Like a lot of people, Silvia Slemmer had always dreamed about being a business owner one day—but it was a goal that always seemed just out of reach.
For most of her life, Slemmer worked as an executive assistant, handling the meetings, schedules and travel plans for top-level leadership. Slemmer says her core responsibility was to keep their lives in order. It was a rewarding—albeit busy—career.
But yet, Slemmer often found herself wondering what else life might have in store for her. On the weekends, she’d regularly visit the Wild Birds Unlimited store in Carlsbad, California to buy supplies for her backyard birdfeeders. She says that’s where her dream began to become a business owner.
“I would visit the local Wild Birds Unlimited at every chance I had. I’d walk through the aisles and say to myself, ‘When I have a store like this…’” Slemmer recalls. “It was a dream of mine to have a store like Wild Birds Unlimited, but I knew I could never do it because I had no retail experience and I didn’t have the support from my husband to help make it happen.”
Looking for guidance, Slemmer turned to Paul Pickett, the chief development officer at Wild Birds Unlimited. He provided her with a list of important books to buy and walked her through the brand’s business planning. This process includes an in-depth look at Wild Birds Unlimited’s comprehensive support services for all elements of the franchise operation, an example Business Plan to work off of and a Financial Projection worksheet. Having this detailed information on hand ultimately helped Slemmer secure the business loan she needed to get her Wild Birds Unlimited location transferred over to her name.
In 2011, Slemmer became the new owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in Carlsbad. To this day, she says it’s still a challenging—yet rewarding—process, but that’s what makes being a franchisee with the brand so great—she’s never done learning.
“Every day I walk into the store, and I can’ t believe this is mine—that I’ve come this far. I’m right back where my dream started. If it wasn’t for Wild Birds Unlimited, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” Slemmer said. “Sometimes we get held back from going down our own path. I’m glad I didn’t listen when people told me it couldn’t be done. I determined my own happiness. And I found it with Wild Birds Unlimited.”
Click here to learn more about Silvia Slemmer.