Squirrel picnic table by Rick Kalinowski
A hobby that stands out as both adorable and heartwarming is the act of building tiny picnic tables specifically designed for squirrels. This endearing trend originated from the creative mind of Rick Kalinowski, a resourceful resident of Pennsylvania.
Rick Kalinowski, a devoted squirrel enthusiast, always enjoyed watching the squirrels in his yard. He would set up feeders and share photos of these furry friends on Facebook groups with fellow squirrel enthusiasts. When Kalinowski’s job came to a halt, he decided to create a miniature picnic table to enjoy observing the local squirrels. Little did he know that this simple idea would spark a new trend and lead to the success of his Etsy store.
As a plumber and HVAC contractor, Kalinowski suddenly found himself without work when Pennsylvania’s governor ordered the closure of “non-life-sustaining businesses.” Uncertain about his future income, Kalinowski turned his attention to the squirrels in his backyard and came up with a brilliant idea.
Years ago, Kalinowski had seen a photo of a miniature picnic table for squirrels and promised himself that he would build one if he ever had the opportunity. With plenty of time on his hands, he gathered some leftover wood and constructed the tiny picnic table from memory, without any plans or drawings. He then attached it to the fence where he usually fed the squirrels.
At first, Kalinowski provided a variety of nuts on the table, but the squirrels preferred taking the food to go. It was only when he placed sunflower seeds on the table that they started sitting and enjoying their meals. Excited by their response, Kalinowski took photos and shared them on the “All About Squirrels” Facebook group.
One evening, while discussing their financial situation, Kalinowski and his husband Brett realized they were becoming increasingly worried about rent and their financial stability. To their surprise, the next morning, Kalinowski’s squirrel picnic table photo had garnered thousands of fans worldwide, many of whom expressed interest in having their own squirrel picnic table.
With numerous requests pouring in, Kalinowski decided to establish an Etsy store, SquirrellyTreasureCo, to manage the growing demand. Within the first 24 hours, they received a staggering 400 orders. Kalinowski initially sold the picnic tables for $25, including a feeder bowl and mounting hardware. Additionally, he introduced DIY kits, which quickly became 50% of their orders. These kits allowed families stuck at home to engage in a fun and rewarding project.
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More cute squirrels on Street Art Utopia.