As we approach September 25 and I celebrate 20 years at John Mini, I would like to take today’s post to explain my beginnings.
Back in 2000, I had reached a crossroads in my life. My challenge was to find a way to integrate my passions into my work life. One of the best ways to find a career opportunity was to answer the want ads in the newspaper! One lucky day I saw a tiny little ad, maybe 4 lines long, asking for someone who liked sales and plants.
Even earlier in my life I enjoyed a childhood spent on my Italian grandparent’s 10-acre farm in the Garden State of rural New Jersey. This farm is where my Mom and her family were raised. My sisters and I climbed apple trees, rode on the tractor with my grandpa, played hide and seek in the corn fields and ate delicious meals prepared by everything harvested. Lazy summer days and long Sunday afternoons my cousins and I laughed, explored, and shared our love for this land. Later when I became a teenager, my Dad proudly displayed the best suburban lawn for miles. Not a weed or brown spot – walking barefoot across it felt like a thick pile carpet. Leaving his sales job, he purchased a landscaping business which he owned and ran for 30 years. I listened to every word as he explained how he managed hundreds of lawns and his goal for every lawn to be perfection. It was natural for him to take us on drives to price new accounts, show us his customer’s lawns and during these drives he loved to share his passionate knowledge. Plants and nature were a natural discussion for me so yes, I jumped at the chance to utilize my business experience and college business degree courses along with my love for all thing’s nature.
I shut my Dad’s truck door and told him I did not know how long the interview would last. A constant reader, he assured me the 3 newspapers he had brought would keep him occupied. I entered the greenhouse at City Island in the Bronx and instantly knew I was home. The familiar smell of green plants, the warm faces of everyone I met, and I knew I had solved the challenge of connecting my passion to my financial security, but I got so much more than that by accepting the Sales & Design Rep position at John Mini that September day. I have made lifelong friendships, gained, and shared professional expertise and collaborated with kind, knowledgeable people who wanted to talk passionately about the very things I love. I have brought solutions to my kids who needed to make extra money at the holiday times. Each of my 3 daughters and my niece said yes to working the holiday crunch while they were growing up. Just another wonderful advantage of belonging to the John Mini family.
Today I am proud to say I collaborate and solve so many sales & design opportunities of all sizes by partnering with many amazing and talented professionals. My precious Dad left this earth a few years ago but every time I produce a design that I think he might like I think back to his early tutoring to rely upon, my 20 years of experience and education as well as my love of nature to assure me that these years at John Mini have been my solution and a blessing.
My Dad’s paradise; 10 acres where he was able to create a little bit of fun in nature for the family he loved. This artists rendition illustrates what he cleared to create his landscape playground showcasing everything he knew we all loved. He took our passions and gave us each a small plot of earth to enjoy. Additionally, most of the property he owned is wooded where he cut a trail for the grandkids to walk complete with whimsical signs along the way displaying his favorite quotes. One notable favorite was….“God laughs in flowers” which is especially comforting today.
Linda Licitra – Sales & Design