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Business Owners & Managers

Women in the Industry - Vicki Mather

"I believe it is all about what you set your mind to. What the woman can do is up to the woman that wants it."

Vicki and her husband Mark run a family lawn care business in Alpena, Michigan. Vicki's job position on Facebook reads as "Super Woman at Mark's Lawn Care", and it's well deserved! Not only is she excellent at her job, but she's also great in front of the camera. Vicki and Mark have a YouTube channel called "Mark's Misfit World" and they will soon reach two thousand subscribers.

1. What was your inspiration to get into the landscaping business?

I have always enjoyed working in our own yard: making flower beds and planting flowers, trimming the trees and the shrubs. And when my husband was having problems with keeping outside employees I decided it was time for me to step in and help.

2. What is the best part of a family lawn care business with your loved one and what is the worst? :)

The best part is I get to work all day with my husband during the week and having to do my own thing on the weekend if I choose to.

The worst part was 4 years ago, when we started working together, and I had to do things his way even though that is not the way I would do the job. Now we are both partners in the business, and we try to make the decisions together.

3. What are the most challenging and the most rewarding parts of having a Lawn Care YouTube channel with your partner?

The most challenging part was when we started the Mark's Misfit World YouTube channel and I was just getting comfortable with talking on the camera. I was always worried about saying the wrong thing, and with me being the center of attention in the videos, I am more of the behind the scenes person.

The most rewarding parts are having followers enjoying seeing me and my husband working together and some of them wishing their wives would work with them doing lawn care. Also, some of the funny comments from our subscribers and the compliments on our work.

4. Both at ECHO Means Business and other sites, we often see a tremendous amount of activity from male landscapers, but not so much women pros. Do you think this can be changed?

Yes, it can be changed! Women need to promote themselves doing landscaping. We as women have a lot to offer the industry. We have a different point of view on details of what a yard should or can look like and how to make it more inviting.

5. Would you say there is no bias against hiring female landscapers?

Not sure about other areas but in our area there are a lot of women working in landscaping business. I believe it is all about what you set your mind to. What the woman can do is up to the woman that wants it.

6. Would you still consider working in this industry or starting a lawn care business of your own if your husband wasn't into it?

Probably not, there is so much to take care of and keep track of and I would not be doing all of the repairs that my husband does. Also, it would be to costly for me to pay for employees and repairs on the equipment by myself, and also run the office part of the business.

7. Do you think the culture of women empowering movements of the last few years has had an impact on the landscaping industry?

I don't think it has changed anything in this industry. The world has been changing long before that, women can do what they want and the landscape business is an equal opportunity for both men and women.

I can point out a lot of women operating heavy equipment, driving semi's running farm equipment, basically doing every job that a man can do.

8. What advice would you give women who are interested in entering the landscaping business?

Go for it and do your research. It is not an easy job and yes, lots of long hours are stressful on the body. But a lot of things are available if you are willing to do the work.

As a woman starting out, you will be questioned on your abilities because people are not used to seeing women in the landscape industry.

Be persistent of your capabilities and don't let people discourage you from being successful in landscaping!

About Vicki: Vicki Mather runs Mark's Lawn Care together with her husband Mark, who started their family business four years ago in Michigan. The couple also has a successful YouTube channel "Mark's Misfit World". See more from Vicki and her husband Mark on YouTube and Instagram.

Are you (or do you know) a woman professional in the lawn care and landscaping industry, or know a women-owned business? We'd love to hear your story - you can share it with us by using the "Tell Us Your Story" section at the bottom of our home page.