Women landscape contractors are a unique bunch. They share strong qualities, such as tenacity, determinism, and strength to rise above any discrimination they receive in the landscaping industry. Here’s what you need to know about women-owned landscaping companies.
5 Things You Need to Know About Women Landscapers
Women started owning landscape maintenance companies 40 or more years ago. Society was slowly changing toward respecting women working. However, the green industry has been a little slow in embracing these gifted women.
Recently, lawn and landscape trade magazines have studied the challenges that women landscapers have faced in the industry. The women profiled in these green industry trade magazines all have the same five characteristics:
1. Women landscape contractors work in the landscaping field because they love working outdoors and they’ve found success in their chosen fields. Christy Webber, for example, started her landscaping business back in 1983 with a mower, a weed whip, a leaf blower, and a truck after she moved to Chicago, IL.
At first, Webber thought her side hustle would remain an avenue to make some extra cash. However, Webber discovered that she loved what she did and saw an opportunity to expand her new business. Today, Webber’s company is successful—her landscape company
provides these services:
2. Women landscape designers have tenacity staying in a male-dominated field.
- Full-service landscape provider
- Webber and her crews serve residential, commercial, and municipal clients.
These tough women didn’t quit in the middle of hardship—instead, they stuck with their companies and grew. In other
words, women landscapers broke through the glass ceiling.
Joanne Kostecky started Garden Design in Allentown, PA in 1979. In 2019, her company has been in business for 40 years. However, the early years weren’t easy.
In 1979, Kostecky was single, so she couldn’t obtain a loan for a truck or equipment. Instead, she rented her foreman’s truck to pick up plant materials and serve her customers.
Kostecky even came across discrimination when she picked up plant materials from nearby nurseries. The male owners treated Kostecky as if she was someone’s wife rather than a landscape designer and business owner.
Forty years later, Kostecky has won numerous awards for her landscaping work. Also, she cracked the glass ceiling. In 2007, she became the first female president of the American Nursery and Landscape Association.
And she received the PA Landscape and Nursery Association’s Hall of Fame Award. Kostecky and her company, Garden Design, have also won 23 merit and five honor awards from the Perennial Plant Association.
Garden Design provides the following landscape design and build services:
3. Women landscapers also work in the irrigation system design/build/maintenance field.
- Landscape design
- Landscape planting design
- Patio landscaping
- Outdoor living landscaping
- Horticultural services
- Landscape maintenance
- Swimming pools
Laura Oergel, the owner of A Woman’s Touch
in Ventura, CA, started her business mowing and planting seasonal flowers.
Later on, she taught herself irrigation among other subsets of landscaping. Today, she has her contractor’s and irrigation licenses. She even started an offshoot to her landscaping business called The Sprinkler Gal.4. Women landscapers are in the green industry for the long haul.
Women landscapers, who had to deal with discrimination early in their careers, are tenacious.
Eva Montane didn’t start out as a landscape designer. Instead, she was a field botanist, and she worked for a landscape maintenance company over the winter. Her work experience with the landscape company inspired her to start an organic landscape maintenance company of her own.
After five years as the owner, Montane sold her business and started an online company. When that business didn’t succeed, Montane brainstormed what her next venture would be. And she discovered she loved working in landscape design.
Today, Montane owns a women-based company called Columbine Landscapes in Durango, CO, where she and her team provide organic landscape design and build services. Columbine offers the following services:
5. Women lawn care and landscape business owners provide positive role models for future women landscapers. There is a bright future for women landscapers. In an article called, ‘Women in the Field: Encouraging Other Women ‘To Go for It,’”
- Landscape installation and design
- Landscape maintenance
- Rainwater harvesting
- Holiday decorating.
seasoned female landscapers promote the green industry for the next generation with these helpful tips:
- Recruiters and others should talk to young women who are still in high school.
- Learn as much as you can.
- Don’t make excuses just because you’re a woman. Instead, set yourself apart from the crowd using what you can bring to the industry.
- Be ready to work hard because you’ll be working in all kinds of weather, including rain and snow as well as hot and cold conditions.
How K-Rain Helps Women Landscape Contractors Succeed in the Irrigation Side of Their Company
If you provide lawn sprinkler system services as part of your woman-owned landscape contracting business, then you want to join our Premier Contractor Program at K-Rain. Our PCP program provides you with the following benefits:
- You earn a cash rebate with your first K-Rain purchase at one of our authorized dealers
- You can redeem your cash rebate through debit cards or distributor credit
- You have free access to K-Rain marketing products.
Join our Premier Contractor Program today to start earning cash for K-Rain products.
Odom, Jill, “Women in the Field: Challenges and Opportunities as a Minority.”
Williams-Villano, Mary Elizabeth, “Growing Number of Women Going into the Landscape Business.”