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Business Owners & Managers

Women in the Industry - Bobbi Mullis, Part Two

"I’ve reached the point where people don’t care whether I’m a female or not because they’ve seen what I’m capable of doing. There may be 1 person in a 6-month period that still doesn’t want a female to do the job. I gladly move forward to the next."

If you stay on top of EMB updates, you definitely remember Bobbi Mullis and her incredible story of starting a business while helping her partner recover from a traumatic brain injury. Today Bobbi’s business USA Services LLC Lawn & Landscape Design is a 5-star provider for local real estate companies and a Top Pro on Thumbtack.

We had a chance to chat with Bobbi about her inspirations, challenges and biases against female landscapers.

Bobbi, as an owner of USA Services LCC, what part of your job do you enjoy the most?

What I enjoy the most is making properties look brand new each and every day. I love that I get to take something that is rough around the edges and turn into something that shines.

I enjoy the process of what I do in the landscaping business. I enjoy working meticulously from beginning to end to bring the clients ideas to life. It is a very fulfilling feeling to know that your hard work is what makes someone proud of their home.

I also enjoy creating bonds within the community. I give back to the community via donations and free lawn services for our school teachers, military families, single parents, and the elderly.

What inspires you?

I get inspired when my work encourages a homeowner to spend more time in their outdoor living space. That they look forward to making memories and spending their time in the yard with their friends and loved ones.

My wife inspires me every single day. She believes I can move mountains. She understands when I must work 7 days a week 16 hours a day, or when I need to answer the phone no matter the time of day for a client.

She understands that the sacrifices we make now are building a better future for our family.

Any favorite channels you would recommend to other females in the industry?

I would highly recommend Chant, Daily Hustle (Youtube & Instagram) and Jason Creel of Lawn Care Life on YouTube. If you are looking to expand your knowledge, be inspired, and find helpful tips to grow, go check them out. Also, K & J neighborhood Lawn Care, JAR Landscaping & Mitchell’s Lawn Care on instagram.

What one thing was the most challenging on your path of building your business?

I would have to say the hardest thing in the beginning was learning how to attract the right type of clients. It was a learning experience when I went full time. I was so hungry to grow that I would take any opportunity that came my way.

Now I have learned to ask specific sets of questions to make sure that I am a right fit for the client and that they are a good fit for USA Services, too.

I have also struggled with balancing work and home life. Being an owner/operator can be tough. Working long hours and 7 days a week during the spring can take a toll on you.

You must make yourself available to your client’s ever-changing needs, new clients, the front end of the business, and the office operations. If you don’t, you risk losing potential business opportunities.

I have learned that I must make the time to specifically focus on just my family. Sometimes our family time is working on equipment, running business errands, or preparing for the week ahead.

Did you experience any bias against women landscapers when you were starting?

I did have some people in the beginning, even these days, that will not hire me because I am a female.

In most situations they believed that I was a male upon their own assumptions. This is due to the fact that outwardly I look a little different then the stereotypical female.

I have short hair. I prefer ball caps over hair bow, work boots over heels, and work shorts and a worn work shirt over glamour any day. Once I correct them, in the spirit of full transparency, they tell me that they would be more comfortable with a man doing the job.

I would have to say that this has happened less and less as I have grown the business. My skill, work ethic, and commitment to consistently provide superior service speaks for itself. I have reached the point where people don’t care whether I am a female or not because they have seen what I am capable of doing.

There may be one person in a 6-month period that still doesn’t want a female to do the job. I gladly move forward to the next.

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

I do. I believe that these moments in our recent history have given women the courage to chase a dream of being in the landscaping industry.

This new culture of empowering women for their differences has changed things for the better. It has given women a chance to do things that do not fit into the predetermined gender roles of society.

What advice would you give women who are interested in entering the landscaping industry?

Work harder than anyone around you. When you are tired and feel like you don’t have any more energy to keep going, dig down deep - the ability is there. You must keep moving forward.

Show up. Be consistent with your work. Always give every single job the absolute best you have.

Learn how to attract the right kind of clients. Seek out clients that take pride and ownership of their property. These clients will be the backbone of your operation.

The only obstacle between you and your success is your mindset. If you believe you can do it, you can. All you have to do is set a goal and do something every single day to reach that goal.

Believe in yourself. Don’t let minor setbacks stop you from climbing to the top. Learn from those moments. Use those situations to help you continue to grow.

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.