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Business Owners & Managers

Women in the Industry - Bobbi Mullis, Part One

"I was getting ready to pursue my degree in horticulture when my wife suffered a traumatic brain injury. I needed to figure out how to always be there to take care of her, all while providing for both of us. I filed for my LLC, purchased limited liability insurance, & went into business full time."

Our Women In The Industry series of interviews continues to bring you inspiring stories of female pros. Today we introduce you to Bobbi Mullis - the owner of USA Services LLC Lawn & Landscape Design in Goose Creek, South Carolina. We’re honored to share her story, it is one of perseverance, determination, and love. Enjoy.

Bobbi, how long ago did you get into the landscaping industry?

I have been in the landscaping industry since I was a kid about 9 years old, working with my Pops in the late 80s. I would go to work with him to help him with his lawn care business. I did lawn care part time all through middle and high school. Lawn care work has always been therapeutic for me, plus I would earn spare money.

As a young adult, I worked in transportation and logistics for 10 years as a terminal manager. It was a very demanding job with not a lot of growth for a female. After 10 years, I knew I would not be considered for a whole lot more, due to it being a very tight "boys club".

In 2015 I spoke with my wife about this & we decided it was time for a change. I decided I wanted to go back to college to pursue my associate degree in horticulture. I worked at the college part-time, attended classes full-time, and ran a handful of lawns a week to supplement our income.

What made you take a leap and go into business full-time?

I was getting ready to start the program when my wife, Brandy Mullis, suffered a traumatic brain injury. She tripped over the gate of my utility trailer and went head first into an exposed oak root. It was within 45 minutes that my wife and my life changed forever.

She lost all of her cognitive abilities. She couldn't read, write, or speak. She was barely able to walk. She couldn't dress herself or feed herself.

These were the scariest moments of her and my life. She lost most of her memories from the past. I thank the heavens every day that she never forgot who I was. I was able to get her into a strenuous therapy program.

For 6 months of this time, she was unable to be left alone for any period of time. She had to have care around the clock. I packed up all our things from our home, sold one of our cars, and moved into her mother’s converted garage.

Since I wasn’t able to continue classes at the community college, I wasn’t able to keep my part-time work-study job. I needed to figure out how to always be there for my wife to take care of her, all the while providing for both of us.

I knew that I had a skill. I knew that I was very good at lawn maintenance, landscaping, and I had a utility trailer. I filed for my LLC, purchased limited liability insurance, and went into business full time.

I put my wife in the work truck and I hit the streets. We would leave early in the mornings with snacks and a tablet to give her something to watch. I would run 3 jobs before her appointments for the day. After, I would do 2 more jobs.

At the end of the day, I would take her home, we would practice her speech, physical, and occupational therapies. Once she was sound asleep, I would hit every single avenue I knew of to acquire more business. I would work on Thumbtack, Facebook, and make fliers every single night to grow my client base.

Fast forward a year later in 2017, she had made nearly a full recovery. She was able to return to work. I had grown the business from 10 lawns a month to 50 lawns a week within a year, with more projects than I knew what to do with.

In 2018 I was able to expand once again: I almost tripled my client base. I purchased 2 commercial John Deere mowers to add to our fleet, as well as another utility trailer.

In 2019 I rebranded the business to take it back to my roots. I wanted to honor my family’s military service, my country, and my father’s previous time in lawn care. I had a new company logo designed, and I changed the company colors from green to red, white, and blue.

It was through our greatest tragedy that we thrived. We always say that this moment in time was "the worst best thing that ever happened to our family".

I say all of this to say, never give up hope. It was in losing it all that we found we already had everything we ever needed.

About Bobbi: Bobbi is the owner of USA Services LLC Lawn & Landscape Design, providing lawn care, landscaping, turf management, as well as mosquito control in Goose Creek, South Carolina. You can see more from Bobbi, her wife Brandy, and USA Services LLC on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.

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.