Pawprint Chats is a series where we chat with our friends, clients, and peers in our local Colorado community. It’s a chance to check in and see how everyone’s doing, in business and in life.
Today we’re talking to Jessi Burg, founder and owner of Pears to Perennials. Like YellowDog, Pears to Perennials is local, woman-owned, and dog-friendly. We’re in good company.
YellowDog: Hello! Give us the “elevator pitch” version of what your business does.
Jessi Burg: Pears to Perennials is a sustainable landscaping company operating in Denver, CO. We offer full-service garden design, installation, and maintenance, as well as irrigation and tree care. Our focus is on making sure that our designs look good at planting, as well as educating and working with our clients for the long term, so their gardens look even better five to ten years after planting.
YD: What has been your biggest win in the past year?
JB: Moving Pears to Perennials out of my garage into a local warehouse, so we can continue to grow as a business.
YD: This past year has been a learning experience for everyone. Anything you’ve learned about your business during a pandemic?
JB: Unlike a lot of industries, landscaping had a huge upsurge in clients during 2020. So for me, I spent a lot of time thinking about how to grow this business sustainably, as well as what each person’s role needs to be. I learned a ton about efficiency and communication last year, and this year I was able to bring on a dedicated sales person and a dedicated scheduling person. Having clear systems and more specialized roles has already made this spring so much easier.
YD: What has been one of your proudest moments as a local business owner?
JB: In the five years I’ve owned a business, Pears to Perennials has had near-zero staff turnover, something unheard of in seasonal industries. Creating a hiring system that lets me hire the right people, and encouraging good communication between staff and management means that I’ve only had to replace someone mid-season once, and I can start my season each year with returning staff while we expand.
In 2021, I have four administrative/supervisory staff, all returning, and two out of my four seasonal employees from last year are coming back. We’re expanding this year, so I’m hoping to hire another six full-time seasonal employees.
YD: If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about your business, what would it be?
JB: I’d like my business to be in someone’s technology demographic. We struggle so hard with finding software that works for our business. For example, since we do both recurring jobs and one-time jobs, and they’re on-site all over the metro area, we have yet to find a scheduling solution that really fits our needs.
YD: Describe your brand in three words.
JB: Conscientious, compassionate, curious.
YD: Love it! Now for some rapid-fire questions:
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Early bird or night owl?
Favorite local beer?
Psycho Penguin Vanilla Porter, Odyssey Beerwerks.
What’s your best party trick?
I can touch my tongue to the tip of my nose – it’s a big hit with the under-six crowd.
What show are you currently binging?
Just finished Wandavision.
Any book you’re currently reading?
This Place: 150 Years Retold. It’s an anthology of indigenous stories told in graphic novel form about their experiences with maintaining culture in the face of colonialism
What do you miss the most about pre-pandemic life?
Talking to the bartender at my local haunts.
YD: Thanks, Jessi. It has been so amazing to watch you grow a Denver woman-owned business with so much vitality and spirit. We’re cheering for you!
We’re always looking for business peers to feature in this series. Get in touch to find out more!
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