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August 23, 2019 in Local News

EforAll Entrepreneur Spotlight - NativeScape Design

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​Meet EforAll Entrepreneur Maureen O'Shea of NativeScape Design!

Meet Maureen O'Shea of NativeScape Design, one of the newest Cape Cod business ventures from the recent EforAll Cape Cod Spring Business Accelerator! NativeScape Design is on a mission to create vibrant landscapes that nurture people and the planet. Learn more below!

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To kick us off, describe your business and what you're bringing to the Cape community.

The mission of NativeScape Design is to create vibrant landscapes that nurture people and the planet. I provide landscape designs filled with native plants to help nature lovers create habitat for the birds and the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, fireflies and frogs.

I fill a unique niche, combining two areas of expertise:

1) Deep plant knowledge so the right plant is in the right place, saving time, money and maintenance. Our native plants have evolved to handle tough Cape Cod conditions. Why not plant what belongs in the soil that you have, rather than trying to change the soil?

2) Classic landscape design to create inviting spaces for family and friends. Landscapes that function as part of the ecosystem not only bring nature home but can be beautiful too.

When we speak with Cape-based entrepreneurs and small business owners, many of them are passionate about keeping their businesses on Cape. What do you find special (or challenging!) about being an entrepreneur on Cape Cod?

Cape Codders have a shared love of the incredible natural beauty of Cape Cod and there is opportunity for businesses that can help people connect with nature. NativeScape Design fits in with these Cape Cod values and can help transform our gardens and landscapes to protect and contribute to the ecosystem.

On Cape Cod, native plants and sustainable landscapes have an especially critical role in helping to improve and protect water quality. For example, the deep roots of native plants stabilize slopes and help absorb and filter water before reaching the aquifer. There is little need for fertilizers and pesticides, reducing the chances of pollution. These benefits are really magnified with any replacement of traditional lawn areas with native plants, with the bonus of decreasing supplemental watering and the use of gas-powered equipment.

What is the most valuable thing you are taking away from the EforAll Cape Cod Business Accelerator?

I had been thinking about this business concept for a long time, and EforAll provided the chance and support to actually make it happen. EforAll has helped me articulate and define what I wanted to do. My business concept is a shift from advocating the “why” of native plants to supporting the practical “how” to develop a sustainable landscape. I think this is a great way to support the environmental advocacy that already exists on the Cape.

I have an extensive background in non-profits and higher education, but I don’t have that much experience in business. While I was surprised how much transfers over (after all, spreadsheets are spreadsheets!), the nuts and bolts and the business perspective was enormously helpful.

Finally, the networking with classmates, mentors and speakers (and Christin & Amanda) has been a critical support. It’s an emotional and practical support network of people who help you think things through. I have connected to half of my current clients through E for All, and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

At CCYP, one of our strategic priorities is to promote Cape Cod as a vibrant place for young people to live and work, year-round. What would you tell other entrepreneurs thinking about starting their businesses on Cape?

I have been on Cape Cod for 6 years and I love the strong sense of community and the warm welcome that newcomers receive! I've been impressed by the energy and creativity that people bring to their work (and play!). This is not a place for stodgy corporate types! This is a place for new ideas, improvisation and collaboration.

And lastly, what are you working on now that the CCYP community should be on the lookout for?

I have been working on several garden designs and installations, and plan a more public "soft launch" in late July through social media. Check my website for updates and garden photos, www.nativescapedesign.com. I'm currently scheduling site visits for Fall plant orders!