We had the good fortune of connecting with Morgan Huston and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Morgan, what do you attribute your success to?
Honesty. Honesty with oneself first. A few years after graduating from college, I finally realized that I had to follow the entrepreneurial path. I packed up my Brooklyn apartment, set aside my graduate degree in Human Rights, and went back to my Denver roots. I had to branch out into a different career and city to realize that mine was an entrepreneurial heart. I was raised by a risk-taking, business-minded mother and grew up in the landscape architecture and construction industry; the transition back to that world felt right. Honesty in my daily actions and decisions comes close second. As a retailer, our first responsibility is to treat our customers, co-workers, vendors, and neighbors with integrity. Small businesses like ours are all vying for the same consumer dollars, but what makes them successful is approaching that process with respect, honest communication, and appreciation. Honesty in my design and inventory choices. We work very hard to bring only the highest quality garden decor products to our customers, but these collections are also very curated: we buy everything with an eye on the product’s quality, its environmental impact, and its biophilic aesthetic or purpose.
What should our readers know about your business?
Retail is not for the faint of heart. Had I taken the time to research and study it before jumping into the deep end, I may not have gone through with it. The beauty of acting on intuition and passion is that you encounter the dangers, difficulties, and road blocks head on and you don’t have time to worry; you just do what needs to be done. I have lived an adventure for the past 7 years where no matter how much I plan and organize, there will be a detour; you need to re-route and find your way again. The Covid-19 pandemic challenged us and taught us so much and so quickly about our values, our organization, our support system, and ourselves. It pushed us to be better than we ever thought we could be and to reach deep in our processes, relationships, and energies to come out not just fine, but better. Birdsall was poised to flourish even during a pandemic because of the hard, behind the scenes, non-sexy, detailed, and steady work performed by our entire team. We never doubted our goals, our purpose, our vendors, or our customers. The groundwork and preparation was done for years to be able to confront a very difficult situation. Our core values were never attached to quick financial gains but instead betting on strong roots that could withstand bad weather and continue to grow strongly and methodically. Since we surrounded ourselves with like-minded vendors and manufacturers, the last year has strengthened these mutually rewarding relationships where we all emphasized clarity, honesty, integrity, and solidarity. Above all, our customers were there for us and with us during the pandemic and we will forever be grateful to them. We would like to think we were there for them also. We provided the services, environment and emotions they were looking for and their reactions were heartwarming and humbling. Birdsall became more than an outdoor decor retail store. Customers came in for a plant, a little pleasure, a quick conversation, a long conversation, a visit with the dogs Ethel and Lucy, and to experience a bit of normalcy. We all relied on each other and created strong community bonds. Try that with Amazon!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hopefully, this best friend is coming after this pandemic is finally under control! If it’s up to me, my itinerary revolves around food and adult beverages. Q House, The Wolf’s Tailor, Dio Mio for the former; Middleman, Cooper Lounge, Room for Milly for the latter. Spend a day in RiNo brewery-hopping and checking out our amazing street art. Do a First Friday on Santa Fe for people-watching. Drive to Fairplay just for the incredible view from Kenosha Pass.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Spending time nurturing female friendships has given me more ROI than formal university degrees. When there’s an issue that needs dissecting, there is always a friend I can count on to spend time with me and help me through it. I have also learned by helping them through their struggles and appreciating their successes. All of them bring their experiences in emotional intelligence, legal advice, human resources, corporate organization, and choice of Malbec to the table.They are my mentors, board of advisors, support group, trend spotters, and best customers.