Executive Profiles

Q&A: Mary Peterson, CEO of Northwest Outdoor Lighting

"I'm a big believer in not waiting for tomorrow."

By John Levesque September 21, 2018


This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of Seattle magazine.

This article appears in print in the September 2018 issue. Click here for a free subscription.

Tell us what your company does and what attracted you to this business.

Northwest Outdoor Lighting specializes in creating customized landscape lighting designs utilizing transparent installation techniques and superior products to stylishly illuminate residential and commercial properties. We focus directly on each clients desired objective to achieve aesthetically appealing yet security-conscious lighting at an exceptional value. I love meeting new people and solving their problems of dark nights! Designing lit landscapes allows me to be creative and is a confidence booster when clients are more than pleased with the outcome.

After being a stay-at-home mom for over 30 years, my job slowly left me! (Which is what we want as parents, right?) Needing to keep my hands busy, my husband, Craig, was consulting for a lighting manufacturer and thought this would be an interesting business for me with very little startup cost. He was right and the last decade has been very fulfilling.

What book/TV show/podcast are you reading/watching/listening to and why?

I love watching Shark Tank and trying to figure out if my answers align to the Sharks. Something truly goofy is Better Call Saul. I just finished Kurt Timmermeister’s book, Growing a Farmer. The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs by Joel Salatin was a fun read, also.

We own a small farm in Woodinville and it’s been a great source of joy and learning as I cultivate the land and enjoy its fruits all year long. Being a learner never stops. Although I don’t think the farm will include pigs (there are chickens, ducks, bees, dogs and cats), I’m always fascinated by what Joel has to say and his deep heritage of farming.

Whats your favorite spot in Seattle?

Rattlesnake Ledge near North Bend. During the week, it’s the perfect hike to get moving, enjoy the views and connect with nature.

What kind of car do you drive and why?

Subaru Crosstrek. Knowing you can drive anywhere without chains is awesome! Of course, being able to scoot into a small parking spot downtown is a plus, too! It was the first time I bought a car off the lot brand new and I don’t regret that decision one bit.

Tell us something people dont know about you.

I’ve never been to Hawaii! Not sure how I’ve traveled the globe but forgotten about the gems, relatively close to home. So I booked a flight the other day. I’m a big believer in not waiting for tomorrow.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

Besides the farm and the large amount of attention it requires, cooking and knitting are also passions I give my time to. From making my own kombucha and homemade bread to spinning my own wool into yarn that I then dye and knit. They are quite relaxing and methodical practices that lend themselves to a very rewarding experience if done right! However, beyond all that is a beautiful thing called grandparenting. We have eight grandchildren and they are a true source of joy and life. My husband and I love spending time with them!

Tell us about your Off the Clock activities here.

Follow Us