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A little about Garden Girl NC

Why our life is for the birds.

The beauty of working with UV-resistant resin is that each bird is unique and the final product is virtually impossible to break and weather-resistant. 

My name is Zoe Meinecke and I am Garden Girl NC - the creative mind behind the birds and the business that's bringing people around the country year-round brightness and joy. After having lived in Charlotte, NC since 2006 - my husband Keith and I, along with our herd (3 dogs - Meg, Raleigh, and Grace + 2 cats - Gabby and Margot), now live in beautiful Boone, NC. I'm constantly inspired by these mountains, the nature that calls them home, and the caring people I call my neighbors and community.

WHAT I DO
I work with resin to re-create the beauty and lightness of nature - each bird is uniquely made by hand and is meant to brighten your pot, tree, or home. I make the clay models and silicone molds from scratch, as well as hand-pour the resin for each bird.
Everyone said '2020 was for the birds' so it seemed like the perfect time to establish Garden Girl NC and share these eye-catching pieces.

THE INSPIRATION
Two events gave me both the time and inspiration to create Garden Girl NC - the first being my mother's passing in February. My mother was a power-house, an incredible woman and mother, and I'll be forever grateful for all I learned from her. The second was the time provided to me by 2020 due to COVID-19 to reflect, heal, and get back to what I love most - creating things that bring joy. To connect ideas that otherwise might not have been.

A view of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

How in the world did I get into making birds?

Trust me. I ask myself that all of time and then smile because I love what I do but I never would have guessed this path.

The marriage of two very different ideas. Our resin birds were birthed by the merging of two ideas and A LOT of tweaking.
1. The bird on a stick. For my birthday, my Aunt Jane who lives in Iowa sent me this really beautiful Cardinal on a stick that my Uncle Jim had carved out of wood. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to do with it until I talked with her and she said to place it in a planter. Ever since I placed it in one of my rose planters, I've thought not only of them when I looked at it, but of my mom - she LOVED her garden and 'her' birds. It's brought me comfort and warmed my heart having that cardinal.
2. Resin Coasters. WHAT?! That's right, the second idea was seeing a very random YouTube video of someone making a look-alike agate coaster from pouring resin. There was something about that video where in my head I thought 'I bet I could pour resin to liken feathers'. Once that idea popped into my head, I couldn't let it go and proceeded to try everything I could to figure out how I could make this work.

Here's a little video I did with Dr. Ana Marie Temple out of Charlotte where you can hear a little of the story straight from me:

A fly-by: How I make Garden Girl NC Birds

Step 1: Hand-draw the Bird for the Model. Once I've selected the bird I'd like to make, the first step is hand drawing the silhouette and understanding sizing taking into account the actual size of the real bird as well as the mediums it will be placed in. 

Step 2: Hand-mold the models out of clay. Using the drawn outline, I use sculpting clay to make the model for the silicone molds.

Step 3: Pour the silicone molds.
Using the models, I hand-pour liquid silicone to form the models for the resin.

Step 4: It's Bird-makin' time.
Once I have the molds, it's time to mix the resin (both clear and each color) to make the birds.

Step 5: Let the Birds marinate (cure). After about 24-hours the birds are ready to be plucked from the mold.

Step 6: Finishing. This step involves a quality check and grinding any sharp edges while still maintaining the unique curves and adding the finishing sticks, hooks, and tags.

After all of these steps, our birds are finally free to migrate across the country and into your home!

Here's a peak of how our birds are BORN!

One thing's for certain, Garden Girl NC wouldn't be anywhere without your love and support - it warms my heart that something I create will bring you and others joy. I hope you've enjoyed learning a little bit more about me and my birds - THANK YOU for all of the encouragement!