➼ Carl Sickles is the owner of Affordable Landscaping Supplies, winner of Best Landscaper in our 2019 Best of Morgantown awards. He’s a lifelong Morgantown resident—except for six months he lived outside West Virginia once to get a sawmill industry certification in Memphis. Sickles is considering expanding his business to the Clarksburg area in the not-too-distant future, but for now he’s enjoying a rewarding life improving the properties of Morgantown residents.

On starting the business I was in the sawmill industry most of my early working life, and we sold bark to a company in Washington, Pennsylvania. The owner had a landscaping facility and he kept telling me, “Someone needs to open a facility in Morgantown.” I built a new house, and he helped me landscape. After buying mulch from a local distributor, I didn’t feel like I got a fair shake on the price, so I started listening to him. One day he said, “If you don’t open one, I’m going to.”

On how fishing finally led to landscaping I opened my landscape supply yard to fund my fishing, and it basically became my hobby more than the fishing. I still fish at a competitive level when I have time, and that’s fun. It helps you get your mind off everything, so it’s a little different than relaxation fishing. But I quit the sawmill industry, and we’ve just grown from there.

On outdoor spaces and quality of life People make the inside of their house grand and beautiful and everything they want. On the outside, they’ll generally make it nice for curb appeal, but if they would make the space useful for something other than looking at, it could make their house so much larger. Outdoor living space is what most people lack—a useful, tranquil space to live outside of their home. It’s almost like a vacation when you have an outdoor kitchen or a pavilion with a TV. It was enlightening to me. It made my house totally different.

Interviewed by J. Kendall Perkinson | Photographed by Carla Witt Ford

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