I am Christina Clark, and I am the owner of Chris’s Squirrels and More.
In 1999, when I first started this business, I already had a lot on my plate. I was a wife and mother of two young children selling antiques on Ebay, working part-time as a vet technician, operating a small Quarter Horse farm, and was a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in the State of Connecticut. I was never one to be idle for long, and I always kept much busier than I probably should have, but back then I had so much energy! At the time, I would take in any injured or orphaned wildlife that came my way (although as my first official orphaned-then-successfully released animal, the squirrels were immediately my favorite). It wasn’t until later years that I began to specialize in the care of the Squirrel.
I’d been licensed and taking in wildlife for 6 years at that point, with the financial cost creeping towards impacting my family, I realized that I would need help funding my wildlife clinic. I really struggled with juggling the need to provide care for these animals with the cost of supplies. I didn’t want to have to turn any animals away (the energy of youth again!), but the cost of purchasing most of my supplies from big pet supply companies was too much. In 1999, to help support my clinic and after realizing I wasn’t the only squirrel lover in the world (after being outbid many times on Ebay trying to buy adorable squirrelly gift items), I decided to branch out from antiques and start selling a squirrel-focused gift line on Ebay. Despite that, the costs were still a challenge and in expressing my frustration to some of the other rehabbers I’d worked with and learned from, I learned I was not alone. I saw the need for wildlife rehabilitators to have a place where they could acquire rehab supplies as inexpensively as possible. This was the beginning of my long journey into the world of squirrels and other wildlife, and into truly becoming a small business owner. We opened for business online that year and, after a name change a couple years later that ultimately helped to better describe who we were, Chris’s Squirrels and More was born. My intention when I opened for business was to make rehabilitation supplies available in one location to animal rehabbers and rescues at prices as close to wholesale as I was able, in hopes of reducing the financial burden and a little bit of the stress that comes with taking on the challenging life of being a wildlife rehabilitator. As we all know saving and caring for animals is an extremely costly endeavor and there is always a need for financial help.
With all that being said, I had a couple goals in mind when I started my business:
– Raise money to support my own wildlife clinic. I know this may seem self-serving, but it was always for the animals and it’s an enormous point of personal pride for me that I have been successful in doing this. Thanks to Squirrels and More, which has completely funded my wildlife clinic, I had the tools and resources available to provide care, proper housing, and correct nutrition to countless injured and orphaned animals. The only catch was that the busiest time of year for my business coincided with baby season, and it would have been nearly impossible to rehab and be a business owner if not for the amazing employees I’ve had and the support of my friends.
- Give other rehabbers access to the things they need. I’ve always tried my hardest to have the hard-to-find rehab supplies, many that were traditionally more veterinary-based items purchased through your local vet at higher prices. I was able to bring those same products in and often sell them at half the cost as if being purchased from a veterinarian. Our milk replacers were usually sold for wholesale prices, (meaning: the pet stores paid the same price that my customers did). I was also able to bring in the harder-to-find supplies, such as the O-ring syringes, and feeding tubes of all sizes at the lowest cost to my customers possible. I wanted my business to be a “One stop shop for all your rehab needs”, to save my customers the trouble of shopping at multiple websites and then having to pay additional shipping costs from purchasing from multiple places.
- Honesty and excellent Customer Service. I wanted to make sure that we always helped our customers in any way possible. I’ve always believed in “treating our customers in the same manner that I would want to be treated”. There’s nothing worse than reaching out to a business or organization that claims to exist to provide support or resources, only to be told that such help isn’t available without an additional cost. While there may be some aspects of being in business that seem impersonal, it isn’t all about the money and the benefit to being a small business is that we still get to know our customers and have fortunately always been able to take the time to answer questions and provide guidance when needed. One of my favorite slogans has always been,
“We love our customers the way squirrels love nuts”, and that will never change!
Many of you may be aware that I am the creator, inventor and patent holder of "The Miracle Nipple and the Miracle Oring Syringes". I do believe that creating "The Miracle Nipple" is truly one of the best things that I have done in my life where animal caretaking is concerned and making handfeeding animals so much easier for the caretaker. I am "partially retiring" that is. The Miracle Nipples will still be produced and continued to be made in the USA, my same staff will still have their jobs in helping me to continue the manufacturing of The Miracle Brand Products. The Miracle Products will be available through our trusted resellers in the USA and Internationally. As many may be aware of, there are many counterfeits of the "Real Miracle Nipples", primarily sourced from China and of course many very similar copy cats. I take HUGE pride in my brand of Miracle Products to include The Miracle Nipples and the Miracle Oring Syringes and it will be my mission to make sure they are available to all, through my trusted resellers.
I also intend to keep our site open for necessary information such as:
-Where to purchase Miracle Brand Products through trusted sellers.
-Where to purchase many of our other products through only trusted sellers that offer best pricing and customer service.
-Squirrel care such as our "Rehabbers Corner" for rehabilitators and our
section on our site that will always help the public to find a rehabilitator.
The website www.miraclenipple.com is also owned by me. The website will no longer be selling the Miracle Brand products but instead will be loaded with information with "how to" video's on proper use, care and cleaning, and of course, where to purchase. Only trusted resellers will be listed on both websites.
So, I am ending this with thanks to my many customers and friends for all the support that everyone has given me over the many years. And I really need to thank my family. My husband Gary, for putting up with me and my many animals that have come my way, and still do. He has always helped me with his labor, and financially when I was a stay-at-home mom and did not have the funds to start a business. We have never been a wealthy family, we have always been "comfortable" and never lived beyond our needs. At times the business and animals asked for far more than we had, and he was always there for me. My children, Mary, and Gary Jr, who were very young when I started out, they put up with all my antics that involved animal care and running a business. We never vacationed much, Our home and our health and our many animals, many which were farm animals, were more important to me than vacationing, besides we couldn't afford it. At many times this business was a huge strain but also a love that needed attention always.
Thank you again to all my friends and customers that have helped and supported me over the last 24 years of business.
Please enjoy the many photos of my business, my animals, and MY Family through the years. Our squirrels that were raised in my clinic were often shown on the website, rarely did we use other animal photos. With my extra time in the upcoming future I do intend to add many photos from over the years to this section. So please check back and visit us.
Sincerely, Christina Clark (Chris)
The early years. This was my first website header in the year 2000
After a name change over the years, this was are new website.
Some of our gang.
This is lady, she was a maloclusioned squirrel that spent a good amount of time with us. Often used in photo shoots for our website. As you can see, she's gonna let this squirrel know who's boss.
Our second store location on the farm - our first location back in the year 2000 was my basement and garage, we out grew that quickly and renovated this 1700's barn for the business.
Our booth set up at one of many conferences.
Many of you know Cheryl, she has been with Chris's Squirrels and More for 18 years now, been with me since 2006 and is still working with me. I hired Cheryl shortly after my mom had passed, I had been running Squirrels and More on my own and the time had come for me to bring on my first "Official Employee", my husband had been close friends with Cheryl's husband for years, so I have actually known Cheryl since she was youngster. In this photo she is tending our booth at one of many conferences we attended.