We had the good fortune of connecting with Tiger Palafox and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tiger, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
ECO Gardeners was founded on principals that help our community and the world. I have always wondered why gardeners and landscapers are some of the largest polluters, they are the people in charge of taking care of the plants and environments they are polluting. That is why we do not use gas powered tools. All our lawn mowers, hedgers, weed whackers, saws, blowers are all Husqvarna battery powered tools. This eliminates air pollution, noise pollution and storm water pollution. We also use Organic and Natural pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers. We have a holistic approach when it comes to garden maintenance that prevents us from having to use any chemicals. When businesses, HOA’s and home owners use our company they make a choice to support the environment and improve their own communities because of our companies policies. Gardeners are happy people that want to bring beauty into the world, so I think customers and other people see our company and know that is what we are doing and it makes them happy.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I don’t think it is as common today to have a family business passed from generation to generation. In the horticulture industry it is more common but even so it’s rare. Because I have been surrounded by plants my entire life it has kept me grounded and I have learned a lot of life lessons from them. We all can learn from plants by experiencing success and failures, we learn patience and perseverance. We learn to care and respect and the importance of listening to them to see what their needs are. I see a change happening right now in our society where more people are interested in growing plants, vegetables, flowers. It think it is helping them cope with all the stress and unknown in the world. Our company’s goal is to have people enjoy being in their gardens. If we succeed in that we have done our job.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Day 1 would be visiting old town and the downtown area. We would hit a few historical places to show how San Diego was born and developed into what it is today. Casa Guadalajara, Tom Hams, the Embarcadero and the Gaslamp area would be some stops for sure. Day 2 would expand into the Balboa Park museums and a night time experience at the zoo. Cucina Urbana, a drink at Mr A’s and desert at An’s Dry Cleaning. Day 3, Beach day, my favorite beach in San Diego is along the La Jolla reefs area, between Pacific Beach and the cove they have wonderful pocket beaches with good sand, tidepools and rocks to climb on. Also between bird rock and downtown La Jolla great drinks and food. Don Bravos for a classic California burrito. Day 4 Visit downtown La Mesa in the later afternoon for some eats, Curbside Eatery, Sheldons Service station, then grab a treat from Swamis and go to the top of Mount Helix for Sunset Day 5 Head South to Tacos El Gordo, visit the Tijuana Estuary and come back through Coronado. I think this would make for a good visit.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Obviously my dad who lead me into this career was a huge influence on where I am today but I think he would agree with me that the landscaper, gardener, nursery person community is a huge reason why we are who we are. People in this industry love to share their success and failures with one another. This allows the younger generation to learn and develop new ways of doing business or be successful by following others foot steps. Our community has always been open to collaboration. A week does not go by that I don’t call a “competitor” and ask for help, pass on a client or brainstorm a problem. I don’t think many industries have that support network built into the foundation like ours is. If I don’t have a plant or can’t help someone with a project I have no problem calling one of the other local businesses to see if they can help my client. So if I am asked to whom I would give recognition to for our long term success, it would be the horticulture industry for being such a wonderful family.