Ty Ty Nursery is a plant nursery located in Ty Ty, Georgia, owned and operated by Ryan Phillips.
Ever since an early age in life, Ryan Phillips knew that plants were his passion. He ran a landscaping business as a teenager out of his neighborhood in Snellville, Georgia, and eventually began working for a plant nursery at the age of 15. After high school, Ryan pursued his passion of horticulture at Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College in Tifton, Georgia, which led to him finishing his education at the University of Georgia where Ryan became a member of Pi Alpha Xi, a horticulture honor society.
While studying in Tifton, Georgia, he began working at Ty Ty Nursery where he gained ten years experience of running a successful plant nursery. In 2017 Ryan purchased Ty Ty Nursery and is looking to build up the success of Ty Ty Nursery and pass the business on to his children one day.
1) How did you get started with Ty Ty Nursery? What inspired you?
When I went to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, ABAC, I knew no one and nothing, but I needed a job and saw a flyer hanging up to work for Ty Ty Nursery and thought it would be an excellent fit for me. I was right, and I was hired on the spot and began working that same day. Mr. Pat, the former owner, took me under his wing and taught me the ins and outs of running a nursery. I always enjoyed working with plants and working at a plant nursery. Even today, there is always something new happening and new plants to learn about and offer to the public.
2) When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
After I purchased the business, there were a couple of times that I have been worried if it would work out. We had a bunch of turnovers and had quite a few people with minimal experience, and it takes a good amount of time to get people properly trained when it comes to handling live plants. When I begin to worry about if things are going to work out, I always look back and remember how far we have brought this nursery and all the obstacles we have overcome together as a team. I remember previous struggles and failures which led to innovation and adaptation for a better business.
3) What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
One of the toughest decisions that work all the time is let go and trust the team that I have around me. I have for so long been the one to make this happen, but with the growth, we have been experiencing I can no longer do this and have to let go and trust.
4) What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Hard work is one of the most important things that makes me successful. I feel like I will not get outworked, I will be the first to show up and the last to leave and will not quit until the jobs are done.
5) What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Our business is a hard business. We are very seasonal and when in the spring crunch it requires a tremendous amount of work to get everything done. So, you have to look at small moments of accomplishment for satisfaction. The most pleasant experience was at the first anniversary knowing how hard my team has worked and that we had successfully survived the first year.
6) What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I think the future of the plant business is an exciting one. People are always going to want and need plants, plus we specialize in edible plants. So, we get the joy of helping people grow plants that will feed them and their families for generations to come. I am most excited to see what the future holds for the horticultural industry as it will be passed from one generation to the next.
7) What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
The absolute best purchase I have made recently was a skid-steer. It has increased production and it saves my guys’ backs.
8) What is the best thing about your current job?
The best part of my job is getting to come to work every day and know that we are helping people grow food for their families. It could be just a backyard garden or an investment orchard for future generations but it rewarding to know that we are helping people grow their food.