How Did You Get Your Start in the Landscape Industry?

It always interests me to hear about how people get involved in their line of work- especially in the green industry. Often you hear about successful green industry leaders who got started almost by accident, never really knowing that they would turn out to have a great, successful company one day.

Green Industry Success Stories in The News

I came across three stories about green industry leaders that were featured in trade magazines this year. We hope that after reading these stories, you’ll share your story with us in the comments section of this post.

Christy Webber, Founder and CEO, Christy Webber Landscapes

Christy shares how she got her start in a Lawn and Landscape article. She was working odd jobs and someone asked her if she could mow their lawn.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“I was cleaning houses and the gal asked me to cut the grass,” Webber says. “I said to her, ‘If you have a mower, I’ll do it.’ As a country girl, I knew how to cut the grass and fix the mower.”

So Webber started mowing grass, then launched a business from her kitchen table that grew to about $7 million by the late 1990s when her partner left the firm and “the business really jumped off the page.” They split the company in 1999 and it went from $2.2 to $4.2 million in one year.

Read the rest of Christy’s story here.

Stephen Hillenmeyer, CEO of Stephen Hillenmeyer Landscapes

Stephen shares how a love of plants, the outdoors and working with people has been passed down in his family for generations in a Turf Magazine article.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The Hillenmeyer family has been a staple of the Lexington business community since 1841 when French immigrant Francis Xavier Hillenmeyer started a family nursery with ornamental trees, shrubs and fruit trees.

“It all started with a love of plants, liking to be outside and working with people, and it got passed down through the generations. In my generation, the fifth generation, there is more that has changed in the last 30 years then there has in the previous 140 years,” says Stephen Hillenmeyer, who changed the company’s name to Stephen Hillenmeyer Landscape Services when he took over.

Read the rest of Stephen’s story here.

Mike Rorie, CEO of Go iLawn and Go iPave

Mike shares how he got his start in an article in Irrigation and Green Industry. He loved his truck and he wanted to work outside. Thus GroundMasters Inc. was formed.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

But Rorie didn’t know much about the landscape maintenance business. “I learned completely on the job,” he said.

“My real goal was to be able to work out of a truck every day, outside.” He started out by working in the residential market and in 1982, within three years of starting his business, he began taking on some commercial work. “The motivator for me was that I could use bigger equipment in the commercial area.”

Read the rest of Mike’s story here.

Hear Mike’s story on FD2B Blog talk radio.

What’s Your Story?

Now that we’ve shared the stories of Christy, Stephen and Mike, we want to hear yours. Tell us how you got your start in the green industry in the comments section of this post.

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