We had the good fortune of connecting with Evan Lambert and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Evan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The idea for Phoenix Green Walls came about when my family and I decided to move back to my native Arizona after living in Brooklyn for the past 9 years. In the time I had been away, I started a family, ran my own business and worked for some of the leading design & build interior/exterior companies in New York City. So when I decided to come back to Phoenix, it felt like time to hit refresh and really decide what I wanted to do, not just for me but for the Phoenix community.
I’ve always loved plants, and have spent my entire career in the plant industry. But living in NYC during the pandemic and working to keep plant installations alive while the whole city was shut down gave me a new perspective. With millions of dollars of plant installations in some of the biggest companies in the world at stake, interior plant companies got an exemption to work on site. My team of Horticulturists went to the few places we had access to and maintained thousands of plants to make sure when employees would eventually come back into the office it looked like they had never left. We were lucky we did not have to stay in our apartments 24 hours a day for months on end, we were lucky enough to get out and work with plants to clear our head and to have this mental break from what was going on around us. Yes it was scary, and we felt at risk, but while we were on the job and surrounded by plants, it created a sense of calm for the 4-6 hours we were out at sites. But when it was time to go home, that plant therapy went away.
So when it came to what I wanted to do, I wanted to do something that would have an impact, I wanted to do something people do not think of having in the desert and make plants more accessible to people. So Phoenix Green Walls was born. Over the course of the last year while back in Phoenix, I studied businesses in the industry and saw how my experience over the last decade could create something different. I want to show people how plants can help create a sense of calm, especially in times of stress or in urban locations. People bond with plants, and all the studies that show how important plants can be, I truly believe that people can rely on their plants to help support their mental and physical health.
What should our readers know about your business?
At Phoenix Green Walls we install and maintain interior and exterior green walls and interior plant installations for residential, commercial and hospitality as well as an online shop where we delivery locally (brick and mortar store in the near future). One of our biggest strengths is our great foundation of customers as they are the heart of our business. They are the best advertisement, since they have first hand knowledge how the process from initial consultation to the final walk through of each installation. At the point of the final walkthrough clients are amazed at what we have created.
As a small and new company I have to wear many hats, but as a business owner that is something that I love. I can not sell the job, design the installation and then just sit back and have the installation crew do the work. I make sure what I sell to the client is what the client gives and that means you will see me on the job site project managing each installation.
Getting to where I am today has its ups and downs, one of the biggest challenges is job pricing. Clients generally have no idea what an average price for a green wall is or an interior installation would be as they would for a typical landscape installation. So when I present my proposal I educate the clients on how it is built, how it works and how to maintain it.
Once we get a client on board we update them on a daily bases of the progress and seeing if there are any questions as the project is coming a long. We want to inform the customer every step of the way. Once a project is complete we do a 2-4 week initial installation maintenance, this is were do weekly or bi-weekly visit making sure each plant is getting proper water and all the plants are adjusting to their new environment. We create watering schedules, plant maintenance schedules and an overall program for each installation. This allows our maintenance crew or the client to have all the info to properly maintain any installation.
Yes we want to maintain any installation but we have clients that are hands on
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Activates we do, they show the great range of greatness Phoenix and Arizona has;
Spring Training – sit in the outfield lawn and have some drinks and enjoy baseball
Tubing the Salt River – Not for everyone but will have stories to tell
Hiking in Sedona – Just pure magical and grounds you
First Fridays on Roosevelt Row – Enjoy art, music, great restaurants downtown
Camelback Inn Staycation – Stay like old Hollywood
Desert Botanical Garden – Amazing beauty
Heard Museum – Amazing building – great exhibits and great history of Arizona
Monorchid for Yoga and coffee – Historic building with Yoga, Coffee
Pizzeria Bianco lived in Brooklyn for 8 years but Chris Bianco is amazing
Brunch at Postinos limited menu but great food and drinks and wine
Sonoran hot dog open up 7 pm every night at corner of 20th st and Indian School Featured on Show “Best Thing I Have Ever Ate’
Breakfast Burrito – All you need to start your day / Cheese Crisp (Magical)
Ollie Vaughns -Amazing Cafe just like we would have had in our old Brooklyn neighborhood oh, amazing food and treats.
Restaurant Progress – Again this would be a restaurant we may find in our old Brooklyn neighborhood
Welcome Diner – A fun hipster diner with great food and drinks
Valentine best margarita I have ever had and the same each time, I want one now
Lux Bar on Central Thursday-Saturday – Fancy cocktails with great decor – Like six bar seats and one booth Need to RSVP
Biltmore patio by the fire bowls – Winter time it is magical
Don Woods Say When Great cocktails on the Roof of Rise Uptown -Boutique Hotel
Camelback flower shop – great flower shop
Local Nomad – Great Boutique in Uptown Plaza
Pueblo Plant Shop – Great house plant shop along Grand Ave
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to recognize my mother as she is the one that got me started in my love for plants. I would go to the local nursery with her all the time. I had a couple of great managers that were mentors that believed in me to where my senior year in high school I was a full time employee and department manager. Fast forward 15 years, and I was the manager of the same nursery my mom and I would go to.. As I grew older in my career I had great teams I had managed and worked with that allowed me to continue my love and passion.