Mama Shaker | Ascher Smith | Ascher Smith Exterior Styling & Landscaping
Tell us a little about your world?
I guess first and foremost I am the mother of 2 kids, 3yr old Hudson, (boy) and a little girl Parker who just turned 6 months old. By day, I am the Managing Director and Landscape Designer of Ascher Smith Exterior Styling & Landscaping. My husband, Dylan, is our site Manager for the landscaping side of the business. Business is thriving and what I love most is that (most days) we enjoy a great life/work balance.
Around 12 years ago I began my landscaping career as a landscaper in Broome where I gained the basis for my design qualifications. I developed severe Carpal tunnel in both wrists, to the point I could not work physically with my hands anymore and was told I should not Landscape anymore. I was so passionate about the industry, and not ready to give it up – so I learnt the art of Landscape Design and soon found myself in love with the creative aspect of landscaping and the myriad of options nature has given us to create beautiful outdoor spaces.
Specifically, I really love residential garden design, working with people on areas of their home they love and have a close relationship with and spend a lot of time in.
I like to work through a detailed consultation process with my client first. I then prepare an initial hand-drawn sketch that is then translated into a computer 2D or 3D plan. My husband manages our in-house construction team that then implements the design.
Keeping construction in-house means we can have control over the finished r product.
What do you love most about running your own business?
Flexibility with the kids is such a big positive for us. We involve the kids with our Landscaping work whenever possible by taking them to site visits & up on nursery missions to choose plants. We consider ourselves fortunate that we an still be with the kids before day care and I can arrange my meetings so I am able to pick them up as well, allowing us to almost have more opportunities during the day to spend time with them even though we both work full time.
What are you biggest challenges? How did you keep motivated?
Our biggest challenge at the moment is the juggle of two young children and running a business that requires long hours on site and in the office.
It’s the relationships that keep us motivated . I enjoy meeting new clients and solving their challenges. As I have matured I am much more relaxed and confident, so it is easy to enjoy. And I love working with my team. Every day in our office or on site is fun, I never not want to go to work. We also have fantastic suppliers and sub-contractors who are passionate about what they can offer us. Of course, business throws up challenges from time to time, but mostly it doesn’t feel like work.
"Every day in our office or on site is fun, I never not want to go to work"
How do you juggle being a mum of two with running your business?
We have to accept that we cant run a business and be a full time mother/father so we have had to arrange child care from young ages with both the children to allow us to keep the business running. There was many moments of guilt being a working mother and only having taken 2 weeks maternity leave with both kids, it has been some of the hardest moments in my life trying to juggle being a new parent and working full time as if I stop working, our business will stop running. I have found that all of our clients are very understanding as they have children of their own and can totally relate to the craziness of parenthood.
Who or what are your inspirations? Can you tell us how they inspire you?
My parents inspire me and still do to this day. I grew up surrounded by gardens and down to earth positive parents who spent their spare time with us outdoors and always working on something creative around the house. They were always so supportive of whatever road we chose to take in our lives and love that we still spend our time outdoors in nature doing what we love most.
Most importantly they taught us to have a strong focus on a good balance of work & family and has made me see the importance of being as involved with my kids as I am.
How do you unwind at the end of the week and care for yourself?
I'm still working on this…will keep you posted!! But it generally involves a glass of Pinot on the couch with hubby at the end of a long day.
Ascher is pictured with her gorgeous family and Bird on the Buffalo Honey Satchel.
"I adore my Honey Satchel for so many reasons, Firstly the look and feel of the bag is simply stunning and stylish. ‘Nappy bags’ have always seemed so daggy although they were functional, it was something you were quite happy to give away once you were past that ‘baby’ stage.
I use this bag as not only my nappy bag but also my ‘everyday’ handbag as it has everything I need for the kids as well my general ‘handbag’ items with all its handy hidden little pockets!" Shop Now
Ascher's Tip on the top trending plant for your home and how to keep it alive! | Ficus Lyrata ‘Fiddle Leaf Fig’
- Water your fig tree when only the top inch of soil is dry. ...Just use your fingers to scratch the top of the soil to check its moisture. If its still damp, then it doesn’t need any water!
- Keep your fiddle leaf fig in bright, indirect light. ...It will always lean toward the light so you can either rotate it so it grows straight or let is lean like I have trained mine too. I think it adds character anyway!
- Fertilize once a month during growing seasons, but not in winter. Make sure the soil has good drainage, a quality potting mix should do the trick!
- Repotting or Trimming the Root Ball. Apparently a bigger pot isn’t better or necessary for these guys!
- Cleaning the Leaves. We use a damp cloth to wipe off dust and spider webs that may have crept in over time. This keeps the plant happy, healthy and looking its best
- Talk to them, Sing to them, Love them!
I am a true believer that a plant senses their surroundings. We tend to underestimate plants because their responses are usually less visible to us. Conceptually, there is nothing much distinguishing these plants from us. They smell or hear something and then act accordingly, just as we do.
If your garden is in need of a face lift, I highly recommend Ascher Smith and her team. To find out more take a look at their website here or for inspiration, Ascher's instagram page @ascher_smith.