That is a very good question…
It’s been 6-7 months since I last updated this so-called “blog” with musings re: landscape, design, and the like. Frankly I’ve been busy, OK?
So what is the latest?
Earlier this year, towards the end of February we were gearing up for the 2011 Spring Home and Garden Show. For those of you who have attended the show in the past, you know its San Diego’s premier display of landscape design and construction. It’s held each year during the first week of March at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. We have found that it is as good a place as any to advertise what we can do. We take it very seriously and plan several months ahead… sometimes planning for the next show begins right after the last show ends. To digress, we were about a week away from the first day of Construction and my Sub-Contractor asked to meet. At the meeting, instead of discussing the details of the display, they left me in the lurch and decided that the show – and my business – was not worth their time. It was really tough to take at the time. How was I going to get the show done and the jobs we had going? Unfortunately they have continued to cause issues, but to all of this I have tried to shrug my shoulders and say “Oh well, what can you do.” We have continued to stay busy and keep our heads down, not sinking ourselves to their level. It’s all a shame, because together we worked on some really nice projects. When you work that close for that many years you become like family, so beyond all the business stuff, I’m most upset about losing what felt like part of the family. I wish them luck, sincerely.
OK, with that out of my system we can move on to BIGGER and better things.
What else… well we’ve had a bit of press, which has been nice. Riviera magazine had a nice article featuring myself and a few other local landscape professionals. It came out a couple months back (see the press section on the main website). It’s funny because as soon as the article came out I got a call from Luxe magazine and I’ll be profiled in their Fall San Diego issue. I guess these things come in waves… well keep em coming! Additionally our episode of “Bang for Your Buck” aired back in July and we received a really nice response. It was so much fun shooting the show with the whole crew (especially Jamie Durie and Lauren Sparks) and learning more about the TV -making process. Bret and I are flattered by the attention and inspired to keep doing what we love
Projects have been steady, but along with the steady stream of work has been a steady stream of frustration. Let me explain.
In the past 6-10 months we have submitted more bids, went on more consultations, and spent more time on the phone than any other time that I can remember. People are having the hardest time making a decision and while, yes, it is part of the business to give of your time to help them navigate the bidding process, it has been mostly an exhausting exercise. Recently we even had a client call one week before work was to start to cancel. The insult to injury was that I was on vacation (the client knew this) and they had already given us a deposit. They asked for the deposit back and even admitted that it would probably cost the same but require more of their time and supervision. This… is… frustrating.
Don’t worry, this will not be a format for my rantings… I just wanted to share some personal stories and see if others are experiencing the same thing. At least I would like for those who know they are going to end up hiring whoever gives them the lowest number to please let us know at the first meeting… thats fair right?
Am I by myself here? Are any of you other designer’s/Architects/Interior folks dealing with this? Let me say that on whole I LOVE my clients. We have a blast and there is a mutual respect and measure of trust that is established early on in the relationship. Just lately, there’s something in the water… I guess.
We recently had the opportunity to move into an office space in Solana Beach on the 101. Now let me preface this by saying that it would be fantastic to have a presence on the 101, and the Solana Beach Corridor is my #1 top pick. Much to my dismay and disappointment, now just wasn’t the right time. Stay tuned though, because soon we will find the right space/lease and possibly the design shop; Falling Waters: Landscape Design + Gifts will be realized. (thats a working title)
In May I finished an irrigation class at Mira Costa in Oceanside, and this semester I’m taking an Architecture class. Education has and will always be very important to me. I have my education goals and I’m working slowly but surely towards them. Overall the past 6 months have included a lot of growth for the company and we’re excited about the projects we’re working on and the prospects of whats to come. The maintenance division is continuing to grow and we are especially excited about a new project that will be starting in 2 weeks… we get to team up with our favorite local Landscape Architect, Todd Pitman again and work on a fabulous Mid-Century on Mt. Helix. More pictures and info to come.
I think that is all for now. We’ll have more photos to upload to the blog and website soon. Check out the Facebook page for more up-to-date information.