Georg Efird loved the way he could make people so happy when he solved their plumbing issues. Licensed since 2001, Georg believed that he could create a company that honored his customers as much as the Blue Planet.
In 2002, Blue Planet Plumbing, LLC, was born. The name “Blue Planet” comes from the moniker often given to the Earth: it’s a blue planet because of the abundance of water on its surface. An Asheville plumber, Georg thought the name appropriate since it reflects his values.
Georg wanted Blue Planet Plumbing to become one of the most environmentally friendly plumbing companies in Western North Carolina. To reach that goal, he and his team conserve our precious natural resource by installing, repairing and maintaining the most efficient plumbing systems available.
Blue Planet Plumbing serves Asheville and the surrounding area within a 20 minute drive of the city. Georg and his staff of licensed plumbers and technicians work hard to maintain their reputation for fair, thorough service, while honoring their responsibility to both their clients and the blue planet.
Georg J. Efird
Georg practically grew up in the plumbing business. Now a 5-star licensed master plumber, the owner of Blue Planet Plumbing can do things his way.
“With so many different points of view, I believe that I’ve found the untapped markets that really need attention,” says the Certified Green Plumber. He likes to be the hero.
I found more enticement in sustainable plumbing and educating consumers on how to do it effectively and efficiently.”
Georg J. Efird walked on to his first job site at the age of 17. A new father who wanted to secure his family’s future, he applied to become a plumber’s helper despite having no experience or skills. Beginning on a new construction project, he worked under licensed plumbers and moved eventually into commercial plumbing. Georg pursued a career that supported his family while tapping into his drive to help people and serve as a steward to the planet.
He went from making $4.25 an hour in 1992 to running a successful plumbing company that earned a revenue of nearly $1 million in 2016. And he’s worked hard for every dime. Going from 90-hour weeks to hiring staff and mentoring his own son, Georg sees himself as part of the new “old generation” of plumbers who take conservation and environmentalism seriously. A Gen-Xer, he learned from the Baby Boomers and is passing the torch to Millennials.
Georg enjoys his free time with his family and his cats. He loves spending time outdoors whenever he can — gardening, trout fishing and just being out in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Cooking is another passion. To decompress, Georg gives himself up to PC gaming for about an hour a night.
Miranda L. Wildman
Miranda has been an Asheville girl since 1996 when her parents moved here from Vermont. She managed a popular restaurant downtown for six years before she met and married Georg. Miranda found the bookkeeping and managing work fulfilling, and she brought a good dose of business sense to their nascent plumbing company.
Miranda did everything but snake toilets those first dozen years before Patrick joined the team. “I did everything in the office,” she says. “But I really like doing all the reconciliation and supporting the guys in the field.”
I feel so good about how they’re changing the way people look at plumbing. We’re making an environmental impact, one house at a time.”
A husband/wife team takes effort, but Miranda says it works because the two don’t micro-manage each other. Each knows and respects the other’s expertise. She loves to see how Georg implements new strategies, and he loves it when they create good-paying jobs for their employees. Miranda appreciates the help Patrick and Corey bring to the office. And she’s really pleased with how well their plumbers listen to customers and give their best at every job. She knew they were hard workers, but it amazed her how intuitive they turned out to be.
Outside the office, Miranda is a practicing artist, with a studio in the Hatchery, which sits among the growing River Arts District community. At Studio 141, she shares space with two other artists where she paints and holds workshops. And she volunteers for Asheville Green Works whenever she can because she “loves to clean up trash.” Miranda looks forward to growing Blue Planet Plumbing more so that she can participate in more environmental groups. ““It’s a priority, personally and professionally.”
What Katti Stone lacks in plumbing knowledge, she makes up for in people skills. And since the team she works with at Blue Planet Plumbing wants to take care of people first, she fits right in. Owner Georg Efird and his team of experienced plumbers handle all the plumbing work, so Katti doesn’t have to get her hands dirty.
As the Asheville plumbing business grows, they need a certain level of customer service, scheduling, issue-solving and bookkeeping expertise to keep things moving as smoothly as a newly installed drainpipe. Enter Katti Stone, the latest addition to the Blue Planet team. With 10 years’ experience in corporate customer service that often meant 60-hour workweeks, Katti was looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, with less stress and more of a family vibe.
“I called, and we hit it off,” says Katti, who’s training to move into office management as she learns the business. She adds her vision to the team.
I believe in working smarter, not longer. And I know I bring skills to the company that’ll help as they grow.”
Katti moved to Asheville in 2010 after vacationing here for three previous years. She loves the city’s artsy vibes and the surrounding mountains. She enjoys crafting in her spare time, anything from sewing to mixed-media art to upcycling found objects. As for Blue Planet, she foresees a happy future together. “Everyone here is so easy to get along with. I haven’t walked in on anyone in a bad mood. And as an added bonus, I love that they are so environmentally conscious.”
Customer Service Specialist/Dispatcher
When the phone rings at Blue Planet Plumbing, Tori welcomes the chance to support a customer in need. For her, it’s an opportunity to put the skills she gained at Western Carolina University to good use. With a degree in social work, Tori opted to stay in Asheville and join BPP as a customer service representative, which helps fulfill her desire to help people.
The sense of family built into the company’s work environment also makes her feel at home, and her driven, upbeat personality has made her a natural fit with the rest of the team. It also helps that her co-workers share her obsession with pets — Tori is especially attached to her cat, Leroy.
And when she isn’t helping customers or keeping Leroy happy, she spends her free time pursuing her painting hobby.
“At the end of the day, I am happiest when I can help give some peace of mind to our customers calling in with plumbing issues.”
Water heater, water filtration, general plumbing, backflow specialist
Richard has known Blue Planet Plumbing owner Georg Efird since they were teenagers, and he’s really glad to be working side-by-side with his old pal after all these years. After 20 years in the plumbing business, Richard says he needed to find a place to settle that fit his lifestyle, his desire to help people to the best of his abilities and his goal to work with a company that shares his values.
I love doing a good job for customers. I love a good challenge. I’m a problem solver.”
Richard is a U.S. Navy veteran. It’s where he began his career in plumbing after graduating from Erwin High School. He was a water treatment specialist while enlisted.
The career suited his desire to make a decent living while facing daily challenges. He’s says solving new issues is part of the job. He has to be part-plumber and part-detective — to find the source of the issue, come up with a solution and fix it.
When the opportunity came up at Blue Planet Plumbing, he jumped on it. He now enjoys a steadier work schedule that allows him time to work around the house, play his guitar and spend time with his family.
Richard grew up in Asheville and now lives in Hendersonville. He wouldn’t choose anywhere else to live because, as he says: “I love the mountains.”
Water heater, water filtration, General plumbing specialist
Matthew is someone who knows what he wants and deliberately goes after it. When he was younger, he joined the Air Force. But unlike other young men who haven’t a clue about what they see in their future, Matthew knew he wanted to use his time in the service to learn a trade that would serve him well in the private sector.
Ten years later, he left the Air Force as a sergeant with a well-rounded, thorough understanding of plumbing. Matthew worked primarily on the plumbing systems in family housing and military dormitories during his stint in the Air Force. He even spent a considerable amount of time in Japan doing plumbing based on the metric system.
After leaving the armed services in Goldsboro, North Carolina in 2014, Matthew moved his family to Asheville and soon set his eyes on Georg Efird and Blue Planet Plumbing.
Plumbers all know each other in this area, and I decided I was going to work for Georg one day. I like his business model and I really like giving back to the planet.”
Matthew started with Blue Planet in October 2017 and appreciates the flexibility his new boss offers compared to other companies he’s worked for. “Georg has an open-door policy,” Matthew says. “I can bounce ideas off him; I feel like I have more control over each situation. They’re giving me better hours, and it feels like a family here.”
He says he treats other people’s homes like they’re his own. He’s proud of his work and proud to call the mountains of Western North Carolina home. He spends as much time outdoors that he can, hiking and fishing with his family.
Charles Mitchell Dalton, Jr.
Preferring to go by his middle name, Mitchell says he was excited to join the Blue Planet Plumbing team in October 2017. He believes that he’s finally found a place where he can settle down with friends he knows and trusts.
One of those increasingly rare Asheville natives, Mitchell knew fellow Ashevillian and Blue Planet owner Georg Efird growing up in West Asheville. “We’ve known each other since we were teenagers,” Mitchell says. “Hanging out with a lot of the same people; I watched Georg open his business and really become successful.”
Mitchell has been plumbing for about 12 years — after spending most of his working life as a certified auto mechanic. Though he was very good at it, the pressure of the constant, tedious brain energy required to get it right wore on Mitchell. He welcomed the change into plumbing, which he finds more physically demanding.
I always need to do my very best at a job. I was always worried about every transmission working just right. Now, I really like the installation and design work involved with plumbing.”
And he likes the fair hours and living wages that Georg offers. After learning on the job from various other friends in the plumbing industry, Mitchell is now ready to work toward getting his plumbing license. He enjoys the ecological focus of the company, too.
Mitchell’s family is just about all grown now. He still loves to work on cars and ride motorcycles. He’s got a drag car and races it. He says he can’t believe how much Asheville has grown, but thinks that it’s pretty cool because there’s “so much to do all the time.”