Local Landscapers

 

Consumed with curiosity about how something as small as an acorn could grow into a colossal oak tree, Chaz Smith attended  a local community college to obtain a degree in horticulture. While at school, he also worked for Ultra Touch Landscaping  and built sea- walls along the shores of Lake Anna. This helped to fuel his interest in – and love for – all growing things.

While approaching  the completion of his horticultural degree  at J. Sargent Reynolds Community College, Chaz signed up for a few business classes. This opened up an en- tirely new avenue of interest, and that’s when it hit him; he wanted to start his own land- scaping business.

A lawn that Local Landscapers proudly maintains in Bumpass.

In 2012, Chaz purchased his first work truck. It was an older model Ford and cer- tainly not in its prime. He then learned that as long as he was still in school he could take out a student loan, even with a non-ac- ademic purpose in mind. So, he did just that.

With this loan he purchased the first of his own landscaping equipment, initially a mower and then a trailer. Thus, Local Landscapers was born, and that first year paid off very well. With a little advertising,  a lot of determination, and the reinvestment of every dollar he made being put back into his business, he paid off his student loan that very same year.

In 2015,  Local Landscapers  purchased Little River Lawn Service  from Bill Dunham, who has since retired to Florida.

This lawn off of Kentucky Springs Road has been cared for by Local Landscapers for the past three years.

“It was about spotting an opportunity and jumping on it,” Chaz recalled. “It was crazy; I purchased it the week before the mowing season started and had to learn these all- new properties very quickly. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I have made.”

At this point Local Landscapers  added an important new service to their list. Chaz pur- chased a large sprayer so his business could offer better weed and feed services.

“We were getting a lot of calls about that, and I wasn’t getting the results I wanted from all granular  applications   in  the  previous years,” Chaz explained. “So, we subcon- tracted it out with even worse results. Since then it’s been  a learning experience,  but I am very impressed  with the improvements we’ve seen so far.”

Recently,  Local Landscapers  has purchased a mini-excavator. When the company started to offer hardscaping  in 2016, they had to rent the machines in order to dig out their patio and wall projects. If a machine was unavailable when they needed it, the work was done by hand.

In the end, it was cheaper and far easier to  just buy the  equipment  outright.  These hardscaping  and excavation  projects are run  by a crew of two:  Cody Davis and Shawn Stevens.

“Cody and I grew up together,” said Chaz. “He is our man for these excavation and hardscaping  projects;  his attention to detail  is outstanding. Shawn  – a military veteran and father of two – brings a remark- ably cheerful  and positive  attitude to the work.  Put these two on a project together and your cheeks will be hurting from all of the smiling and laughter.”

Our mowing crew leaders are Collin Kronander and Jonathan Evans. Collin has been mowing  with Local Landscapers  since July

2016, and he plans to become a Louisa County police officer. Jonathan just started with the company  at the start of the 2017  season.

“These guys know how to get the work done and aren’t afraid to work long days to ensure that everything is completed before the weekend,” Chaz emphasized.

Local Landscapers owner Chaz Smith (on left) and Zeph Fankart, an employee who helps during the summer, enjoy some well-deserved rest.

Local Landscapers has moved and is now based  right beside Mill Run on Kentucky Springs Rd in Mineral,  Virg. They can get bulk deliveries of mulch and rock for local projects and also have a large compost pile from all of the leaves that were collected in 2016.

Since the beginning, Local Landscapers has grown at an impressive rate. In the less than five years since paying off his first loan, Chaz Smith has taken his idea that started with  just  himself  and one old truck  and turned  it into a highly successful business. And the numbers don’t lie: Local Landscapers has doubled  its revenue every year since its beginning.