So, for the last fifteen years, the duo has been doing just that. In JR’s words: “It’s about delivering on what you can promise, and not promising anything you can’t deliver.”
That simple yet powerful business motto has helped this small landscaping company weather the fickle winds of Telluride’s ever-changing business climate and build a rock-solid reputation.
J.R. Bradley moved to Telluride in 1995, landing a job working for a local landscape company. He had gotten his degree in landscape architecture from Rutgers University, but without much design work coming his way he spent more time out in the field with a shovel in his hand than at the drafting table drawing up plans.
It soon became clear to him that Telluride’s landscaping realm was lacking something vital – and he could fill that niche.
“At that time, Telluride was sorely lacking in landscape companies that were known for returning phone calls, being prompt, and doing what they said they were going to do,” Bradley recalls. It was out of this deficit that the Bradley Group emerged, founded by JR in 1997.
Two years later his sister Ellen came on board, and since then the siblings have prided themselves on maintaining a small, detail-focused company.
“We’ve seen a lot of landscape companies come and go, while others get big and then get small again,” Ellen Bradley says. “We’ve sort of stayed the same size; we like to be hands-on, and on the job site. It’s not our thing to send a crew out without an owner or foreman on-site.”
The Bradley Group is a full-service landscape company, providing design, construction, irrigation, and maintenance services. JR Bradley is a Colorado State Certified Landscape Architect, one of only a few in the county, while Ellen Bradley has her Colorado Master Gardener certification. They also employ rock masons Dave Delcarlo and Tom Curtis, as well as Colorado Master Gardener Michelle Ray.
And they even have their own nursery, located in Norwood, where they stock a premium supply of trees for their installation projects.
The company designed and installed one of the largest irrigation systems in Telluride, and built the flagstone walkway that curves across Telluride’s Elks Park.
The Bradley Group is unique in that it is one of the only landscape companies in Telluride that has its headquarters within town limits. The Bradley Group operates out of an historic shed that sits behind their home on Willow Street. The in-town location allows the company to do what JR Bradley calls their “wheelbarrow jobs,” in which its employees can actually walk to the job site from the company’s Willow Street headquarters.
It has also allowed the company to establish itself as a true “neighborhood landscape company,” able to be on-site at a client’s yard with just a phone call. Such was the case a few years ago, when a client’s backyard was being inundated by floodwaters from Cornet Creek. JR was on the scene with his mini-excavator almost immediately, and was actually able to help create a dam.
Now, fifteen years since J.R. Bradley founded the Bradley Group, the company is continuing to deliver on the basic business premise of keeping its promises.
“We’re continually in touch with our clients, building a rapport with them so we can continue working with them and phasing in our projects. Nature is not static… We’d rather start simple and build on top of that than oversell,” Ellen Bradley says.
The Bradley Group can be reached at 970/728-9237; at www.bradleylandscapes.com, or on Facebook.com/bradleylandscapes.