On a recent work day, Brad Hall remarked – happily – how busy he’d been. He also capsulized his attitude toward customers.
“They’re my boss,” he said. “When they say jump, I ask how high? If they need something, I’m always available.”
Hall is the owner of Go Green Landscape. From its base in Eatonville, it sells bark, topsoil and gravel. It’s the fourth business he has started and the second in the landscaping marketplace. In an interview with The Dispatch, he talked about his business philosophy, the varied career path he followed to Go Green and where it might lead next.
Dispatch: What is your professional background, pre-Go Green?
Hall: Back in ‘81 I had a very successful snow plowing and removal company in Juneau, Alaska. After eight years, I wanted more opportunity for my family, so we moved from Alaska to Washington. In ‘89, I started a lawn and landscape company in Sumner that focused on new construction, catering to general contractors that built new homes mostly in King County. The business fell to the recession of the early 1990s with Desert Storm and the decline of the housing market. I then decided to get a CDL (commercial drivers license) and drive over the road. I wasn’t home long enough, so I got my Realtor license in ’95 and have been selling real esate ever since, plus I work for the Puyallup School District. Then with the Great Recession, the bust of the housing market again, I started Go Green. I should say we – my wife who does the books, my son who is my righthand man, and I.
Dispatch: Tell us something about yourself – where you were born and raised, where you live now, your family, your interests outside work.
Hall: I was born in Tacoma and raised on the east side, moved to Alaska for eight years and moved back to Washington in 1989. When I was old enough to know how to handle a rifle, my dad would take me to Ashford and hunt. His love for the mountains rubbed off on me at an early age, so I always wanted to live there, and by the grace of God I found a home in Ashford. While I was in Alaska, I met my wife, Lisa. She is a gift from the Lord. We’ll have been married for 30 years in October. I have a daughter, Amy, who is a dental assistant and a son, Broc, who has been a huge help here at Go Green and is going to Bates (Technical College) to become a motorcycle mechanic. I have a passion for motorcycles – or is it a sickness? I’m not sure. I’ve rode all my life – well, since 10, and I’m 53 now. I have a Belgian draft horse named Evan, and I would like to train him to pull a carriage. Maybe a future business offering carriage rides for weddings, proposals, anniversaries, birthdays? The Lord has blessed my family. Without him, we have nothing.
Dispatch: In addition to landscaping materials, Go Green sells outdoor furniture. That seems like a unique mix of products. Tell us about the furniture line. Is it custom, made locally, ordered online?
Hall: Yes it is a unique mix of products. If it has to do with the outside of the home, we’re into it, from bird feeders to eventually water features. Yes, it is custom. Next season I will have more to choose from. I like one-off items where you can’t go into a store and buy the exact type of a product that your neighbor has. I would like to have more lines of furniture, craft items – anything to do with the outside of your house – on consignment. I would like to help local crafters get started. I believe that the more I can help local people, the more money stays in Eatonville, the more the local economy grows, the more shops, stores, boutiques and startups there are, and maybe have Eatonville be a town where people from other towns come and spend their money. Where you don’t have to drive 45 minutes to buy something, it’s here in town. Look back at Eatonville in the 1950s. Life wasn’t all that bad here. Eventually, I would like to have an e-commerce, but for now I am only being of service to and focusing on the greater Eatonville area and Upper Nisqually Valley.
Dispatch: You mentioned that your customers are your boss, and that you make yourself available virtually whenever they need you. Does that sum up your approach to customer service?
Hall: Yes, it does. My philosophy about business is to give exceptional service and a quality product. I learned a long time ago that there is np substitute for quality, and that the customer/client is my boss and that without them, I have no business. At Go Green, the motto is “Where quality and service isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.”