Believe it or not, B. Jane and I worked together waiting tables while I was in college. We also cleaned houses together (she had started a cleaning business on the side).
Years, later we caught up at a reunion, and low and behold we both had started our own home-based businesses.
Today, B. Jane no longer cleans houses, she owns a full-service landscape design business here in Austin, Texas, called B Jane Gardens. Read on to find out how B. Jane's landscape design business got started.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.
I studied Landscape Architecture at North Carolina State University’s School Of Design as well as Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture at the School of Art at the University of Georgia and The Cooper Union in NYC.
How did you fund your business?
I built my business slowly with what I could afford as I could afford it. I've waited tables, cleaned houses, and took odd jobs to fill in the gaps as I grew my client base and reputation.
How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent in your home office?
Landscape design + build is typically a seasonal industry with spring being beyond busy, fall a bit hectic, and summer and winter a little more mellow. With that said, I’ve been consistently working 70 hour weeks for quite some time now. I’d say half that time is spent in the studio and half is out in the field.
How would you rate your success?
I rate success by the overall satisfaction I get from my business. And that is incredibly high.
What has been your biggest business struggle as a landscape designer?
Not having several clones. Seriously.
What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
Remember the value of customer service. Managing client expectations well is critical. Also, depending on the business, you may need to make it your life for a while, so you really have a passion for what you’re doing.
How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?
I do my best to prioritize and when I start to feel overwhelmed, I just take one thing at a time. Making a prioritized list that I can work from helps tremendously.
Thanks to B. Jane for sharing her story!
If you're interested in testing the landscape design waters, check out this informative interview with Chloe Philip where she talks about going back to night school and taking on part-time gardening gigs. This article also details how one would realistically transition into the role of the landscape designer.
What questions do you have about landscape design? Drop us a note; we'd love to hear from you!
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