Angela Beazer is a high flying lawyer – she must be, as she established one of the country’s first aviation law firms – but she’s now going to ground with a new enterprise, developing a hydroponics business.
The founder of Southland-based aviation law boutique AMC Legal Services, she has been an aviation law specialist for many years, including working part time for the Civil Aviation Authority, but is now the recipient of a $2.5 million loan from the Provincial Growth Fund to develop her lettuce-growing hydroponics business.
Now, however, it is time to change careers as she moves to develop the new business.
“But now I’m ready for change. I’ve been trying to juggle both, but they’re not complementary,” she told the NZ Herald.
“I have a life many people would envy. I can work to my own schedule. I can be there to pick up my daughter from school, but as I say, they (lawyer/lettuce growing) are not complementary. I could not give 100 per cent to both. If I do something I like to do it properly.
“I’m quite looking forward to focusing just on the lettuces.”
With her partner she had moved from Wellington to Invercargill, but being frustrated attempting to locate a lifestyle block to buy they bought a hydroponics setup that lead to the development of their new business, Southern Hydroponics, which has now taken on a further 30 people and the lettuces have grown to capsicums, tomatoes and other vegetables.
In particular, she became interested in vertical hydroponics systems, which involves plants growing in stacked trays on top of each-other permitting a higher production rate and greater efficiencies.
“I think sometimes, ‘why am I doing it?’ But you’re working at waist height — you’re not having to bend and I quite like working under cover, but still feeling like you’re working outdoors.
“On the other hand, this is a 24/7, 365-day operation. Someone has to be here watching all the time. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes.”
It’s a long way from the aviation law days, but despite the challenges it has become a turning point that has created a new direction where legal skills still have a clear application.
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