Today Tournesol Siteworks is celebrating our 20th anniversary.
Anyone who has spent twenty years doing something is bound to have a lot of conflicting emotions about it. There have been plenty of good times, some tough ones, and everything in between.
Tournesol Siteworks is no exception. In the beginning I figured we’d hit a home run with a remarkable self-watering product at retail, then sell the business once it had grown big after 5 years. When that didn’t happen (despite lots of efforts and a stint on the Home Shopping Network for me), plan B became to grow the business the hard way. I never considered walking away, although there were times when we probably should have!
In hindsight, I figure I got lucky. I got to run a manufacturing business, which is always what I wanted to do. I never had a particular passion for landscape or plants, but I am delighted that I found myself in this business. We enhance the public good. We work at the intersection of landscape and architecture, making green possible for buildings and urban settings. We can be satisfied that we soften the constructed environment, and bring a piece of nature to city dwellers. I never have to apologize for the products we manufacture, or their effect on the environment.
I’ve really enjoyed the people who’ve shared in the experience of growing this company. I work with 50 people, most of whom (I think) are glad to be at work every day. My greatest challenge is continuing to offer them an environment where they can make the most of their talents, and earn a good living while doing it. When I think back over 20 years, I can really pick out those people that made an impact on who we are today. Some are still here, and others aren’t, but the business wouldn’t be the same without them.
Tomorrow looks better than ever. They say that it is much easier to grow a large business than a small one. We’ve been able to leverage what growth we’ve achieved, and invest it back in innovation, partnerships, and our customers. I’m as excited about the future as ever. When I started out 20 years ago we had 8 employees – ten years later we had 11. Today we have 50, and our plan is to continue to double in size every three years. We’re fortunate that the construction economy has come back, and we’re in the position to take advantage of it. We’ve reinvented ourselves several times over the years, and I’m sure that we’ll do it again a few times – but that’s just part of the fun.”
Thanks for joining us in celebrating our 20th year – Chris Lyon