After more than 35 years working for some of Canada’s largest media corporations, Cheryl Hammond-Hutcheson traded in her power suits and expense accounts for what might well be, her biggest, and most personal challenge.
In 2020, the corporate veteran launched her bespoke garden design service Lavender & Twigs Garden Design with her friend and business partner Linda Robinson.
She calls it “semi-retirement”, though one suspects that she’s never been busier, nor having more fun.
“I love being outside in the garden, getting dirty,” Hammond-Hutcheson says gladly. “Working in media most of my life in corporate sales, giving that up, putting on your sloggers and garden gloves is a big, exciting change. It’s fantastic creating a business doing something I love, very rewarding seeing the before and after pictures of our jobs.”
Hammond-Hutcheson initially concocted the notion of going into the gardening business only because friends often complimented her on her gardens were and would ask her for advice on what they should plant where in their own.
“They called me the shoemaker’s daughter because I would do everyone else’s garden and neglect my own,” she laughs.
A lifelong, passionate gardener, Hammond-Hutcheson, then working for the Ottawa Senators, traded in the boardroom for the nursery in 2020, just as the pandemic landed.
She was ready for a change. However, she wasn’t prepared to launch a business on her own. It didn’t take much to convince her real estate agent Linda Robinson to join her in the venture.
“It’s important having a partner, having someone I could bounce ideas off of, but I would have done this on my own because I’ve wanted to do it all my life,” she says.