Blueprint CFO Presents: Future Focused Entrepreneurs – Landscaping Leadership from the Ground Up with Eric Fenmore of Garden Studio Design

Eric Fenmore, Garden Studio Design

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

Valuation Planning

Blueprint CFO will work with executive leadership to determine shareholder value, and run various models to determine estimated company valuation. Together, we will determine milestone objectives to increase shareholder value and track company performance in relation to these targets. We will review your company’s organic and acquisition growth options to create shareholder value, and emphasize tax planning to optimize shareholder value upon a sale or purchase. We can also focus on Initial Public Offering (IPO) Planning and Readiness.

Analytics & Business Intelligence

We believe that being data-driven is key to profitability. As such, we can help you create meaningful dashboards and scorecards for your business, analyzing performance against key performance indicators and other factors. Our profitability reporting and analysis tools will help drive business decision-making and provide insights into trends, predictions, results, and potential strategic direction moving forward.

Goal Setting & Tracking

Our team can partner with company leadership to establish goals and objectives for the company, for both the short and long term. Additionally, we will help leaders develop meaningful Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track and measure results.

Insurance & Tax Planning

Blueprint CFO can work with businesses to review insurance needs and requirements, as well as plan for taxes and R&D credits.

Human Resources

We can assist your HR department with employee benefits planning, and can also perform compensation studies to ensure best practices are implemented across the business.

Accounting & Finance Support

Whether you have an internal team in place or need more hands-on assistance, Blueprint CFO can oversee and advise your accounting and finance department. From preparing general ledger transaction entries to completing month-end closes, forecasting to crafting financial statements, developing customized reporting packages to implementing more effective software, Blueprint CFO can bring you everything from a supportive junior or senior accounting team, all the way to high-level strategic CFO consulting.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Blueprint CFO can partner with company leadership to improve strategic business plans and assist with the development of organizational growth strategy. We can also create financial reporting packages and proformas for capital raises, investments, acquisitions and/or banking requirements, and provide due diligence on company-focused deals.

Financial Planning

We can prepare, create and/or review financial statements. This includes providing trend analysis, developing cash flow projections, and tracking operational and financial performance, with insight into budget and forecast variances.

Banking Services

Our team can help your company to establish high-level banking relationships, and offer expert advice and support when it comes to sourcing bank loans, etc. Additionally, we can review and determine the optimal capital structure for refinancing or a liquidity event.


Valuable Insights, Delivered to Your Inbox