Ryan Phillips

Routines are a significant part of success in business. You have to be organized and have a good routine that you follow.


Ty Ty Nursery is a Georgia plant nursery owned and operated by Ryan Phillips.

With over 16 years of nursery experience and four years of formal education in horticulture, Ryan Phillips has a strong passion for plants and business. Early in life, Ryan began working with plants and fell in love with the idea of owning his own nursery. When the opportunity presented itself, he bought the nursery he had been working at for ten years and now successfully runs Ty Ty Nursery with a passion! It is Ryan’s hope that one day he will get the opportunity to pass his love and passion for cultivation and business on to his two daughters.
Ty Ty Nursery looks forward to continuing to serve the immediate community of Ty Ty, Georgia, and the rest of the country for years to come.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

The idea for Ty Ty Nursery came from the previous own Pat Malcolm. He founded the nursery in 1978 as a flowering bulb nursery specializing in the hybridization of crinum bulbs. The nursery is located in a small south Georgia town of Ty Ty, thus the name Ty Ty Nursery. Mr. Pat got into the mail order side of the business early on producing his catalogs for various flower bulbs. Over the year he grew his plant offering and became one the largest mail order plant nurseries in the United States.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I try to keep my days down to a routine, but in the plant business, there are a lot of things that can pop up. You have to manage the different events that pop up and embrace them as an opportunity. I wake up early in the morning and get exercise at least a two-mile walk or jog. Once I get to work, I do whatever needs to be done to make the day successful. I am not the type of owner that will give commands; I will get dirty with you to get the job done. I try to make every day as productive as possible, and I accomplish this by keeping my eyes on the end of goal of providing our customer with the highest quality plants and the most affordable prices.

How do you bring ideas to life?

When we are looking to bring new ideas to life, we take a team approach. We have weekly meetings where our management staff has the opportunity to bring up ideas or struggles that way we can have a team approach to tackling the solution. Once we decide upon a new idea, it is just an all hands on deck approach until we get it fully implemented.

What’s one trend that excites you?

One trend that excites me about the nursery business is the future of it. The nursery business is at a crossroads currently with aging ownership of nurseries and a lack of interest from the younger generation to get into the business. The nursery business is not for everyone, and you have to have a great work ethic and embrace controlled chaos in the spring rush season. So, I do not currently know where the industry is headed, but I am excited to be apart of the ride and hopefully influence its direction.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

One of the best habits that makes me productive is exercise. Getting up in the morning early and getting my blood flowing with either a nice run or walk and then hitting the speed bag. Exercising helps set the tone of the day.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Well, I still consider myself to be young I am only 31 years old, but I have been through quite a bit at an early stage in my career. I was running a national mail-order nursery at the age of 25 and then purchased the business at 30. I give myself advice all the time. The first piece of advice is take a break it doesn’t have to be all go all the time. The second piece of advice is to loosen up, don’t take things so seriously and enjoy the highs and lows. The third piece of advice I give myself is embracing failure and learn from it but do not fear it as complacency will lead to business problems.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Experience is just as important as education, if not more so!

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I believe that routines are a significant part of success in business. You have to be organized and have a good routine that you follow.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

One strategy that has helped our business is the use of social media. This allows us and customers to have direct access and an open line of communication 24/7. We can post pictures of products and specials we are having along with helping customers with any plant questions they may have.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

One the most significant failures that I have as a business owner is getting caught up in a particular type of plant that I love and invest a right amount of time and money to cultivate, then upon bringing it to market its a flop. You have to realize that in business there are plenty of times the market is just not going to agree with you and that’s ok. The best way I try to overcome this is to be aware of instead a particular type of new product will be a dud and when it is cut ties quickly to minimize losses and move on to the next one.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

A business idea that I have has been shot down by the franchising people. I found a perfect location for an ideal business did all the groundwork and called corporate and just got told no repeatedly. I had an idea to bring a Bruster’s to Tifton, GA but corporate said the city was too small and not ideal for their business.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

The best $100 I have spent recently was buying a Boring Company Flame Thrower, to start our burn pit at the nursery. It now makes a boring (no pun intended) task a whole lot more fun assuming no one gets burned in the process.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

The best software we use is Microsoft Excel. It helps run all kinds of reports and crunch our numbers with ease.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

One book I recommend reading is Ageless Memory. It helps keep your brain active and in tip-top shape no matter your age.

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is John 14:27 Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.

Key Learnings:

• Do what you love and do it with a passion
• Do not be afraid to fail
• Have fun in life; you only get one of them