Photo courtesy of clarence davids & Company

My father was in business and he mentored me and actually took me to some appointments, business appointments, and actually did some work at family and friends’ and that’s how I got interested.

I learned about landscaping. I learned about being outdoors, hard work, long hours at times, but (also) the enjoyment of improving property, improving spaces and beautifying the world. He was always very positive, always took the high road approach and always wanted to do his best. We never wanted to do it poorly. We always wanted to do it very well and be a leader in the industry and be as professional as we possibly could.

We are a full-service landscape company. We have landscape designers and registered architects on staff where we do design/build work and then we have construction crews that install it and then maintenance crews to maintain it.

One of the biggest keys for design/build is to get the right designer and the right architect, and then you need creative foremen that are willing to do whatever it takes to get a really good product. It’s not just routine work. Sometimes it’s really strange things that you have to do – different materials or different subs – in order to put the whole project together.

Just as an example, we did our first installation with artificial turf. It’s basically a roof top dog park that we designed and we installed.

We’re dealing with dog toys. The architect did research on dog toys, dog turf. It’s a special material that’s made just for the dogs, and then we did the landscaping also and put it right in the artificial turf. Then we’re doing the fencing and some concrete work with some different subcontractors. So it’s just a lot of management, a lot of flexibility and timing and scheduling, and putting something like that all together and getting a project manager that can handle that, and get that project built correctly and the client happy.

I had a potential client email that they wanted to see our references, and so I sent it and then they emailed back that they wanted to see how long we’ve had them, since what year. I put that together and it was probably half a dozen clients that we had for over 10 even sometimes 15 years. There were two clients on that list that I put on there that we had lost and we got them back in this year, and we still have them.

One of our biggest compliments this fall was every year we have to re-bid these apartment complexes that one of the account reps has been dealing with. Those separate apartments got together and said, “Hey, we still want Davids. What do we have to do to go directly with them because we don’t want anybody else but them?”

That was a very nice compliment that they realized price is not better, and they went that route before where price was the deal, and they appreciated the work that we did and wanted that service to continue. We shared that and we celebrated that.

That’s huge because sometimes you feel like all they care about is the money. But they do care about what we do, but they do have budgets and sometimes those budgets are tightened and it’s beyond their control on what they can do and can’t do.