An out-of-work mom has a new full-time job after her 28-year-old son tweeted about the tiny picnic tables she’s been making in her spare time.
If you’re in/near Bolingbrook , buy a squirrel table from my mom. She’s out of work right now pic.twitter.com/SsgXjjRS8G— Italian Anthony Davis (@DominickTrezza) April 23, 2020
Due to school closures caused by the coronavirus outbreak, Maria Trezza, 56, has been unable to work at her job as a lunchroom and playground aid in Bolingbrook, Illinois.
The whole scheme started after Maria saw a friend’s Facebook post about a little picnic table she’d purchased for squirrels. Her friend told her she’d bought it for $20.
Since she’d recently been laid off, Maria told herself she couldn’t afford it, but later, she told her neighbor, Rob, how “cute this little table was.”
The neighbors are friendly and Maria occasionally brings baked goods to Rob. Two days after their conversation, he surprised her with the tiny wooden picnic table he’d made for her.
“I decorated it with a little tablecloth and little flowers, and I posted it to Facebook and people were like, ‘I want one!'” Maria said.
So Rob agreed to make a few more for Maria’s friends. Meanwhile, Maria texted her son Dominick about her newfound passion for squirrel furniture.
Dominick, who lives across the country in Seattle thought his mom’s new hobby was hilarious.
“I decided to tweet about it to see if any of my friends would want one and it instantly blew up— I’m not sure how, but it’s been crazy ever since,” he said.
It’s true, the venture has really taken off. People want these tables!
Dominick’s tweet has gotten over 105,000 likes and he told BuzzFeed News he’s received around 350 direct messages from people all over the world looking to purchase a picnic table for their own local squirrels.
Not to be dramatic and all but I would legit move to Bolingbrook just to be able to buy a squirrel table pic.twitter.com/bHHF7aRlZK— IAV (@IAvellan) April 24, 2020
Currently, the tables are available for pick up only. Serving their local area, Maria and Rob sold 130 picnic tables in less than a week, and Maria has set up a little storefront at her house. The tables are $20 — $2 extra to throw in a tiny picnic blanket and a bundle of peanuts.
Although she did not invent the concept, Maria works closely with her neighbor and supplier, Rob, to operate the business. Dominick pitches in remotely, helping Maria field inquiries and working out logistics involved with potentially shipping the product.
If we were able to ship these, would you be willing to assemble it yourself ? Seems like that’s the only logical way to ship it.— Italian Anthony Davis (@DominickTrezza) April 24, 2020
Grateful for the extra income and the joy of connecting with people through the business, Maria is baffled by an overwhelmingly positive response from people who are presumably discovering that a picnic table for squirrels is what they’ve been missing all along.
“I can’t believe how many people have even commented on my son’s tweet. I can’t wrap my brain around. That’s for one,” she said. “The people that I have met 10 feet away and talking to them have been unbelievable. They’re friendly. It makes me feel so good during this time, to see them happy. That’s really the biggest thing.”
He really do be eating tho pic.twitter.com/exHj9MZ26Z— AT (@BraunSupremacy8) April 24, 2020
Dominick agrees, “Seeing all the positive responses from my post has been really cool to see — and if a tiny little table can make someone laugh or brighten someone’s day up, it’s a win in my book.”
100% a win. Maria added that her customers are “…so excited— it’s so funny to see how happy they are to see a little table… I’ve met some super nice people.”
So if you don’t have a ton to do during lockdown, you might embrace the opportunity to stop and smell the roses— or, watch the squirrels.
My squirrels have an Adirondack chair that they eat corn off of...they would love a picnic table😍🐿We live in MI, do you ship? pic.twitter.com/Z4CjFCrjQO— Megan🦇 (@mrsleodicaprio) April 29, 2020