Ty was twelve the first time his father, Keith Rosser, brought him out to help install a landscape lighting system. Despite being only twenty five now, Ty’s unique upbringing in the outdoor lighting industry has left him with a wealth of knowledge about outdoor lighting design & installation.
Thirteen years after helping with his first project, Ty is still working alongside his dad, helping to grow his family’s business. In this interview, we ask Ty to tell us a little bit more about his upbringing in lighting & what role he plays in the family’s business.
Q: Ty, your introduction to lighting started at a very young age, what was that like and how do you think it’s helped you now?
A: “Ha yeah, I guess I did start pretty young. I must have been twelve or thirteen years old the first time I went out with my dad to a job site. My dad offered me twenty bucks to come help out the crew here and there. What could I say? To a twelve year old, twenty bucks sounds like a sweet deal.
Back in those days, I was just excited to be spending time with my dad.
He was really busy back then, between working as a firefighter full time and running his business, I just looked forward to any extra chance I got to spend time with him. I would have done it even if he hadn’t offered me twenty bucks.
(If I could talk to my twelve year old self now, I’d probably say “Yeah right, give me my twenty bucks!”)
When I was 12-13 I didn’t do any of the technical or difficult stuff, I was mainly running back and forth from the truck grabbing tools and components for the install crew. I would help bury some of the wire too, and catch snakes. One of our foreman hated snakes. I would catch them and chase him around. I had a lot of fun growing up with the guys on the job sites.
“How do I think those experiences have helped me now?”
“I think they have helped me because of what I learned from watching my dad, both on the job site and at home. I learned to have a strong work ethic. He poured his hart and soul into building this company, while also making time for me and my sisters. He worked diligently, and I got to see it first hand, so I try to emulate that.”
Q: What did you learn about lighting growing up?
A: “When I wasn’t helping the crew, I learned at home by listening and paying attention to what my dad would say.
I don’t mean to make it sound like all we ever did was talk about lighting. We do have normal father, son conversations about other stuff!
But when your dad is a lighting designer, it’s impossible to not be amerced and develop a firm base know;edge of lighting concepts.
On our way home from the movies as a family, for example, we would have stopped by a recently completed install to check on how everything looked. I learned about that this was the time to close my mouth, open my hears and just listen to what my dad had to about different aspects of lighting concepts. My dad had a drafting table in his office at home. I used to look over his designs and ask him about them. I learned a lot about lighting there as well.”
Q: So when did you officially begin working with the install crew full time?
A: “Right after I graduated high school I started working on the install crew full time so that
I could save money to put myself through college. I did have a scholarship, but my track scholarship wasn’t going to cover everything. Not even close.
When I approached my dad my dad about working on the install crew, he did what any good father would have done, he laid down the ground rules for working in the family business.
My dad told me that if I wasn’t in school full time, or if I decided to take a break from it, I would be finished working for the company. He said “Son, once you have your diploma, you can do anything you like. Getting your education is critically important. I want you to understand that.” My dad is really good at getting serious when the time comes.
So I worked as a technician while I was attending college, and DID graduate. I received my Bachelors & got a degree in English and minored in Philosophy.
Q: So you finished school with two degrees?
Yeah, well, I had aspirations to go to graduate school. I thought finishing the minor would help set me apart from other applicants.
Q: But you didn’t end up at graduate school?
A: After finishing my undergrad, I cam back to work another summer with the install crew, that’s when I realized just how much I love what we do here. So instead of going to grad school decided to stay on.
I’ve developed a real passion for lighting. I think it comes out sometimes when i’m talking to clients, I geek out a little over all the details that went into their home’s lighting design.
I’m sure my dad was surprised when I decided to stay on. He was certain I was going to move on once I had my degree and could go do whatever I wanted. When I explained that I really enjoy what we do here, and that I would like to step up and do more, he was surprised, but very supportive.
“My dad did me a HUGE favor.” By forgetting to turn off being a lighting designer when he came home from work when I was young, my dad helped me discover something I love doing. It’s just a happy coincidence that it’s something he’s very passionate about as well!”
Q: What do you enjoy about working at Landscape Lighting Pro? A: “I love our team, they are like family. I really enjoy the culture we have developed, and the friendships we have built with our clients. I enjoy the challenges each new project brings. Every home and landscape is different which in turn comes with it’s own set of design opportunities!
Most of all, I love seeing how our clients react to the work we do. Seeing the enjoyment they get out of their lighting system is like nothing else. It always feels great to know that they are happy with what we have created for them. That’s what makes me want to come to work every day and do the best job I can.
Our company does some truly incredible work, I’m fortunate to be a part of it.”