My brother Paul and I were born in Wichita, Kansas, and we spent our early years there. Paul is the youngest and I am the oldest of four boys. We were raised in a hardworking Catholic family, where family is everything, and we sure had a lot of it! We had a one acre lot in a small and connected community; and as you can imagine, we spent a lot of time outdoors as boys, it was our world.
Paul was too young in Kansas to do any of the yard work, but I had been begging my father at a very early age to start mowing the yard; mainly because I wanted to drive our Craftsman riding lawn mower. Dad wouldn’t let any of us use the riding mower until we could push mow the entire lot first. Let me tell you, at the age of 10, one acre seems like 20 now. As soon as my dad let me, I was giving it a go; and before I knew it, I was not only mowing our yard, but I was helping some of our neighbors with their yards as well!
In 1989 our Dad, who was a computer engineer at NCR, was suddenly laid off. As much as we loved the small-town life, this event which- was traumatic at the time, completely changed our world and brought us amazing opportunities at the same time; we just didn’t know it at the time. Looking back, we realized that the opportunities that came out of the transition would have never happened in a smaller community.
Dad was hired by Compaq, and we had to relocate to Spring, Texas- just northwest of Houston. We moved on Christmas morning in 1989 to start a new chapter in our lives. As soon as we were established, I started mowing all our neighbors’ yards. By the time I was a Senior at Klein High School in 1995, I was mowing 40 yards a week by myself. I was thankful to be able to help put myself through college at Texas Tech, earning a degree in Landscape Architecture in 2000! During my college years, I worked for Home Depot, working in several positions at the store in Lubbock.
During that time, I was married with 2 children, so I went back to Home Depot and thought I would make a run of it there again. This time at Home Depot, I had made it up into corporate management, and that is where I decided that the corporate life was not for me. I took another position in the store during the night, and started my own company installing small landscapes during the day.
One day, on my way to work, I happened to run into Michael Harris again. We talked briefly to catch up, and learned that he had started his own company when he left Mirror Lake. It was a few months after that, that I went to work for him at his company, Outdoor Living Environments. Burning the candle at both ends took its toll on me, so I left Home Depot after 2.5 years and went to work for him. This was an amazing opportunity for me! I was able to work closely with Michael (who had worked very closely with Shawn), and had developed a very similar style over the years. Michael had an extreme passion for customer service and offering quality. While I was there we each developed our own roles; I was more of the numbers guy, so I priced out all of the jobs, brought in computers, and started designing everything in 3D. I also ran all of my own projects from start to finish.
At the same time, the mowing business that I had started in high school ten years ago was continuing to be handed down from brother to brother, until it was finally given to our youngest brother Paul, who is 9 years younger than I am. All of my brothers mowed quite a few yards all the way up until college. In 2003, Paul graduated from Klein and then went off to TSTC in Waco to get an associate’s degree in Landscape Design and Maintenance. While he was there, he worked for a landscape maintenance company in Waco, which was at a larger scale than he was used to, so he learned quite a bit from the owner. After graduating from TSTC, he left Waco and moved back home to Spring, Texas. He wanted a bachelor’s degree, so he enrolled at Sam Houston and worked on his degree in business management. While working there, he joined me at Outdoor Living Environments. His duties included all of the odds and ends, such as installing the specialty items, warranties, picking up materials, and helping to close down jobs. We both worked closely with Michael.
After nearly 7 years of working with Michael, Paul and I saw that OLE could be more than it was. Many of our clients loved our customer service and professionalism so much, that they wanted us to help maintain these beautiful landscapes that we had just installed. Paul and I had been doing maintenance part-time on the side, to help support our families. By this time, I had a growing family with 4 boys, and Paul was trying to pay for college and dating his future wife. Again, Paul and I were burning the candle at both ends, working 6 to 7 days a week, and not making any financial headway. So, we approached Michael about adding a maintenance side to the company that Paul and I could run. This didn’t go over too well, and shortly after, we both left Outdoor Living Environments.
In September 2008, we started Archer Services with the idea that we could truly be a one stop shop. Things have changed a lot since 2008, and we’ve learned a great deal about running a business. Offering too many services, and services that are too customized to each client, makes it impossible to offer reliable and quality service to anyone, especially at an affordable price. Therefore, today, we have narrowed our focus.
Paul and I firmly believe in education. We try to enroll in all the extra classes that we can through our vendors. I also went to a class for several days to become certified by ICPI to install pavers. Paul and I are both licensed irrigators, and Paul has a license by the state of Texas to apply fertilizers and pesticides. We are also part of a group that was founded in Houston called OHBA. We are constantly working to better ourselves through professional development opportunities that keep us advanced in the landscape industry. Our ultimate goal is to better serve all of our wonderful clients that trust us to give them the best in service and quality.