We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny & Brooks Crawford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenny & Brooks, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
We choose this creative career to be ambassadors of the outdoors in its most basic and under-appreciated context- the space outside your own home. Landscapes can be spaces where you are comfortable, happy and inspired. To sit back and enjoy a well-designed space is to believe that your family is worthy of the investment. Transforming exterior spaces helps our clients appreciate a more relaxed lifestyle. This lifestyle includes spending more meaningful time with your family, appreciating nature and its cycles, learning about new plants, and when it is safe to do so again, the company of friends. Landscape design is a wonderful combination of creativity and technical knowledge (about construction, botany, and décor). The creative component is what energizes us the most! It is also the component that differentiates up-and- coming designers. We get to bring fresh ideas to our projects and introduce new plant combinations, hardscape layouts and new materials.
What should our readers know about your business?
We believe that landscape design should include hardscape, plants and decor. As exterior space designers, it is important to create balance, beauty and function using all three of the above elements. This approach makes the exterior of a home feel like an extension of the interior. We started Brookside Design two years ago (although we have worked in the industry longer) to transform outdoor spaces and change the way people view landscaping as a trade. In the beginning, clients really struggled with the idea that they should invest in outdoor furniture and décor along with hardscape and plants. Many of our clients have never worked with a landscape design team that made intentional suggestions around furniture and décor. We really believed in our vision and donated our time at first to create spaces we could photograph and share with others. We wanted to demonstrate that furniture & decor make a space more functional, enjoyable and beautiful. This is now what differentiates us from other landscape designers. Most of our clients move forward with our decor package now and those are the projects that we share in our portfolio. We learned that when you believe in the value, product and service you have to offer that you should push forward with your idea, even if at first you get mixed results. We are still learning how to make the decor component more profitable for our business, but we get more experience and knowledge with each project. Another take away is that having two heads working together is better than one!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If we had a friend in town, we would love to spend a day in Oceanside. We would definitely recommend a workout to start the day. Our favorite studio is Lagree Fit & Versa Fit on Vista Way. They teach Lagree method for strength training and have Versa Climber machines, which provide an intense 30-minute cardio workout to upbeat music that will keep you energized the rest of the day! If our guest wanted to shop, we could take them to The Rising Co where they could purchase local and ethically sourced fashion and home good items. Coffee and pastries at Revolution Roasters could be enjoyed on a beach walk down to the pier where it is always fun to watch surfers. We would stop for drinks and dinner at Carte Blanche where they serve a delicious margarita with passion fruit foam called the “Ooh La La”. We love Encinitas and Cardiff and enjoy visiting the SRF gardens and showing off the peaceful ocean view. The gardens are well-kept and it is a free attraction. Sunset dinner at Pacific Coast Grill is always a fun place to take guests with its beach front ocean view. We have even seen dolphins jumping out of the waves while eating there! If you wanted to extend your evening, you could choose to go just across the street for Karaoke at The Kraken. We also love walking Little Italy on Sundays when the farmers market is in full force and you can try different restaurants or grab a gelato. Since it is so close to San Diego harbor, we would probably charter an afternoon sail to enjoy some time on the water.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We would not be where we are without our talented team of builders. They execute and bring our visions to life. Rafa Alvarez and his amazing team previously worked with Jenny’s father who was also a successful landscape designer and builder. Rafa and his crew are like family to us and we owe much of our success to their work ethic, sense of community and positive attitude. My father also gets a huge shout out as he has taught us so much over the years and continues to be a behind-the-scenes resource for Brooks and I. Emma Almendarez takes amazing pictures of our projects so we can share our work with a larger audience and we are so grateful to her for her passion and great photography. Lastly, we are very happy that we get to support many local nurseries including female-owned and operated Barrels N’ Branches in Encinitas. The owner, Samantha sources beautiful plants, which help differentiate our projects.
Instagram: @designbybrookside (https://www.instagram.com/designbybrookside/)
Facebook: @designbybrookside (https://www.facebook.com/designbybrookside/?modal=admin_todo_tour)
Yelp: Brookside Landscape Design (https://www.yelp.com/biz/brookside-landscape-design-carlsbad-2?osq=brookside+landscape+design)
Youtube: Brookside Landscape Design (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC057dRGxQ_tbXqww35iUg3Q)
Other: Houzz: Brookside Landscape Design (https://www.houzz.com/pro/webuser-592344996)
Emma Almendarez & Lens N Soul