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Meet Savannah Welch of Bird Lover’s Cottage in Coronado

Today we’d like to introduce you to Savannah Welch.

Savannah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Back in 2011, I was thirteen, creative, and eager for a place to showcase my work online. I had spent some time during the summer, creating a variety of small products and wanted a way for family and friends to be able to look through my collection. From jewelry to pendants to keychains, I consequently decided to open “Bird Lover’s Cottage” and post my work online. Within several months, I began to receive order notifications and needed to find a way to ship my items. Having zero knowledge of running a business, I did my research, learning how to ship domestically and internationally, and developing customer service skills — all before starting high school.

Over the years, I’ve received orders while finishing my high school education and attending college. The skills I learned in my small Etsy business helped me with other ventures, including my work in film, my position in my sorority, journalism, and music. Having spent eighteen years of training in classical piano, I’ve had the opportunity to use my musical abilities in high school and college. I’ve performed in both London and California, playing piano at churches, singing at Pepperdine in Malibu, and performing in musicals.

Furthermore, I currently spend much of my time writing for Pepperdine University’s nationally-recognized newspaper, the “Graphic” and anchoring/directing for our broadcast news show, NewsWaves TV-32. As a Media Production major and Multimedia Design minor, I have spent countless hours both behind and in front of the camera. Whether it’s reporting in the field, editing footage, or writing scripts, I have dedicated much of my time to journalism and plan on receiving my MSJ from the University of Southern California in the fall of 2020.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My personal journey has been incredibly rewarding. However, it hasn’t been without obstacles. When I was six, I was diagnosed with a severe case of cholesteatoma in my right ear. Having had four surgeries since I have unfortunately lost most of my hearing in my right ear. This is something I’ve struggled with for most of my life, having to compensate for my disability and work twice as hard to hear, which can be difficult in settings like a loud control room or when using in-ear monitors.

Additionally, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2018 — only a week after the Borderline Bar and Grill shooting in Thousand Oaks and devastating Woolsey Fire. I attended Coronado Middle/High School with Justin Meek and Pepperdine University with Alaina Housley, two of the victims of the shooting. My university also instilled mandatory evacuations during the Woolsey Fire, which greatly impacted my junior year of college.

Please tell us about Bird Lover’s Cottage.
I take pride in my small Etsy business because I place time, energy, and creativity into making my products the best they can be. Not only do I try to be there for customers and shoppers, I also spend time and resources into perfecting the creation of all my listings. Having owned this business for nine years now, it’s something I’m grateful for and am looking forward to expanding on as I graduate from college.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
One of my favorite memories was from my very first piano recital. I remember being so nervous and worried that I would mess up — but I finished the sonata with such a sense of accomplishment and took a big sweeping bow as I hopped offstage.

I remember my dad asking if I was nervous, and I said, “Nope!” proudly with a big grin on my face. I try to bring that sense of confidence into the projects I work on now. I will be forever grateful for those childhood piano recitals.

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