After marrying into a family business in the green industry, Diane Marrazzo, co-owner of Marrazzo’s North River Landscape in Wycombe, Pennsylvania, says her degree in interior design came in handy as she began assisting with drawings for landscape clients.
Recognizing she had a knack for the work, designing patios and smaller projects soon turned into attending client meetings, specifying landscape materials, preparing proposals and more. In 2009, Diane and her then-husband, Anthony Marrazzo, left the family business to found North River. As events turned, in 2012 they amicably divorced — a fact that Marrazzo says most of her clients still don’t realize today. She says that’s because of a “strong work ethic” held by both. Although their marriage didn’t thrive, their business did — and continues to do so with the two still working side-by-side four or five days a week.
She says the working relationship is quite simple: They have found common ground. Both desire to work hard and provide for their families, which consists of four kids, including an eldest son who is involved in the business. Marrazzo shares a few things she’s learned in her years in the green industry.
People — even my friends — don’t really believe how involved I am in my projects. I guess they think I’m mostly in my office, answering the phone. But I have designed amazing outdoor spaces and orchestrated their execution. I have built 12-foot-high waterfalls in a 50-foot pond.
It’s a challenge to work with men from a culture that does not speak English as their first language — or even at all. Not only is there a huge communication barrier for me to deal with but a cultural one.
I’m working with men who come from a culture where they do not easily or willingly take direction from a woman.
I love that we use such large and difficult rocks that they can only be managed by a machine. We can rearrange a heap of boulders into a gorgeous retaining wall or we can use huge, flat, natural steppers stacked in a way that it creates a staircase down someone’s yard. It’s amazing to see how the steppers or walls look like they’ve always been there.
Because our business is seasonal, I find myself with spare time in the winter and took a second job at a local health food store — I’ve been called a health nut for a long time. My kids are busy filling their own lives at their age, but we still sit together for dinner at least four days a week. We all love to cook good food.
My goal in business is always to make the process easy, creative and affordable — providing a lasting platform for my clients’ outdoor fun. I want to provide an even better space than they were hoping for.
I love to kayak. And I love the beach. I’m also certified in Child Lite Yoga and teach a beginner children’s yoga summer camp.