DECEMBER 2015 Tradie of the Month
Our December Tradie of the Month is Paul Naylor from Garden Transformations.
Chatting with Paul
How long have you been in this industry?
I have been in the industry for 20 years and Garden Transformations turned 10 last year.
What got you into this industry?
All through high school I studied horticulture and when I left school I did a course called pathways to landscaping.
I started my career in the building industry but after 4 years became a bit disillusioned with where I was going. I went to London for my OE and took up a job gardening. I really enjoyed the job and the people I worked with. After a period of time my boss realised I had some building skills and got me to undertake some landscaping jobs. I got a lot of satisfaction and confidence from this work.
On my return to NZ I became the caretaker for a college of natural therapies. In this position I was able to look after the maintenance of a number of properties and start to undertake a number of landscaping projects to improve the look and help with the ease of maintenance.
I then worked for a small landscaping company where I continued to develop my skills and gain confidence. When I felt that it was time to go out on my own the decision was made and there was no looking back.
What is the most satisfying part you find in the whole process?
Seeing the finished result is always satisfying and seeing a garden develop over time.
How do you start the process/concept and planning with your customer?
It usually starts with a meeting to see what they want and then a plan is developed over time. We sometimes work with designers or plans that the customers have had drawn up. It’s always good if the customer has a bit of an idea of what they want.
How does the ongoing process work?
Once a plan is in place we do a price and then plan a start date. Once a deposit is made we start the work and depending on the nature of the job we work through to completion.
Are you able to do the smaller jobs as well as the bigger jobs particularly with people now living with smaller garden and spaces and have busier lifestyles?
We do jobs of all sizes. But best to get in early before spring if you need work completed before Christmas as it seems to be getting increasingly busy in the later months of the year.
For younger people wanting to get into this industry, what would be your advice?
Have a passion and interest in the industry as there’s a lot to learn. Be prepared to work hard as a lot of the work is manual.
So in a few words can you sum up what your business can offer customers?
We like to cover as much as we can to provide an all encompassing finish. I’ve found that we might not be the cheapest in the different aspects we cover but we always try to keep the end result in mind. You end up with a better result than getting different contractors to complete different parts of the job.
Why do you buy your Landscaping products from NZLS?
They have an extensive list of products that we use. They have friendly and helpful staff who help you get in and out as quickly as possible which is important when time is money. I have seen NZLS grow from one yard to the Auckland wide cover it has now which is helpful as most places we work there’s a yard not to far away.