5 Minutes With … Cameron Rees
Cam Rees is general manager of Skinner Garden Store in Topeka, Kansas.
Could you share a little about your background?
I grew up on a family orchard operation, playing on the orchard as a kid and sometimes helping. Picking strawberries for my granddad was the first job I can remember. I picked cherries as I got older and helped jug cider during the busy season.
Years later, when I was in my early teens, my dad made the tough decision to leave the family orchard and take a position at a local garden center. A few years later, needing money for a car, I worked my first garden center spring season for him … and I was hooked.
I enjoyed the work, studied horticulture in college, specializing in landscape design. Upon graduating, I returned home to help run the garden center with my dad, splitting my time between our landscape business and the garden center. Years later, I handed over most of my landscape responsibilities to focus my effort on the garden center and 40 years later … I’m still here!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love helping people — both customers and staff — enjoy all the things plants can bring.
What keeps you up at night?
I typically don’t have problems sleeping — I’m usually plenty tired!
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
I used to play rugby in college.
If you weren’t in this profession, what would you be doing?
Maybe a landscape architect specializing in ecological restoration and developing urban natural areas?
Favorite plant to grow? Why?
I really don’t have a favorite. There are just too many different plants to enjoy! I like to experiment and try new things. But I have been on a pawpaw kick lately — because they’re cool!