Landscape designer Brittany Whalen of Rock Water Farm, a full-service landscape company based in Aldie, Virginia, says that as much as she loves her Chevrolet Cruze for zipping around the Northern Virginia area, she really could use a pickup truck. “As many times as I’ve tried to stack plants in my car, I have yet to figure out how to fit a tree in,” Whalen jokes, adding that she hopes her boss reads this. But in all seriousness, Whalen says her vehicle helps her get through the day — most of which is typically spent in the car going from client to client. We recently caught up with Whalen to find out exactly what she keeps in her vehicle and why.
During the busy season, I may be in the car as much as eight hours a day. I spend a lot of my time driving around from client to client. My car is basically my office when we’re busy.
I don’t have kids but I carry a diaper bag. It’s the only bag I could find that was big enough to carry everything I need — and I love all the pockets. You don’t get that in a regular bag. I can even fit my purse in there. I just load it up and hit the road for the day.
My music keeps me going, but it changes depending on my mood. If I’m about to go into a presentation I like to listen to 90s hip-hop. It amps me up and gets me ready to go. If I just lost a job, I listen to reggae because that makes me feel better.
My car is decked out with Rock Water Farm info. We service the Northern Virginia area, which is huge, but we’re in a pretty specific area. People will recognize the car and wave and say hello all the time. We’ve also received a lot of business just from the car. Someone will stop me at a convenience store and ask if we do pools or patios — it’s a great way to pick up leads.
Driving a branded vehicle is also pretty intimidating. I have to admit, I’m not a bad driver, but our phone number is plastered on the car, and I’ve had two people call about my driving.
The finishing touch on my car is my Virginia Tech personalized license plate that my boss got me. It says VT Designer, since I graduated from Virginia Tech.
Sunglasses — I don’t have a specific brand, they just must be less than $20 because I lose them on jobsites all the time.
Diet Coke — That’s my version of coffee in the morning; it’s my jolt of caffeine.
Water — After lunchtime I switch to water or else I won’t sleep.
Tape measure and marking paint — I can’t go anywhere without them.
Raincoat and rain boots — I’m outside even when the 16 weather is bad.