Franklin Lakes Mom Turns Hobby Into Business

Gardens are a Way of Life for Kathleen Gostissa of "Creative Containers"

“No matter where we lived, for as long as anyone in the family can remember, there was always a garden.”  

Mompreneur Kathleen Gostissa knows how to brighten your day with color.  Her container designs are as cheerful as she is-having Kathleen bustling about your yard adding flowers here, tidying up there is like watching Mary Poppins organize the nursery.  25 years of word of mouth jobs from friends and family has led to an exclusive client list that keep Gostissa and growing staff busy nearly year round.

Seasonal displays are her specialty. “Creative Containers” is the name.

“Planting beds reach their peak and then it is time pull things out and replant for the next season such as summer to fall. Clients also like to suppliment displays to highlight holidays or special occasions. I have always enjoyed decorating my own home for holidays and bring my ideas to my customers.”

“Many of my clients entertain a lot and need themed containers with coordinating statuary,” says Gostissa.

Gostissa always had a passion for flowers and gardening, growing up with a Mom who had a beautiful garden.  In fact, Kathleen comes from a long line of women gardeners.  Gostissa’s family originally lived in the Bronx where her maternal grandmother taught her all about rose gardening.  Years later, they all moved to Ramsey where Kathleen’s mother took over the reins as the family gardener, teaching her daughter all she knew.  Kathleen and her future husband were married in the garden of her family home where many other important events took place.

“When you are a kid, you take these things for granted,” continued Gostissa but when she had her own family, she realized that a few pots of bright flowers around the steps, in garden beds and on the kitchen table, could really brighten someone’s day.  Kathleen and husband Ed Gostissa have four children who grew up in their own garden in Ramsey before moving to Franklin Lakes over 10 years ago.  Bryan, 26; Eric, 24; Jessica, 19; and Jacklyn, 16 all attended schools in the RIH district and remember their mom clearly as having a “green thumb”.

Starting in her own yard, Gostissa planted impatiens and geraniums because they were “easy” and consistent performers; the plants that would practically thrive on neglect when the busy Mom of four was tending to her children.  Family and friends raved about her designs, marveling at how prolific her containers and garden beds were.  In addition to caring for her family, Gostissa was also juggling a part time job and while making time to decorate everyone’s decks and patios.  Extended family, friends of friends-all began asking Gostissa for suggestions.  In a Eureka moment, it occurred to her that with all of the demand for her artistic designs, she could easily translate her passion for flowers into a business.

The word began to spread and Gostissa’s client list expanded from doing spring planting for a few to decorating many client’s homes both indoors and out for all seasons.

“Potting up containers around pools and spas has been what many people are interested in lately,” said Gostissa.  “My clients give me a plant list and a color scheme and I go to town.”  (Literally, as Gostissa has an account with many local nurseries.)

Although many summer plantings are established by this time in July, Gostissa and her crew will continue to maintain the plantings including weeding, watering and fertilizing. 

“This is especially important when clients are on vacation or are busy working-that’s where I come in.”

Although many landscapers will provide a similar service, Kathleen Gostissa is a cheerful and trustworthy presence in your yard.  Her positive “can-do” energy is a bright as her ear-to-ear smile. Kathleen works hard, but does it so enthusiastically that she is more like having your best friend come over for chat.  And the feeling is mutual-Gostissa absolutely loves what she does.

Gostissa is teaming up with husband Ed Gostissa, a local building contractor who can build decks, patios, gazebos, window boxes and even garden-inspired additions. 

“We make a great team. I make the designs and Ed builds-he can make anything!”  The Gostissa team is available to transform your yard in time for weddings, graduations and other important occasions.

Although Gostissa specializes in seasonal plantings, she also does hanging baskets, window boxes and anything that is needed in flower beds.  She also has a travelling boutique-an assortment of practical gifts for gardeners of all ages.  Gostissa is especially good with children as her own brood will attest.  She is available to do Children’s Garden Parties and has many children’s items available from gloves to tools.

“No job is too small or too large,” says Kathleen whose energy is boundless.  “I will do all of the dirty work.”

Just give her a task and it will be done: you may even meet some of her now grown children as they often roll up their sleeves to help their busy Mompreneur.  What was once a hobby has blossomed into a career, as Kathleen transforms the world, at least Franklin Lakes, one yard at a time.


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