Eric Fenmore is the owner of Garden Studio Design, a full-service landscape design/build firm located in Southern California. Eric grew up in Orange County and graduated from Foothill High School in Tustin in 1986, and continued on to study Economics at UCLA and the London School of Economics. After graduating college in 1990, he worked in a small family finance business until his father retired in 2000 and closed the business. From there, Eric went into banking, and his wife Chris started Garden Studio Design.
At the time, Garden Studio was a small, home-based landscape design-only business, but quickly the opportunity to grow into a landscape design-build business emerged, and the construction business started in 2001. From 2000 until 2004, Eric juggled his banking career with running Garden Studio. With the growth in the housing market in the early 2000s, Eric realized he could focus his efforts on Garden Studio, and resigned from banking in 2004. All went well until the housing crash of 2008. Garden Studio, still a young, inexperienced firm, was hit very hard by the Great Recession. By early 2008, Eric was back in banking and also running Garden Studio. He continued in the banking world until 2017, at which time he fully dedicated his time to Garden Studio’s growth.
Eric lives in Newport Beach with his wife Chris. They have three boys, Henry (25) and John (23) who both live in NYC and work in finance, and Shane (17), a junior in high school. They love to spend time with family, travel, cook and eat with friends and spend time with their two golden retrievers, Ted and Olive.
Topics discussed in this episode:
- Eric’s career beginnings in the finance industry, and the origin story of Garden Studio Design
- The impact of The Great Recession on Eric’s career and the design business
- The two categories entrepreneurs tend to fall under when it comes to passion
- Adaptability in business, and the twists and turns Eric has experienced with his company
- The importance of valuing your time and focusing on high-value activities
- Transparency as a company value, and whether California’s rainy winter impacted Garden Studio Design
- Eric’s thoughts on the best and hardest parts of owning a business
- Work-life balance and the importance of prioritizing personal growth
About the Series. Blueprint CFO Presents: Future Focused Entrepreneurs is an interview series and podcast highlighting entrepreneurs and businesses that are going places by focusing on the future and developing a roadmap for success. Hosted by Jim Downes, founder of Blueprint CFO, a future focused fractional CFO & accounting services firm based in Southern California.
About Blueprint CFO. Blueprint CFO is a future focused fractional CFO and accounting services firm based in Orange County, California. Partnering with entrepreneurial companies to guide and support them on their road to success, Blueprint CFO equips clients with the Profitability Roadmap® they need to grow. Learn more at www.BlueprintCFO.com.