Living Roofs, Inc.

American Made Since 2006

Emilio Ancaya & Kate Blatt Ancaya

Asheville, North Carolina
A designer and an ecologist collide to spread living roofs throughout the Southeast - transforming rooftops into living + productive landscapes.

Tell us about your business.

Plants. It all began with a love of plants. Kate grew up on a colonial-era farm in PA, and Emilio spent his childhood exploring FL + traveling around his father's Peruvian homeland. They became one another’s champions as Emilio gained a M.S. in Biology while Kate received a MLA. They worked in their respective fields until determining the Southeast needed to embrace the benefits of living roofs. They acted on their desire to see more plants in Americans’ lives and in 2006, they formed Living Roofs, Inc. the first company in NC specializing in green roofs, accepting the challenge of designing and creating in the southeastern climate. Soon their projects grew in size and diversity. Now, as they invigorate urban landscapes their living roofs deliver economic, aesthetic, and environmental benefits. They design + build small sheds, large-scale public installations, and everything in between, and have watched as each one transforms landscapes and the people in them.

What makes your business stand out?

We share a marriage and family, and our business. That makes this a fulfilling life of work we experience together each day, always with a shared desire to see important change happen. As a small and dedicated group, our work requires us to function in many capacities, from consulting with clients to envisioning solutions, to creating designs that we install and nurture. We care about the communities in which we work and the people with whom we work, always striving to provide the right approach that ensures the finest results. We take care of our employees and contractors, and treat our vendors fairly. In the end, we want everyone to have a living roof for shelter, beauty and sustainability. We even created a set of plan books to put good information into the hands of anyone who shares our vision. For us, the bottom-line is not about money made but dedication paid forward to have a positive impact in our community and the communities in which we work.

What's the best business advice you've received?

Listen to those we work for and take care of those who work for us and with us. Be honest and straightforward. Work hard, but always make time for our life together and our family.

Comments (0)


Mark Your Calendar

    Aug. 31, 2015

    Final day for entering the Audience Choice Award competition.

    Oct. 19, 2015

    Final day to cast your vote for your favorite makers.

    Oct. 23, 2015

    2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
    Nov. 7, 2015

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets are available now.

    Discover the American Made Summit

More Finalists

  • 2015 Audience Choice Winner

    Baiser Beauty

    Erika Arguello & Claudia Llamosa & Maria Copello
    Baiser Beauty is a natural luxury skin care and beauty line handcrafted in Miami Beach with 100% certified organic ingredients.
    Style, Beauty
  • 2015 Food Finalist

    Dave's Sweet Tooth

    Andrew Chmielewski
    Dave's Sweet Tooth is purveyor of a variety of almond toffee products that are and always will be Hand Made. Homemade. Michigan Made.
    Food, Sweets & Baked Goods
  • 2015 Crafts Finalist

    Brent Pafford Ceramics

    Brenton Pafford
    Objects I create are reminiscent of items passed to me that I cherish and value: I create contemporary heirlooms, counterpointing disposability.
    Crafts, Ceramics, Pottery & Glass
  • 2015 Crafts Finalist

    Nick Moen Studios

    Nick Moen
    I design pots for sharing drinks, flowers, and candlelight. I design to start conversation and set a stage for empathy - to encourage stories.
    Crafts, Ceramics, Pottery & Glass