Describe your business. Did you find it, or did it find you?
Custom Plantings is a gardening service that specializes in small landscape makeovers, planters and seasonal flowerbeds. I love flowers, so I focus on adding color to the landscape with different hued foliage, in addition to flowers.
What was your first job, and what did you learn from the experience?
I worked at Sizzler when I was 16. My mom made it clear that working would be a part of my life forever, so I thought I should find something I love to do and do it. At age 17, I worked at my first nursery and fell in love with plants…and have been working in the field ever since.
How are you involved with both the community and your customer?
I have had most of my customers for many years. I end up working for their daughters, brothers, sisters and/or mothers. I feel like part of the family with my clients. I donated all of the trees for the local dog park in Folsom, and I helped them to get all of the plants at below wholesale pricing. My name is on a little plaque there. I love my dogs!
What’s your biggest job perk?
I love to do landscape makeovers. We can make over most landscapes in just one day. It is so fun to take a landscape from ugly to awesome. I often get calls from clients a few months after we have completed their landscape to tell me how much they love our work. When we return to the landscape, many neighbors tell me how much they love to see it everyday when they walk their dogs. That is truly the best thing about this job – transformation.
And finally, customer service is…?
I believe in calling my customers back within one hour of them calling me and showing up when you say you are going to show up, as well as doing what you say you’ll do when you say you’re going to do it. I do not believe in excuses. I do not like waiting days for someone to call me back, so I always call people back right away to make them feel that their business is important to me. I believe in doing the right thing by your customer. It is showing up to fix anything, free of charge, that is wrong, like replacing a plant that did not make it. I get many clients by referral, or neighbors liking the way another neighbor’s landscape looks. To stay in business, good customer service is a must. You have to put your customer first; after all, they are the ones who keep you in business.