Bird at Work: Cheryl, Dovetail Couture FPS*

Thanks for joining me today, Cheryl!
No problem, just a 5-minute trip for me, as the crow flies! I’m sorry… I couldn’t resist.

You don’t find many former carrier pigeons in the apparel industry. What brought you to Dovetail’s proverbial stoop?
I began my career in the transportation/courier industry, but got laid off from my courier job when USPS funding got cut last year… So I took my stimulus money and went to school! I’m now getting my BFA in product design thanks to the University of Oregon—go Ducks!

Cheryl at the University of Oregon Design school

Dovetail Workwear hired me to lead the fair-trade flock responsible for customizable pigeon poop droppings on their limited Dovetail Couture collection.

It turns out that limited meant it didn’t exist—April Fool’s! But during filming, I started sharing my fashion advice, and taking care of dirty work as a production assistant. The Dovetail team is pretty busy, so I’ve begun helping spread the message for a couple campaigns… I suppose I’m an informal spokesavian!

Cheryl talking on Zoom

What’s something exciting you’ve worked on so far?
The #CherylthePigeon tee launched this week! Anyone who purchases $249+ can get one for free while sizes and supplies last (just select your size at checkout). It’s crazy to have my face on a collectible item—only one is available per person, and they’re not even for sale!

#CherylthePigeon© Tee

What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to fly.

Then I’d show her this meme one of our other namesakes and bird fan Mercy M'fon reposted on her Wild Diversity account.

What’s something people don’t know about you?
Pigeons and doves are the same birdkind, baby: our species is scientifically referred to as columbidae. Patriarchal English nomenclature has tried to culturally divide us by size—doves are small, but pigeons are big, sort of like when a store has a separate area for "plus sized."

What do you have to sacrifice to be good at what you do?
Eating early worms, partying with night owls.

What do you think about the phrase "bird brain?"
When humans say someone is birdbrained, it hurts. Birds actually have a lot of brains, and do things humans would struggle to achieve!

Take the Clark’s nutcracker, which can innately find an astonishing amount of seeds they bury in the snow. Humans train for years to have that good of a memory. 

That said, a lot of us blame our bird brains as an excuse for a careless mistake... like you saying you've had a blonde moment, Molly.

Wow, Cheryl, shots fired. Let's move on. What's your favorite... 

...avian other than pigeons?
Hummingbirds. They’re delicate, but strong! to go?
Paris! It’s the quintessential Pigeon Pilgrimage. Et zut alors, the fashion! The French get the importance of clothing that works for women's bodies. 

Cheryl in ParisBrowsing fabrics on a sourcing trip to Paris for Dovetail Couture– it was a very detailed practical joke.

Piece of Dovetail Workwear?
I’m currently nesting in the Thompson Shirt Jac. The interior is the perfect material for the Pacific Northwest’s spring evenings and mornings.

Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollack's wife. It was only after they met and she began offering her advice that he started to gain success and fame, and overshadowed her own more technically adept work—classic, right? 

Cheryl at a Lee Krasner exhibitCheryl at a Lee Krasner exhibit

If you could be a different animal, what would it be?
A sea turtle—I’d get to try swimming, travel all over the world, live to 150– and they still have beaks, so I wouldn’t have to learn a new way to eat.

What’s one thing people get right about living in Portland?
We really do put a bird on it!

See more Cheryl’s adventures here. ‘Interview and photos’ by Molligolightly. Cheryl’s pronouns are she + bir.

*Feces Production Specialist