Workshops fulfil custom orders

Al-Kut bird sellers innovate with bespoke bird cages

AL-KUT—Bird sellers in Al-Kut are innovating by establishing workshops within their stores for bespoke bird cages, a move aimed at boosting sales by offering products tailored to customer preferences in size and price.

This shift from purchasing standard cages from Baghdad, which often comes with fixed dimensions and the need to share profits with middlemen, allows sellers to directly meet consumer demands and boost profits.

By producing cages on-site, these entrepreneurs can provide a wider variety of options, enabling buyers to choose specific sizes for a more personalized touch. This strategy not only improves customer satisfaction but also increases margins for sellers, many of whom have stopped sourcing cages from Baghdad upon realizing the benefits of in-house production and the drawbacks of profit sharing.

Wissam Amer, both a bird seller and cage craftsman, has seen his business grow as more people take up the hobby of keeping ornamental birds indoors or in their gardens. “Responding to customer requests, we learned to make cages ourselves,” he said. “Previously, we’d buy them in bulk from Baghdad and other areas, where sizes were predetermined.”

Amer and his colleagues source their wood from wholesale suppliers in Kut, opting for standard wood panels to minimize costs. “Cage dimensions are based on what our customers ask for,” he noted. “Indoor enthusiasts often want smaller cages, from 50 square centimeters up to a square meter, while those looking for garden cages usually request sizes between 2 and 3 meters.”

Local demand for these handmade cages is steady, with prices remaining affordable. Smaller cages start at 15,000 dinars, with the largest priced at 35,000 dinars—rates that Amer believes are reasonable for his clientele.

“For small indoor cages, we use wood and classic designs, whereas large garden cages are constructed from plastic mesh wrapped around a wooden frame,” Amer concluded, highlighting the adaptability of his products to various customer needs.