud of her.  

1. Brief explanation of bird socks:

Birdsocks are a fabric "seed sock" bird feeder, attracting gold finch and pine siskins.

2. What qualities do you possess (that aid you with your work)?
Creative, stubborn- but I like to think of it as determination. The ability to follow through on details & ability to sew a straight line!

3. How did you start?
I used to work for a nursery in Oakhurst, California. One of my bosses' supplier was a retired gentleman in Nevada.  She ran out of birdsocks, her favorite product, and made multiple attempts to contact the supplier, later finding he passed away. She knew I had a sewing machine, as asked if I would be interested in making them for her.
4. How did you fail?

I bought 20 yards of fabric from E-bay.  The fabric required is similar to bright yellow football-jersey material; with tiny holes about 1/16" wide.  I did not realize it came in many, many different diameters on the hole size.  It was advertised as "port-hole" mesh, but the picture shown online looked to be the correct – my bad – there was nothing in the picture to compare size.  The fabric that arrived had 1/4" diameter holes, which means the small birdseed would poor right through.  I was stuck with $80 worth of unusable fabric.  I told the family they would all be receiving bright yellow shirts for Christmas.

5. Any advice for CBO's (non-profits)?

 The work you do is invaluable – thank you for performing the jobs that you do.  Successful non profit leaders seem to be largely innovative; they think differently, allowing for non-traditional solutions to problems.  Don't be afraid to fail, and remember sanity and a good sense of humor are directly related.