Profile in Excellence: Flores Artscape (Landscaping Company)
Flores Artscape is one of the preeminent landscaping services in Los Angeles. The company was established in 2004 by Rumaldo and Miriam Flores in Glendale, California and has since grown to become one of the most decorated firms in its industry, accruing enough accolades to match its prolific output. I recently had the opportunity to ask Jessie Flores, who handles the company’s marketing and graphic design, some questions about Flores Artscape’s history, body of work, and plans for the future.
Q: After looking over your portfolio, I can say definitively that “Artscape” is a fitting description of what you do. You really reconcile artistry and forward-thinking design with practicality. Does anyone at your company have a background in any other artistic discipline? Like, did anyone involved in your operation plan on pursuing another type of design before choosing landscaping?
A: One of our four consultants is also a fashion and home decor designer. Over the years, we have also had the privilege to work with two outstanding artists who went on to start their own design companies in other areas. We also encourage our other landscape designers to continuously improve their knowledge of the craft and exercise creative freedom!
Q: The founders of your company, Rumaldo, and Miriam Flores, had backgrounds in gardening and landscaping before founding the company. Considering the quality of their work, I assume that they must have been in the industry for a long time. How long had they been in the business, and what drove them to found their own company?
A: Rumaldo Flores has been a gardener and landscaper since he was a teenager, working his father’s business in Durango, Mexico, and he now has over 25 years of personal experience. After his family immigrated to Los Angeles, Rumaldo wanted to provide an even bigger service to the community by starting a large landscaping business. This was his original drive to start the company, and he achieved that dream 14 years ago. Miriam, being extremely business savvy, has been the “brains of the operation” from the start.
Q: It says on your website’s “About” page that Flores Artscape Inc. was founded as a part-time endeavor. At what point did it become a full-time pursuit? What was that process like?
A: The business started from Miriam & Rumaldo’s home in Glendale, and in 2007, they moved to a small rented container as office space. They had a few lots where the workers would convene to pick up supplies and receive orders—much of the delivery and sales were run directly by Rumaldo. In 2012, they moved into the current space which is three one-story buildings. It has been a steady climb from the beginning, but we keep expanding!
Q: Your website often references your commitment to quality customer service. As you explain it, you want a job to reflect the “unique individuals” that hire you. Generally speaking, when you work a specific job, how much of the finished product reflects the client’s interests and how much reflects your artistic vision?
A: It is a balance of both that achieves a perfect design. Some clients know their vision; in which case, it is our job to execute it exactly with minimal input and usually on where technical issues arise which might change the design slightly. And on the other side of the spectrum, the client does not know where to begin. In which case, we guide them through the basics of landscaping help them develop their property into a space that has more usable space, beautiful landscaping, and becomes an additional room connecting the outdoor and inside spaces of their home—which expands the area to enjoy their property. And there is everything in between, as in the case where it is 50/50 where we brainstorm with the client where we put elements of their likes together with the excitement we have for the project for a completely unique project.
Q: Your business is clearly incredibly accomplished. All the recognition and awards you have received speak to that. Of all the accolades you’ve earned over the years, which one means the most to you?
A: I would say we are most proud of the certificate of recognition from the mayor of Los Angeles. It is a really amazing honor and we are so happy to have received it.
Q: What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
A: The most rewarding aspect of this business is the beautiful work we are left with at the end of a project. It really is quite an artistic endeavor, but it is also something that the customer can personally enjoy. You are almost giving them a “painting” that they can go and sit inside of.
Q: Is there any specific job your company did that you are particularly proud of?
A: Most projects really need to grow in before they can be fully appreciated. Last year, we completed such a project in Pasadena which by now has completely blossomed. It is on a slight hill, and the house is kind of sequestered behind this giant front lawn. I believe it started as plain grass or maybe gravel, but our team turned it into a work of art using all drought-tolerant and desert plants. The huge plot now requires almost no maintenance or water.
Q: Is there any advice you could offer an average person about landscaping?
A: There are, of course, an infinite amount of paths one can take. But I would inform the customer about some of the basics; they would be that a great landscape project is one that returns value to their homes along with creating more beauty. To start with, one must think about how to expand the usable space and to create a balance between hardscape and softscape. For example, although it is one’s “garden” if they have all softscape, they might spend a fortune on water cost. Or if it’s all hardscape, then it might end up looking like a public pool. A yard must have a place to hang out, a place to enjoy the outdoors, some beautiful things to look at, along with some beautiful smells, and maybe ways to attract local wildlife. And if you start there, the customer will also discover what they love along the way.
Q: If you have any big plans for the future (i.e. expanding beyond Southern California), can you tell me what they are?
A: We definitely hope to expand the business to become one of the premier landscaping companies in the city. We plan on opening a second office in the next two years!
There you have it. Flores Artscape is a firm with a body of work that is every bit as eclectic as it is impressive, and the level of talent behind its portfolio is rivaled by its ambition going forward. We are happy to have them on Troolr.