As the wife of a former president/vice-president of a Fortune 500 Division company, Ann Moore says she and her husband Jack spent a lot of time traveling, moving around, and even living in another country. And while that was all incredibly exciting, there came a time when the couple wanted to put down roots and own their own business.
As they both tired of the corporate world, they decided to move to the Dallas area—where they had family and were always ultimately returning. It was in this market that the Moore’s began searching for a business they could call their own.
“We went back and forth on franchises, starting a business from scratch, or buying an existing business,” Ann recalls. “We knew we wanted to be in the service industry but had several different fields we were considering.”
After an exhaustive search, the Moore’s ultimately acquired Grassperson Lawn Care & Landscape in Lewisville, Texas in 2017. Ann’s floral design background and Jack’s previous experience in running a company made it a perfect fit.
NALP recently caught up with Ann to find out more about being a woman in landscaping and what avenues she relies on to get the latest industry information.
What is your proudest moment in business?
I have been proud of our continuous work on educating ourselves and improving ourselves. It’s been rewarding seeing the difference it makes with customers.
We also just started working with a nonprofit organization called Greencare for Troops that helps honor our troops, who don’t always have the ability to keep up with their properties. We just did our first one and it was so rewarding. She came home and started crying. All we did was mow and trim and clean up the property, but she was just so grateful and sent us a heart-warming email that meant so much to us.
Also, I am so proud of our employees, many of whom have been here since the company started. It was definitely a big change when we bought the company, but they gave us a chance. We made it clear from the start that we were here to learn from them. And over time, we’ve become a family.
What is your biggest challenge in business?
As with any service industry, it’s the labor. It’s not just finding someone who can service a property but finding someone who will take the time to do it the right way—and be proud of their work and respectful. Those are the types of people we hire—but they’re not always easy to find. To address this, we are constantly hiring. We never stop looking, and we follow up with every applicant that we get. We also use the H-2B visa program and are extremely grateful to our returning crews, but we always recognize we’re going to need ongoing efforts, too.
What motivates you on a Monday morning?
We are always on alert of our emails and our website, so there’s never really a break. We get a lot of customer responses over the weekend and we respond to as many as we can. On Monday, we are working on anything we couldn’t get to over the weekend. Monday morning is always exciting. And at this time of year that we’re in, it’s just getting busier and busier—so it’s not just Mondays but every morning.
Who is your business mentor or idol?
Jack and I both come from families of hard workers. His dad was president of several banks back in the day in Texas and his mother was an educational instructor. My dad was a traveling salesman and my mom was fortunate enough to be able to stay home and raise children. With two parents who both worked hard, that’s how we were brought up. When you take on a job, you do the best that you can—that’s just something that was instilled in us.
How do you keep up with the latest information?
I’m always intrigued with the new products that come out every year either from nurseries we do business with or the magazines we get, including NALP’s magazine, The Landscape Professional. Staying up with the latest information is so important. We are also working on our own newsletter right now in order to give our clients a way to keep up with the latest content, too.
What does it mean to you to be a woman in landscaping?
I’ve been in corporate offices where there are more women than there are men, but, in this industry, you just don’t find that very often. Women in the landscape industry deserve of respect—but like anywhere else, you have to earn it. I’ve even found that with our customers. You must prove yourself. But once you do, they value you. Having the knowledge, the know-how, and getting out and doing hard work shows it doesn’t have to just be a male environment. Of course, we have some clients who have expressed that they prefer working with a woman—sometimes it’s just for the different perspective that we bring to the table.
What does it mean to you to be an NALP member?
NALP has an enormous range of people to contact for different reasons—and those resources have been so helpful to us as newcomers to the industry. We have found The Landscape Professional to be a valuable place where you can go for so much information. It’s everything that you need all in one place. Also, the people who belong to the NALP are so incredibly helpful. They’re always welcoming newcomers. Jack has gone to several businesses to see how they work and witness their processes and that’s been extremely beneficial. Now, we’re doing the same. We just opened our doors to a person interested in going into this industry who wanted to see how our business is run. That’s just how it’s done in this industry. Everyone’s willing to help one another out.
In five years, where do you see yourself and the business?
I’m almost 65, and I have a lot of things I still want to do. I’m very creative. I love artwork. I love flower designing and I still want to do that. So, for me, I really love working with customers—and I don’t want to give that part up. But as far as the manual labor goes, I will likely start to tweak that so I can spend time doing the things I love doing. I am also recently starting to have grandchildren in my life and spending more time with them is important to me.