About Blue Planet Plumbing, LLC
Georg Efird loved the way he could make people so happy when he solved their plumbing problems. 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 all of Buncombe County, including the greater Asheville area. 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.”
Corey seems to have been born a plumber. He started working as a plumber’s helper part-time in high school and has never done anything else. Now a licensed plumber, Corey also is part of the Blue Planet Plumbing family in more ways than one — Patrick is married to Corey’s sister.
Corey has no intention of doing anything other than plumbing. Like Georg, his boss, he likens their work to being heroes. “People only call when something goes wrong,” he says.
I enjoy being the plumber to the rescue and solving the problems. I can actually brighten peoples’ day by doing what I do.”
He met Georg through the local plumbing community. After working for a number of different plumbers, Corey said Georg is the best boss he’s ever had. “If he tells you he’s going to do something, he does it. And he’ll jump in and work with you with no hesitation. You’ll see him in the crawl spaces beside you, and he’ll drive a shovel any time of day or night.”
Corey shares Blue Planet Plumbing’s vision and core values as he continues to receive education about green plumbing philosophy and technology. He’s grateful that he’s learning all about the options he can offer customers and strives to stay up-to-date every week. He’s the type of plumber who wants to know everything about everything.
He and his wife just bought a house in Marion because even though he grew up in Asheville, he prefers the quiet of a small town. He says Marion is how Asheville was 15 years ago, and he’d just as soon play in the river behind his house, do yard work and spend quiet evening with his high school sweetheart.
Customer Service Rep/Plumbing Technician
Georg’s son Patrick started working with his father in 2014 with no plumbing experience. And in the beginning of 2016, the young father is poised to take the exams that give him the license he needs to work as a full-time plumber. Typically, an Asheville plumber trains in the field before studying the business side of the trade. But Patrick learned both sides of the business at the same time as he went through his dad’s on-the-job advanced training program.
After graduating high school, Patrick worked in the grocery store business and found that he had a knack for customer service. He tried college and thought of joining the military, but in the end, the challenges he saw his father conquer intrigued him most of all.
“The best part of this business for me is the problem-solving aspects,” Patrick says.
I like to find the problem and then solve it, like a puzzle. And I get to see the results of my work.”
He enjoys working in a small company where he trusts his team. He knows that if he makes a mistake — which is “how we learn” — they’ll be there to back him up and make it right. While he learns the various aspects of environmentally sound plumbing practices, he’s excited about innovative technologies too. Patrick is constantly evolving as a plumber and as an environmentalist, so he appreciates being provided a strong foundation in green plumbing.
Patrick is a family man, holding down a second job to support his wife and two-year-old son. His little boy means everything to him, so he spends all his free time “hanging out and watching him grow.”
Customer Service Rep
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, problem-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.”