Building a successful business in the U.S. is tough. It is even harder when you’re from another country and trying to start a company from scratch. Darren Davis, a native of Ireland, moved to the United States only to find out the job he came for fell through. Instead of going back home to Ireland, he decided to forge his own way and make a home for himself in the U.S.
Davis grew up on a large farm on the agricultural campus of an Irish college, where his father was a professor of agriculture. He tinkered with farm machinery from an early age, and learned the basics of fertilizer use and turf management.
He later worked for an Irish forestry company that helped to rejuvenate forests before starting a family business installing fencing. Shortly after, he decided to broaden his horizons and came to the U.S., landing in Monmouth Beach, New Jersey.
When Davis learned the job he was hoping for was no longer available, he didn’t dwell on it. In fact, he looked at it as a golden opportunity. With experience from running his fencing business and a background in landscaping, he knew he could make it.
The one glaring disadvantage standing in his way? Being in unfamiliar territory where he knew virtually nobody. With zero clients, his work was cut out for him.
“It took me four years to get adjusted to being in the U.S.,” Davis says. “I had to grow my clientele from the ground up. It was a big challenge, but I believed in my landscaping ability and knew how to start and run a company.”
He entered the U.S. in 1996 and his company, Celtic Concepts, Inc., was fully functional by 2000. His first job wasn’t planting trees or building a retaining wall. Instead, it was as a salesman. He needed a few customers to help grow his portfolio.
And, grow his portfolio he did. So much so over the years, that Davis now has a sturdy foundation with 50 employees.
Celtic Concepts creates outdoor spaces that are beautiful, functional and in harmony with the local New Jersey environment. The company starts with each client by developing a comprehensive landscaping plan. The plan combines good design with a thorough knowledge of plants, shrubs and trees. Celtic Concepts also coordinates work with other contractors on the client’s home construction, pool installation or other renovation projects.
Ag cruthú comhcheangal leis an nádúr is Gaelic for creating harmony in nature, something that comes naturally to Davis.
“We create an in-depth experience in the details and logistics of the construction that we are performing,” says Davis. “Our clients are impressed by our comprehensive plans. It puts them in control and gives them a good idea of what aspects of the project will be done at what time.”
The company offers several services other than plantings, including retaining walls, driveways, patios and walkways, ponds and waterfalls, poolscaping, drainage systems, lighting, turf management, and outdoor kitchens and fireplaces.
To get these jobs done, Davis is always looking to find the highest quality machines. Most recently, he traded in two track loaders and purchased a TL12V2, the largest track loader in the Takeuchi lineup. It is the first Takeuchi that Davis and his crew have operated.
Davis said the TL12V2 has incredible strength compared to his previous machines, is more reactive, better built, offers more torque, and allows for more pushing power for grading. But, one of the biggest things for him and his crew is the quick connect for the bucket attachment.
“There are all these little things on the TL12V2 that add up to be big things to increase productivity,” says Davis. “I love how we can just use the same oil for both the hydraulic fluid and oil, the grease points are quick and easy, and to clean the machine I can literally just kick off the dirt and give it a quick car wash.”
Celtic Concepts has experimented with more than a few different brands of machines over the years. The company has a good relationship of more than 12 years with its dealer, Binder Machinery Company, which recommended the Takeuchi machine. Within a month of having the TL12V2 in its lineup, the landscaper decided to purchase two more of the machines.
“We have been using it on numerous jobs, and it has saved us a ton of man hours,” says Davis. “Even the most inexperienced operator can understand how to maintain a Takeuchi. It is a huge saver on maintenance.”
For now, Davis and his crew are set with equipment and are excited to have three of the Takeuchi TL12V2s in their lineup. For a company that is constantly on the move, the right equipment and less downtime are invaluable.
It took four years to get Celtic Concepts off the ground, and now with an experienced crew, loyal customers, and top-quality equipment, the company is poised for even more growth well into the future.