AlternaScapes – Celebrating our History
December 28, 2016
Looking back at our artificial grass company’s evolution…
…and looking forward to exciting new possibilities in 2017.
Twenty years ago, David Sheffer sold his business in upstate New York. He stayed on as a Consultant for a few months to help the new owner learn the business and make a smooth transition. Finding himself with some free time, he took up the game of golf. Golf was a game he hadn’t had time for while he was a business owner and he fell in love with it.
In fact, David loved the game of golf so much, he decided to find a way to make it his new profession when he moved to Florida a few months later. So he began searching for a business he could start that allowed him to stay in the golf world. He found it – a company creating artificial putting greens in people’s backyards. What a gift for a golfer, he thought! And with so many golfers in Florida, he just knew the concept would be a huge hit.
So, he started making plans. From logo ideas sketched out on paper napkins and scribbled notes in a notebook, David’s mind raced with marketing and business ideas.His excitement grew and he couldn’t wait to make the move and get started making this new dream a reality.
In December of 1997, David packed up his belongs and moved to Florida. In January, he officially started his business, which he named Personal Greens. And he eagerly began marketing himself at trade shows, sometimes doing two different shows in one weekend, with the help of his father Bill. David met and partnered with Neil McStravick and together, they expanded their vision of personal putting greens to tee lines, artificial grass lawns, synthetic turf playgrounds, event lawns and so much more. They changed the company name to AlternaScapes (think Alternative Landscapes) and began working to grow their company.
Owning a business is like having a child – it takes hard work, patience, vision, love and lots and lots of grit. David and Neil poured themselves into their company, sometimes working 7 days a week to do the marketing, selling, installations, and customer service. David handled the administration – sales and marketing, website, and company infrastructure while Neil worked on the operations- coordinating the scheduling, deliveries and managing the work of the installations. They worked tirelessly, day in and day out, to build their company.
All that sweat equity paid off. The company grew…..and grew and grew. Selling and installing putting greens, tee lines, playground areas, event lawns, residential lawns, pet resorts, condo gathering areas, rooftop decks for both residences and commercial locations, grass median areas and so much more, the company expanded with their vision. They hired installers and sales people, bookkeepers and support staff. The company thrived and now, almost 19 years later, AlternaScapes employs over 30 people. From The Villages to The Keys, we have sold and installed thousands of artificial grass projects – from small courtyard and trouble-spot areas in a residential lawn, to enormous playground, event lawn and small-field projects to a variety of pet-related parks and facilities. And we are so proud of these 19 years in business.
As we close out 2016 and begin a new year, we want to take a moment to say Thank You to everyone who has been a part of this journey with us. To all of our customers, vendor partners, referral partners and our dedicated staff and supporters, Thank You! We are so grateful for this exciting adventure and for all the people who have trusted us to provide an artificial grass solutions for them. We look forward to new adventures – and exciting new projects – in 2017!!!
Happy New Year to all of you. Wishing you health, happiness and prosperity in the coming year!