We had the good fortune of connecting with Grant Wallace and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Grant, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
Blind determination. Not being afraid to try something new when you don’t have a clue what you’re doing. After I dove in the first month, I was getting a lot of good feedback from customers trying to help me figure out exactly what I wanted to do. I had a mower hanging out the back of my trunk and was constantly running into problem after problem. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help. At the end of the day as long as you tried your all at something it’s still a win/win. Either you found the thing you like or you found the thing that wasn’t for you. Either way you know now and that’s half the battle. As Dori says, “Just Keep Swimming”.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What’s interesting about my story is how it’s evolved over time. Originally it was just me doing everything. Admittedly this was the plan from the start hence the name Grantlanta. I would have chosen something a little more collective if I ever thought about actually expanding it. So, from 1 grew to 2 grew to 10 and so on. And then earlier last year I thought it might be possible to do something even bigger so I made our sister company The Southern Shmooze. While we can help with the landscaping side of things there is a lot we can’t do. I was bummed of not having a good recommendation when someone would ask us to do something we couldn’t. This goes from everything from finding a plumber to an electrician to another landscape company. The options are endless. Thus, The Southern Shmooze was born. So, my one man operation grew from just me to a dozen of us and now a few thousand. I’m a big advocate for using your community when you can instead of fat cat companies like Home Advisor that make you pay for leads. I’m excited to figure out where my next chapter is going. So, if you have something in mind to collaborate on, I’m all ears!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My list will be for all of our dog lovers out there. Atlanta has a ton of great dog friendly activities. Here is a pretty comprehensive list of my favorites! ParkGrounds Great food, great staff, and a great place to let your dog run around while you watch or play with them. Piedmont Park Enormous dog park with a section for big and little doggos. Recommended if you got a doggie who wants to run, run, run. Morningside Nature Preserve Lovely nature trails with the added bonus of a dog beach! If you have a water dog you must go here. Kirkwood Dog Park Small park but a great place for your dog to make their new BFF. Fetch – Grab a drink and let your pupper run around with a hundred other dogs. Extra points because they make sure all dogs have their vaccines and there is a no food policy. Staff is great and act as bouncers so no bad dogs allowed. Lake Claire Community Land Trust Quaint area with a nice nature but most importantly your dog will love to meet Lou the Emu. He’s big, he’s weird, he’s from another planet. Your dog will either love him or be scared to death. Lullwater Preserve Great long walking trails. Can easily spend an hour here. Doll’s Head Trail Not creepy at all. In fact the wood pathways over the lake are quite gorgeous. There are a lot of doll heads though so… Arabia Mountain Path Walk until till your heart is content. Unlimited exploring opportunities and never crowded. Cascade Springs Nature Preserve Been here once and had my friend’s car broken into but the trails were actually really awesome. Includes waterfall! Mason Mill Park Really nice wooden pathways. They put a lot of time into making this pleasant. Brownwood Park Small park near East Atlanta Village. Quick walk but enjoyable! Beltline Eastside Extremely packed but must be done at least once. Especially when the pandemic is over. This will also take you to Piedmont Park. Chattahoochee River Explore the different trails around the Chattahoochee. If you’re feeling extra adventurous take your dog on a kayak ride down the river. There is a giant dog beach here as well I believe near East Palisades Trail. So much fun for you and your furry companions! 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?
The Atlanta community deserves a big round of applause. It says a lot that you can start a business here just by the kindness of strangers. The first year (or two) was full of mistakes and one big giant learning curve. Thankfully our neighbors are very forgiving and willing to stick with me as I figured out the problems. The funny thing about landscape maintenance is as long as you show up you’ve already beat out half the competition. A lot of credit is owed to the hard working crew and our office admin Heather. And of course, my family, fiancé, and the company mascot dogs, Secretary Sophie and Quality Control Clarence.
Other: My band, Challenger Deep, will have a new single and music video online by the time this comes out! If interested you can check us out at @ChallengerDeepDude
Kamil Lee, Mary Kate Thomas