Customer service, community at the forefront of Artigues’ family-owned business since 1984
Guy Artigues started Pleasant Places Landscaping in 1984 with just his old pickup truck, a trailer, a lawn mower, and an intense work ethic.
Thirty-six years later, his company employs some 220-250 people and does more than $20 million in business each year in the tri-county area. Pleasant Places handles virtually all aspects of commercial landscape construction projects and maintenance, including design, installation, lighting and hardscape. The company’s work can be seen all over the Charleston area, including Marion Square, Kiawah Island, MUSC, College of Charleston, Daniel Island Club, and Charleston International Airport, to name a few.
From the beginning, Guy Artigues has known good relationships and great customer service are the keys to success. He knows great customer service happens only when you have a great team to provide that service. He knows the way to attract and keep quality employees is to treat them like family. Likewise, he also knows the best way to build and maintain a customer base is to treat people fairly, provide great service for a fair price and give back to the community that has given so much to him and his family.
Guy Artigues recently turned over the reins to his eldest son John Gaillard “Gilly” Artigues, who has been working in the family business for many years. Gilly, now president, says he is ready to grow the company even more — and is just as dedicated to maintaining that family culture and community responsibility as his father. He knows that any success is not due to any one person but rather the dedication, hard work and passion of the entire team.
And he knows that after more than three decades of carefully building a thriving business, his father will be very particular about whom he will choose as his successor. That person would have to be as intensely dedicated to those core values as he is.
Gilly is. He grew up in the business, working with and learning from many employees who have been with the company since almost the beginning. He is deeply passionate about the legacy his father has created, that sense of loyalty to and responsibility for employees and the community.
But Guy Artigues is not stepping out of the picture, Gilly said.
“My dad is still very much involved — he’s not retiring at all — but he is doing the things he loves most and does best,” Gilly said. “He’s a people person — being in an office all day dealing with ‘corporate’ matters is not what he wants to do, it’s not who he is.”
Pleasant Places Landscaping is a family-owned and operated business that includes a staff of long-time, skilled employees.
Meanwhile, growth is going to happen, Gilly notes. Therefore, it makes sense to want to work with someone local, who loves the community and is willing to do the right things, someone who will continue to invest in the community and help it thrive.
Pleasant Places has done just that in the tri-county area and Gilly believes it is time to take the next step, to expand into Myrtle Beach and Beaufort/Hilton Head Island. However, he is committed to maintaining the same high levels of expertise, service and accountability and most importantly, the core values that have brought Pleasant Places so far.
Above all, hiring and retaining great people is the bedrock upon which the company is founded. For example, the company’s management team are all long-time employees. Landscape division manager Graham Mewett has been with Pleasant Places18 years; Hardscape division manager Troy Blough 15 years; Irrigation division manager Adam Harbin, 8 years; and Maintenance division manager Mark Oldag, 11 years.
Another long-timer, even at a young age, is Gilly’s younger brother, Palmer. A rising senior majoring in public relations at the University of South Carolina, Palmer has also worked in the business all his life and is currently working in the sales/estimating department until classes resume in the fall.
“We want to take care of our people,” Gilly said. “They’re here because they believe Pleasant Places is the best place for them to achieve their goals, take care of their families, build their lives. Our success is because of them.”