Linda Vandiver absolutely loves birds. But she never thought that love would inspire her to join the thriving small business community in North Ogden when she was working as a caregiver in Salt Lake City. “I worked for 30 years taking care of elderly ladies in their homes, and I’ve always been somewhat of a caregiver. I just decided it was getting too physically demanding, not to mention the commute to Salt Lake City five days a week. My last lady I‘d been with for 15 years, and my husband said don’t take any more jobs because we need to do something else,” Vandiver said.
All of a sudden, Linda had to decide what was next for her. “We just started looking and talking about birds. I love birdhouses and bird baths—I used to watch birds, and it was a sweet bonding hobby we did, so we decided to open a bird store,” Vandiver remembered. But this wasn’t a pet store, and Vandiver knew that selling only bird-related items wouldn’t get them very far economically. “We also decided to buy some other yard and garden items. People love yard and garden stuff,” she said.
And thus, All Aflutter, LLC was born.
Like many entrepreneurs, Vandiver runs the whole operation herself—her husband still works in Salt Lake. Her location, a small, renovated home in North Ogden, lends itself to the homey environment Vandiver constantly cultivates in her store. “We didn’t want a strip mall location. That was never an option; I wanted a little old house.”
So far, Vandiver and that little old house are chugging along nicely—they’ll be celebrating their two year anniversary in September with a celebratory ribbon cutting to follow in October.
Her biggest piece of advice to aspiring small business owners in the Ogden/Weber area? Don’t overspend trying to open your business. “Have enough money to sustain you for two or three years. Don’t spend your last penny trying to open your business, and start small because it takes three to five years to get really established,” Vandiver said. “Whatever you decide to do, you’ve gotta have more money than you think you do. Have some in the reserve.”
All Aflutter sells everything from yard signs to gnomes, birdhouses to dreamcatchers. But her favorite item? Her Corinthian Bells wind chimes. “They’re handmade in the U.S.A and hand-tuned as well. They’re absolutely the best bells on the market.”