In 2012, Texas native Andrew Walsh combined his landscape design skills and concern for conservation when he started Terra Dura, a landscaping company that uses native plant species and community-oriented design – design that brings together neighbors, families, and communities. Through his work, Walsh seeks not only to create beautiful gardens but to restore the Austin ecosystem that has been thrown off balance by invasive species. In doing so, he is also helping his community to conserve water, as fully 50 percent of Austin’s water supply is used on lawns.
Tom Barton, SCORE mentor and retired CPA, pushed Walsh to build a solid foundation for his business before moving forward with his big ideas. Walsh says, “He taught me to keep to the basics. Get through the transactions, create a system, and take it slow. I wanted to rush ahead, but he kept me focused on the task at hand. He gave me realistic goals to accomplish like creating an employee handbook, create employee roles, and stay focused on creating regular marketing newsletters. From my first year I have steadily been increasing my revenue by over 25 percent.”
Walsh has gone from keeping receipts in his truck and struggling with financial records to running a successful and organized business. He recently launched a sister company, Blackland Supply Co., which sells high-quality sustainable or recycled outdoor furniture and decor.