My story in landscaping started when I was 8. I, like many other young men at that age wanted a dirt bike. Just a little Honda 50cc. My Dad made me a deal. He would pay for half of it if I got a job and saved enough money to pay for the other half. Of course, being 8, I wasn’t legally employable but I didn’t let that stop me. My Dad encouraged me to do chores around the house and ask the neighbors if I could do odd jobs like washing cars, cleaning windows, mowing lawns, etc. I even did a stump removal once.
It wasn’t a lot of money and to be fair, I think a good portion of my neighbors just accepted out of the goodness of their hearts rather than having a real need. Pulling weeds and shoveling dirt was hard work, especially considering I was only asking for $5 here and $10 there. But I worked all through that Summer and within a couple months, I had enough money to take my Father up on his offer.
In Junior High, I started a gardening route, just mowing lawns, edging the grass near sidewalks, and blowing grass off of driveways. I managed to build up a route of a dozen or so neighbors that hired me on a weekly basis to maintain their front lawns.
In college, I decided to attend Brigham Young University and study business with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. After having a taste of the entrepreneurial lifestyle, I knew I was hooked and that’s what I wanted to do long term. I was lucky enough to study abroad for a semester in Spain and then from 1999-2001, I was a part of a mission where I spent 2 years in Russia.
Drumming up business in college wasn’t much different than in high school. I would just go knock on their door and say, “Hey! I’m trying to earn some money for school, is there anything you need done around your home?” Pretty quickly I started zeroing in on cleaning windows. I started getting a ton of work and decided to hire my brothers as I needed help getting all the work done. It was a win/win for everyone and then I met this amazing woman named Jen.
She was going to UCSB and I was going to school in Utah while running Clearview in SB. Between her and all the work I had waiting for me, I had all the motivation I needed to come back on the weekends. It even worked out that I was able to write off the miles every time I came to town! We eventually got married in 2005 and it’s been the most amazing time of my life ever since.
By the time I got out of college, I had all my brothers working with me, several of our friends, and it just made sense to me to stick with this instead of trying to find a job. In just a few years time between all of us, we cleaned thousands of windows, painted hundreds of homes, and pressure-washed dozens of Saltillo tile roofs…among other random odd jobs.
In the mid 2000’s, we saw another opportunity hanging holiday lighting and founded Santa Barbara Holiday Lights. The intent was two fold: expand our service offering to the same Clients who hired us for window cleaning and painting and also keep our team busy during the “slow” season. Shortly thereafter we began fielding requests for larger landscape projects and responded with a full yard transformation service. Some of our first big landscape projects came to us through Clients who had grown to love our team cleaning their windows, hanging their holiday lights, and painting their homes. And the best part, offering this more in-depth service gave me a chance to flex a muscle I had not used before: being a creator and creating things. This sparked a new passion which has carried me and the rest of our company to present day.
In 2012, Jen and I had twins and what a year that was. We had so much going on between work and the business, it was one big blur. But my family is what makes it all worth it. We now have 3 girls, and we do so much together. We explore the outdoors often by going camping on Pismo Beach, we vacation at Lake Powell and go wakeboarding. We ATV, we go skiing, boogie boarding, mountain biking. Anything with the outdoors, we’ve done it all together.
This business has given me the ability to support two families. Of course, Jen and the kids but also that of my team. Many of my guys have been with me for 5+ years, they work their butts off, are paid well, and treated right with paid days off to properly balance their lives outside of work with their families. The result is a committed team that’s loyal and dedicated to building the perfect outdoor living space for you and your family. At the end of the day, that’s what we are all about. Family.