Everyone in Amy McBryde’s family has a green thumb.
“I always knew I wanted to work outside with plants,” she says.
Working part-time for a landscaper during her senior year of high school solidified her career goal of combining her creativity with her knowledge of plants and her desire to work outside.
McBryde, 34, majored in horticulture science and landscape design at N.C. State University, graduating in 2004. Her grandfather told her he always hoped to see her as a small business owner.
“He must have seen something in me I didn’t know I had.”
She and her husband, Brandon Crist, 36, now own and run Everything Under the Sun Landscaping. It is a melding of their skills and talents. McBryde is responsible for the design and maintaining the gardens and turf care, while Crist, a former plumber, does all of the hardscape (lighting, block work, drainage, pavers and patios).
McBryde and Crist live in Marshvillewith their 6-year-old daughter, Maisy, but their clients are located throughout Charlotte, Union County, and the Matthews/Mint Hill area. They oversee both residential and commercial properties, maintaining some properties year-round while other clients want help on a one-time basis with either the design or the installation of their landscaping.
They try to use organic and sustainable principle (soil, fertilizer and plants) as much as possible.
“If done correctly,” McBride says, “most landscaping can take care of itself over time.”
They try to educate their clients, both in how to create and maintain a microenvironment that can sustain a landscape, but also how to manage their expectations and be patient.
“Everyone wants instant gratification,” McBryde says, “but we tell them the first year sleeps, the second year creeps, and the third year leaps.”
McBride and Crist enjoy working together and learning from each other’s strengths and areas of expertise.
“It has made us stronger as a couple,” McBryde says.
They hire one or two additional employees when needed, but, says Crist, “we try to maintain a hand on everything we do.”
The hardest part of working together is learning when to turn it off.
“We have tried to learn how to enjoy our free time,” says Crist, “and not have every conversation be about the business.”
The best part is enjoying a long-term relationship not only with each other, but with their clients as well.
“We enjoy getting to know our clients’ kids and seeing them so excited about their gardens,” McBride says.
Katya Lezin is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Katya? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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