5 Questions: Clayton Fieldhouse

September 11, 2023 -  By
(Photo: Kate Fieldhouse)

(Photo: Kate Fieldhouse)

Clayton Fieldhouse

Owner, Fieldhouse Outdoor Solutions, Zionsville, Ind.

1.  Tell me about your business, and how you got into the industry?

I’m a second generation in the landscape industry, I started off as a kid with my father working weekends and summers. Then, I went right into the industry out of high school. I worked for some of the larger companies like Brickman (now BrightView) and a regional company for quite a few years. And then, last year I started my own business. We are full service — landscape maintenance, installation and snow removal.

2.  What is your favorite thing about being in the industry?

The biggest thing is the relationships. The proof is in the pudding that when you service people well and you communicate well, those relationships can carry you long term. All of our customers, with the exception of a couple, are all customers that I’ve serviced in the past. As soon as I put the word out that I started my own business, the calls started pouring in. It was to the point where we just couldn’t even accept all the work that we wanted to. We just wanted to make sure that we were able to build a sustainable business that could deliver for those customers.

3.  Any trends you’re seeing with your customers?

Customer interaction and communication is more important now than it ever was. We’re not perfect, much like any company out there. We all have our challenges. I think the way that we’re able to communicate quickly and adequately, to make the customer know that we have it under control, whether we’re behind on a schedule or we have to move some dates or something happened … Just that open line of communication is what’s really helped us be able to be successful even when there were challenges.

4.  What do you and the family do for fun?

My wife, Kate, and I have three kids. Zach is 12, Kyler is 10 and Kensley is 6. We love to spend time outside, going on hikes. We do quite a few trips to the beach throughout the year — primarily the Gulf Coast, Panama City (Fla.), Destin (Fla.), over to Gulf Shores. I grew up in Southern California before moving to the Midwest, so I’ve just always loved being on the water. And then all of us, all the way down to our 6-year-old, love music. So, we go to a lot of concerts as a family throughout the year.

5.  What was it about working for your dad that made you want to continue on in this industry?

A portion of it was being able to be outside every day. I love the fresh air, the sun in my face and the fact that it changes from job to job, whether it be maintenance or install. Yes, you may be doing repetitive work, but it’s ever-changing and there’s those challenges and things you can overcome. Being able to look back at the end of the day of what you were able to accomplish, whether it be laying some nice stripes or putting in some new shrubs or flowers and just be able to see the beautification of what you left behind. And you feel proud when you drive by and say, ‘Hey, I did that.’

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Seth Jones

About the Author:

Seth Jones, a graduate of Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was voted best columnist in the industry in 2014 and 2018 by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. Seth has more than 23 years of experience in the golf and turf industries and has traveled the world seeking great stories. He is editor-in-chief of Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf magazines. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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