Garth Hystad is passionate about the outdoors—and crafting true outdoor living spaces. His Colorado Springs deck and landscaping firm Mosaic Outdoor Living and Colorado Custom Decks has been going strong for more than 30 years, and he also stars in the DIY Network show Mega Decks.
Unlike many cyclists, hikers or campers who are in love with “outdoor doing,” Hystad carries a deep-seated love for true “outdoor living” that stems from a deeply personal place.
“I was a foster child and ward of the state of Washington,” Hystad says. “And in one of my foster homes, I got locked in a room for a year and a half. I was starved, and it gave me such an appreciation to be free. Where did I want to go? Outdoors.”
His business has not only been a catalyst to share this appreciation, but also to support youth who are currently a part of the foster system. Hystad says that Mosaic contributes 50 percent of the proceeds from Mega Decks to Beautiful Redemption, a local nonprofit that works to bring awareness to Colorado children needing foster homes and adoptive parents.
“Beautiful Redemption is making such an impact for foster care children in getting them homes,” Hystad says. “When you look at these kids, yeah, their parents might be drug addicts; yeah, they might have been abused, abandoned and chained up, and locked in a room and scared. Trust me, I know it all—it’s real. But the broken things of life are the most beautiful when they’ve been put back together. And so through all of this, God took my life and he took all this brokenness and turned it into beauty.”
That experience translates right back into Hystad’s day-to-day work.
“I know that people looked at me on the outside, and I probably didn’t look that good,” he says. “But when I look at a project now, I don’t see the outside. I don’t see what it is. I see what it could become.”
Hystad’s story, and the Mega Decks show, which is filming season four, has struck a chord. He says that as a result of the DIY Network series, he is working with a Hollywood producer, exploring a book series, a feature film and a potential new TV series based on his life.
He says he hopes his efforts will encourage other businesses to work for greater purposes, especially to help children in foster care. And he has high hopes for those kids.
“My greatest hope is they go from being viewed as trash, as something that’s thrown away, to something valuable and what they can become. I hope people would realize that by giving them a forever home, they’re helping the future leaders of our world. And I hope the kids would find those forever homes and have one place to go for Christmas and Thanksgiving—that they can have a family. By them finding a family, that helps so many other people—future generations and their families. When you help these kids, you help the world.”
See more of Garth’s decks and outdoor living spaces in “Take It Outside” in our Summer 2017 issue and at coloradodecks.com