Oh the golden question.
Put simply, I was born with it.
I think there is a balance between where passion comes from. I think my love for nature has always been in me, from the moment I was created. It's in my blood. Now, with that being said, there are lots of things that have lead me to create the business I have today.
My great grandmother, Francis Fairchild was full blood Cherokee Indian. She had a mole that she preserved and stuffed that she kept in her closet. I would get so excited when she brought it out for me to look at. I don't know if being Native American had anything to do with her interest but I like to think it did.
My grandmother, Betty, had a room filled with everything from nature you could think of. Dozens of insects pinned to boards, tanned hides, fossils in every nook and cranny, hand woven rugs, and a gorgeous variety of feathers.
These women would take me into the woods to explore what nature had to offer. I had been taught to hunt for beauty in the seemingly mundane from an early age.
My dad also fostered my love for collecting. We would go back to his hometown, Ryan, OK and drive around in pastures for hours. I would hang my head out the window while we listened to Tool and Beastie Boys trying to spot anything white. "DAD! I see a bone!!" He would stop the car and help me collect anything I saw. I would come home, lay all my findings out on a blanket and soar in joy at what I found.
A few years ago I was walking along the streets of Saint Louis with some friends when we came across a single bird's foot lying there in all of it's glory. My first instinct was to pick it up, put it in my pocket, and take it with me. My friend's reactions were not the same. That was the first time it dawned on me that I simply see the world differently than most. I can't fathom coming upon a skull and not taking it with me.
I couldn't be a doctor, an accountant, a lawyer, or anything else. Not because I'm not smart enough or don't have enough drive. It's because it's not in me. I don't have a love for math, science, or oh gosh, rules for that matter.
So when I get asked how did I get into this or why I like it I don't take too much credit for the source of my passion. I have so many people in my life who have supported my passion since I was a kid. Now that love has grown into a business that I can't imagine my life without it!