Leveling the Field
General manager, The Gardens at the Ridge in Kerrville
ll her life, Long has tinkered with landscaping and gardening. She turned that hobby into a career starting in 2000. She worked as a designer and project manager for a Frisco-based landscape company until going to work with Billy Long in January of 2012. With his tutelage, she helped to build and open The Gardens at the Ridge in 2013. During that time, she’s seen the landscape design, retail, and contractor fields become more open to women in professional roles. “For a long time, it has felt like a man’s world,” Long says. “But when you stop and you think about it, women are incredibly creative.
“We, as a gender, ’s It are our customer. r important to have ou perspective.”
When you’re talking to someone about their landscape, the majority of the time, it’s the female who is the one who really has a strong opinion on what she wants done. We, as a gender, are our customer. It’s important to have our perspective.” Long has found professional associations like TNLA to be invaluable as a networking tool. “I would say the bulk of the women that I know in the industry, I have met them through TNLA, whether from being on the board or meeting at EXPO or something like that,” she says. “It’s an amazing network of very talented individuals and companies.” She also appreciates the camaraderie of other TNLA members. “I don’t feel that we’re competing against one another,” she says. “The kind of people that go into the green industry, they’re just good people. It’s not a competitive, cutthroat industry. It’s more like a big old family.” For young women (and others) trying to break in the industry, she stresses that it is possible to make a good living doing something you enjoy. “It doesn’t feel like work,” she says. “I look forward to it every day. I get excited about every truck that comes in, every trade show, every spring that rolls around.”
May/June 2019 TNLA Green