Meet the Flockers

You Can Send Flocks of Plastic Flamingos to Your Friend’s House

Just because.

By Rebecca Jacobson July 17, 2018 Published in the August 2018 issue of Portland Monthly

A recent flocking in Southeast Portland

Imagine: 25 pink plastic flamingos, dressed in party hats or tinsel wreaths, on your front lawn. That’s the scene provided by “flamingo flocking” service Think Pink, a near-decade-old local business devoted to providing joy via long-necked lawn ornaments. Longtime friends Wendy Ettelson and Robin Posen launched the enterprise to help afford their kids’ sports costs, flocking on their own for the first three years. (One Mother’s Day eve, they were out till 2 a.m.). These days, Posen, Ettelson, and four others across the metro area collectively stock 800 flamingos in their garages, and Posen estimates they flock 15–20 homes per week, occasionally with as many as 100 birds (which’ll set you back $95).

In all these flocking years, Posen recounts only one case of avian abuse: In 2014, someone sent 100-strong throngs to three members of the Portland Public Schools board. “Settle a fair flocking contract,” read the accompanying signs, per an Oregonian story. One board member, evidently incensed by the bubblegum-hued brood, trashed them all, costing Think Pink about $600. “He said, ‘I felt threatened,’” remembers Posen. But after the O ran the story—and conservative firebrand Lars Larson weighed in on the flamingo flap? Posen says orders flooded in, with some charitable souls even offering to replace the bygone birds.

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