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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > May-19 > Waterfront




A little hard work

This cottager wanted to have a full-time job on Georgian Bay. So she invented one >>



From May to September, Woods Bay, Ont., cottager Nikki Phillips works a second job—and she has no plans to quit it any time soon. “I don’t ever see an end in sight,” she says of Nikki’s Cottage Care, the landscaping and maintenance company she started on Georgian Bay five years ago, when she was 18. And that’s a good thing: “I love this work.”

Nikki is also a full-time ER nurse in Parry Sound four days out of nine. When she’s not at the hospital, she’s boating around the bay, doing the jobs that a lot of cottagers will happily pay $25/hr. to avoid: pressure washing, gardening, painting, cleaning, landscaping— even laundry. “I’ve washed, folded, and stored a lot of clothes,” says Nikki. “I know where people keep their underwear.” Odd? Not really: “People are only up at the cottage on weekends. They don’t want to be working. They want to be relaxing,” she says. Nikki had no landscaping or maintenance experience when she started the business— with a $1,000 Summer Company grant from the province— after finishing high school in 2014. “But I knew I could do the work.” She spent a week going dock to dock, handing out flyers and talking to cottagers; she bought all her gear, safety equipment, and insurance. Within two weeks, she was getting nonstop phone calls. “It was awesome,” says Nikki. “It was so unexpected.”

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About Cottage Life

Cabin fever! As we dive headlong into spring, our May issue will get you ready for the new season. In this issue: Yannick Bisson’s dream retreat The A to Z of cottage hosting How to throw a party at the lake that’s fun for all ages Chef recipes for epic barbecue feasts An easy DIY host gift you can make Solutions for extra sleeping space How to de-skunk a dog and handle other cottage emergencies Getting your boat’s paperwork shipshape Boating tip! Install an in-line fuel filter for your outboard Pick up the May 2019 issue today!