Startup Stories: Octopus Garden Design

We first met Gerrad from Octopus Garden Design through a photo we posted on Instagram a little over a year ago. Excited to meet a fellow business owner, we are happy to share Gerrad’s story of Octopus Garden Design and how it came to be…

1: So tell us what is ‘Octopus Garden Design?’

We design and document plans for new and existing gardens from courtyards to country properties. The majority of our work is for new residential homes in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens.

Our services are often engaged when a client is doing a new home & wants to incorporate a swimming pool or outdoor pavilion or just doesn’t know what plants to grow.

We meet with clients, give them ideas, draw construction plans, organise permits & tenders, source plants and watch the gardens grow.

2:Why did you start your own business?

Having a passion for gardens and design and largely the economics of being unemployed after relocating back to Newcastle during the 2008 GFC. It seemed the logical choice to start a business.

3: What’s been your biggest challenge so far?

Our biggest challenge was deciding to lease a commercial office after working from home for 3 years.

At the time we couldn’t afford to do it, but it turned out to be possibly the best thing we did.

We have now outgrown the office space and looking for new premises to expand our staff further in the near future.

4: Any tips for other Startups?

Find out who and where your clients are and network with them.

Don’t make your business cards or brochures into junk mail.  Invest in quality business cards, brochures and websites to target your specific market.

5: What next for Octopus Garden Design?’

We intend to expand our design staff and continue to develop our ‘Seaweeds Garden Care’ business that supplies Trees & Plants to order, soft landscape construction works and ongoing garden maintenance for residential and commercial projects.

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