AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many people having a lot of time on your hands due to jobs abruptly ending.
But, one local woman used that time to grow her business and now it’s blooming across the CSRA and helping others see things in a different light.
That’s why she’s one of our “Women To Watch.”
Renika Green has had her hands in soil and handling flowers all of her life.
The seed was planted by her grandmother.
“All of my friends were old ladies. Miss Lily, Miss Cusan, Miss Leola those were all my grandmother’s friends and this is what they did,” she explains.
And now, she’s doing it.
What started as a pass time has turned into a passion.
Due to the pandemic, this Richmond county middle school teacher had time on her hands.
So, she dug into that passion and unearthed a business.
It’s called “Ms. Green and Growing.”
“I initially started planting flowers at my house and then I took up all that space. I asked my pastor if I could plant a few at the church. She’s like ‘sure go ahead.’ So, I went out there and took over the church yard. Then, I had no where else to plant. Then, one of my friends said, ‘you can come do my yard.’ I was like ‘oh, ok!’ She was like, ‘I’ll pay you!” She said, ‘you should just do a business!'”
In just months, she has transformed yards from brown into beautiful with a little dirt and a lot of determination.
“I tell my kids in my class that you don’t ever want to be ripe and rotting. Because you don’t want to get to a point where you feel like you know everything. There’s always something else to learn. You want to be green and growing all the time.”
She also sowed seeds of gardening on social media that blossomed into a Facebook group and has taken root among participants.
“People that didn’t want to even touch the dirt, now they can’t sleep at night. They’re up at 7 a.m. They’re texting me at 9 o’clock saying ‘do you see the lights? Do you see the ambiance?'”
For the green family, business has not only flourished financially there have also been physical benefits.
“My husband teases me because he said, ‘I really gotta lose some weight. I really gotta come down.’ Then, I said, ‘I need your help out here in some of these yards. There are so many I can’t handle them.’ He said, ‘God has a wharp sense of humor.’ Now, he’s sweating everyday and he’s actually losing weight,” she laughs.
Meanwhile, she has gained perspective that is blooming into stems of positive thoughts and light during what many people may consider dark days.
“Just my personal philosophy, there is some good in every situation. No matter how bad it looks. We all feel like we don’t have any control over anything. But, this is something you definitely can control. You can beautify the space that you live in.”
Although her grandmother is long gone gardening has become a gift she gave Renika that continues to grow.
“Go out and give your gift away, it’s not meant for you to keep. So, give it away! Your gift will make room for you,” she concludes.
Renika Green’s Facebook gardening group is called “Ms. Green&Growing.”
She also has a fitness group and tutors children in reading.