Stepping Stone Landscaping LLC
My love of the outdoors and plants started at a young age playing on my family farm in Loudon, New Hampshire. My days playing in the woods and fields around the farm helped me discover how nature creates and shapes the landscape in which we live with such beauty. My experience developed my landscape design style and still has a large impact on my style. Over the years playing around the farm became working on the farm where I could. I learned the meaning of hard work and motivation.
When I entered high school, I knew that I wanted to be in a field that was outdoors and dealt with nature. As much as I love the farm I grew up on, it was not the life I had in mind. My sophomore year I had the opportunity to work after school at a local greenhouse. It was not the most glamorous job, but I found my passion in horticulture. Over the next three years I worked in several different aspects of the industry including a wholesale greenhouse, a retail nursery, and with a few different landscapers.
I decided that I liked landscape installation and felt that it was my calling, so I enrolled in Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. After spending one year at “Del Val”, I decided that it was too far from New England and transferred to the Thompson School of Applied Science at UNH. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made. I decided during Semester One that I was going to take every possible class to help better educate myself. I managed to max out my schedule each semester with both required classes and any class I thought would be helpful to me later in my career.
I made two important decisions after my first year at the Thompson School. The first decision was to complete a summer internship at Van Berkum Nursery. My work experience there provided me with the opportunity to solidify my plant identification skills and network with other landscape professionals in their sales yard. Next, I started my own landscape business, Stepping Stone Landscaping LLC.
I developed great relationships with all three of my professors over the two years in the Horticulture program at Thompson School. I found these relationships invaluable as I worked to establish my own landscaping business. After my two years in the horticulture program, I decided to stay an extra year to complete a Certificate in Business. I graduated with Honors with an Associate’s degree in Horticulture Technology - Landscape Operations and Small Business Management.
Soon after I finished my degree, I took the Certification Exam and become a New Hampshire Certified Landscape Professional. The NHCLP has had a big impact on me and my business. When I say that I am a NHCLP, most people don’t know what that is so it leads to a great conversation about NHLA and the Certification Program. I feel that being a NHCLP helps me with business development as many customers may question my abilities due to my young age.
My business has grown over the last three years. I focus on design and installation, specializing in stone work. I also offer maintenance services, pruning service, snow plowing, and fire wood production to my customers.
In addition to developing my business, I have had the opportunity to work on two special projects: a design and installation for Portsmouth High School and the installation of a seating wall for the Thompson School for their new permeable patio courtyard. Many other hands were involved in these community projects which utilized some new landscape products and technology. Both have been great collaborative projects.
On January 1, 2012 I became the Certification Coordinator for NHLA. NHLA has done a lot for me such as providing scholarships for school and assisting me with opportunities to network with others in the industry. The Certification Committee is a way to give back. I am excited to be the coordinator, and I believe it will help me to further develop both as an individual and as a landscaper. I am excited to be a part of NHLA!