We had the good fortune of connecting with Carmen Uribe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carmen, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
Outsiders are unaware of the fact that being a landscape designer is not just about putting together a bunch of pretty colored plants but rather a very labor intensive job because there is a lot of planning from the minute we set foot on site we must pay close attention to every single detail. From the water lines, power lines, gas lines, overhead trees, topography ,climate, environment etc. and we must ensure that what we design is well planned and to the likes of the client. What we create is art and is often underpaid and under rated. Designers must be meticulous and have a very extensive knowledge in plants, botany, horticulture, soils, grasses, trees, local laws and the list goes on. Our industry is service based and requires lots of creative hours that many times go about unpaid. Most times the clients envision beautiful landscapes that they see on Pintrest and we must educate the client on the cost because most times they get sticker shocked because they have no clue what things cost and it is a very hard position we are put in. Another thing that outsiders may not be aware of is that our profession is impacted severely by the climate and that is something that is totally out of our control. Other times we have to deal with designs that are created and not implemented until months or even years later and at which time the client has many changes or even do overs which means that for a long period of time we may not get paid. That’s just the design part of the project once the design is created and accepted by the client we must then make sure that the contractor brings that very exact design to life. The designer scouts the plants handpicks them and makes sure that there is a proper timeline. It is a process that can become chaotic because we often times encounter that certain plans are no longer available or they are affected by a bug etc. but at the end of the day the results are worth the chaos.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My passion is creating beautiful outdoor landscapes. Ever since I was a small girl I always dreamed of being an architect. My upbringing was always around beautiful homes with beautiful landscapes where my dad worked. From the time I could remember I would visit many nurseries with my mom and dad. As a young child the Japanese nurseries along Sawtelle Blvd in West Los Angeles are vivid in my mind. We lived in an apartment with no room for a garden of our own. I always told myself that one day when I grew up I would have all the things that I dreamed of like a beautiful home with a beautiful pool ,garden ,dog and all. I overcame many challenges because I had 3 children by the age of 24 all under 4 years of age but that did not stop me from pursuing a professional degree in landscaping. I went to school and worked so hard to become a professional. I have learned along the way that anything that is truly worth it will never be easy. It has been almost 10 years since I graduated from school and it seems like yesterday. I truly love what I do and it shows. I have a couple award winning designs and I am proud to say that in the city of Culver City you will see my designs looking beautifully at least one on every block of Vets Park or Sunkist Park. Hard work pays off.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Culver City has grown so much. I was born and raised here on the westside and to say the least there are so many spots to check out that I would need additional days lol.. I would definitely start the morning with a nice hike at the Culver City Stairs which is an outdoor staircase that is designed into the trails leading up to a view of the greater Los Angeles area. It would be followed by grabbing some great breakfast at Teddys Café which I have been going to since I was very young on Bundy Ave in West Los Angeles . Followed to a nice trip over to the YouTube studios in Playa Vista or catching a great movie at the Cinemark in Playa Vista. It is a must to visit the iconic Titos Tacos known to be a staple for some great food for lunch . Then we would finish it off by visiting downtown culver city where there are so many new shops and restaurants to be discovered and untapped due to covid 19. But honestly there is so much to do here from Venice Beach, to its famous Abbot Kinney street to the Getty and more. This all sounds so delightful since being quarantined . Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my husband and business partner Luis . He has been there to support me through all my greatest moments along with all my not so greatest moments. He has been my greatest mentor, teacher and guide and he gets me like no one ever will. I am also very grateful to all the great clients that have given me the opportunity and trust because without them I would not be here. Mike Golpa and Cathy Bertovic two of my clients who have allowed me to be creative and implement beautiful landscapes multiple times on multiple projects at places they call home or home away from home. In life many of us are forced out of our comfort zone because if you do not come out you will never grow or see change and that I owe to my late brother Jr because through him I learned that going forward was my only option. My goal is to always surround myself by positive people who encourage me to better myself and believe in me. My children Luis ,Bella and David are my motors that keep me going and I am so proud of them. My mother who is always there to lend her ear and lastly to my dad for passing down the social skills gene and dainty smile.
Linkedin: Carmen Uribe