Today we’d like to introduce you to Jim Douthit.
Jim, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in Hawaii and decided to move to Boston in my 20’s. I started a summer job as a gardener and fell in love with it. In the off-season I worked at restaurants and met my good friend Heather. We paired up to start a gardening company and complemented each other well – I focus on designing and she has amazing attention to detail. For the first seven years our business grew by word of mouth only. Over that time, I grew more interested in the trade, learning everything about it and trying new ideas. We worked really hard and enjoyed taking care of our clients’ gardens.
A big turning point was the Junior League Show House. We installed and maintained gardens at the house allowing us to make connections with others in the industry and meet high-end clients. Around this time, we also found some great people to add to our team and began marketing with a direct mail piece in the spring season, getting our name out even more.
As we kept building beautiful, creative projects and focusing on quality, we learned the hard way that the business aspect of our business is important too! Our accountant told us that we needed to raise our rates or we would go out of business. While it made us extremely uncomfortable, we raised our rates and somehow did not lose one client. After some time we hired an outside business consultant who made some additional great suggestions that we followed. We try to be open to growth and change as much as possible.
The biggest key to success was hiring really great people that liked each other and wanted to be together. We are like family. We are also so grateful for our clients; we’ve seen many of their kids grow up and, of course, enjoy watching their gardens mature over time.
Has it been a smooth road?
Yes and no. I know it might be hard to believe but we enjoyed the plants and creativity part of our work so much, we didn’t realize we were a business until 10 years in. Around 2007\2008 we realized we had to get serious. We rode out this challenging time when many businesses were closing with a lot of hard work, managing to keep everyone on staff and not losing many clients. We felt lucky. A big part of our strategy was providing more services to clients we already had. Within a few years we started doing masonry and irrigation in-house and added mowing and plowing teams to our maintenance division.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with a Blade of Grass – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are fortunate to have received awards over the years for our creative approach to landscaping, but above all, creating cool spaces for really nice clients and working with a great team is what I’m most proud of. I’m humbled to think that a blade of grass is a landscape design, installation and maintenance company that’s been in business for 24 years. We really care about our clients and want to provide them with more connection to the outdoors through our projects. I could not have made it this far without my amazing team.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Best would be the location, a beautiful city that’s in driving distance to Vermont Mountains, Maine, the Cape, and NY City.
Least would be the traffic and living so far away from my family.
- Address: 9 Old County Road
Sudbury, MA 01776
- Website: https://abladeofgrass.com
- Phone: 508-358-4500
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: abladeofgrass_llc
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abladeofgrassllc/
All taken by a Blade of Grass