Many of you may know that our owner Pete Bryant has run Southern Lights successfully for over 15+ years out of the Old Hillsdale Brick Store in Summerfield, NC, but did you know he also owned/operated Southern Exposure Landscape (now Southern Outdoor Living) for over 27 years? Pete has always been passionate about the landscape & lighting industries and as both companies grew, he desire for high end audio & lighting also grew. His time was being split between the two companies, but in 2022 (a year ago today), he successfully sold his landscaping company to focus his efforts 100% into Southern Lights.
“This is such a bitter sweet post for me. Not sure where to start. Most everyone I know associates me with the companies I own, including the one I started back in High School, Southern Exposure Landscape Management, Inc. (now Southern Outdoor Living). I’ve put my heart and soul into this business. It has helped me grow as a person, a leader, a husband, and a friend to many in the industry and in the business community. I’ve learned some hard lessons along the way and experienced so many firsts.
– 1st Mower.
– 1st Truck.
– 1st Customer.
– 1st Sleepless Night.
– 1st Hire.
– 1st Fire.
– 1st Loan.
– 1st Office.
– 1st Loan/Property Paid Off.
– 1st Showroom.
– 1st Community Project.
– 1st National Magazine Article.
– 1st National Award Winner.
– And so many more..
God has blessed myself and my family greatly through this business over the years. I have so many wonderful memories of this journey. It’s hard to imagine I started my landscaping company over 27 years ago, but my time as the owner of Southern Exposure has come to an end. I truly believe in God’s perfect timing in everything, and this decision was no different. It’s interesting how God works things out. I was in the process of gearing up and taking some steps to re-brand and grow Southern Exposure again when God brought 2 potential buyers to me that had a vision for the company that was very much in line with where I wanted to take it. There were so many things that aligned in our conversations that I realized that these individuals would be able to take what I’ve built, and really expand upon it without overlooking my current employees. My people are what makes Southern Exposure and Southern Lights special. Sure, we build and maintain beautiful properties and outdoor livings spaces, but my people are what has made these companies what they are. My employees (friends) matter and I feel like the new owners understand that and want to protect that as well.
Southern Exposure has a great name in the community and has been built with great employees, vision, and talent. With all of the amazing employees that have made Southern Exposure (now Southern Outdoor Living) what it is today, I’m confident that the new owners will be able to take the company to great new heights.
Although, my love for landscaping and outdoor living hasn’t changed, my passion has grown stronger and stronger towards the Outdoor Lighting & Audio segments of the industry. Most of you know, I’ve also owned Southern Lights Outdoor Lighting & Audio for the last 15 + years which we’ve grown side by side of Southern Exposure. From early on, I never wanted to be considered a “landscaper” that added lighting & audio on as a add-on service. It’s technical. It’s a lot of design and requires a critical eye that has provided me with a creative outlet for me. I’ve spent considerable amount of time training, gaining certifications, serving on National Boards for the Lighting Industry, and I’m excited about pouring 100% of my time and effort into growing and expanding our footprint. Both the new ownership and myself plan to help each other grow while providing great opportunities for employment. If you’ve worked with either of my companies in the past, you know we always try to do what’s right and strive to create a seamless experience for our clients. Southern Lights will still be working with all of Southern Exposure’s clients desiring lighting and audio. The same will be true for our clients wanting landscaping & hardscaping services. Having a more centralized focus for these two companies will allow each company to fully focus on what we do best. Our goal is for our old clients and new clients to both have a great customer experience.
I have so much to be thankful for! The Lord has truly blessed me through this business. I’m so thankful to have my wife who has been by my side encouraging me from the beginning, my parents who gave me the push from the early age of 16 to try starting a business, my dad who modeled what a good business looks like through his own business, and all the people that believed in me along the way. I’m thankful for this journey. I’m forever grateful for everyone who has been apart of this company and look forward to great things to come!”
Southern Lights Brick Store Showroom