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Meet Wendy and Jim Neri of Neri Landscape Architecture in Pacific Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendy and Jim Neri.

Wendy and Jim, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
We started our business out of a little studio Jim built behind our first home 21 years ago. We have moved a few times since then, but finally landed in an office condo in Pacific Beach in 2009.

Jim is a licensed landscape architect and has been creating beautiful outside areas all around Southern California for 33 years. We have designed over 30 exhibits for the San Diego Zoo, numerous parks in San Diego County, as well as many office complexes, schools and residences. I have been responsible for everything that is NOT landscape architecture.

When we started our business we had a toddler and a newborn, and my responsibilities, in the beginning, were to manage the billing and accounts. As the kids grew and left home, my responsibilities increased to include marketing, business development, community involvement and even IT. We now have 4 employees and a thriving business of fun and varied work.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest struggle for us (and for many, I assume) was the recession. It hit us particularly hard in 2009. In the end, we did not think we would be able to pay our employees. We had maxed out our credit cards, credit lines and had used our children’s college fund to keep our business alive.

We luckily landed a big contract that started paying a week before we thought we might have to close our doors. We learned to never max out our personal money like that again, and to stockpile when things are going well!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Neri Landscape Architecture – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Our business has only been able to stay alive because of our incredible client diversity.

The San Diego Zoo was the first client we had (my husband had worked with them at his previous firm), and they are a demanding but very rewarding client. The plants at the Zoo are actually worth more than the animals! We have been lucky enough to do design 30+ exhibits and love how many people visit them each year.

We have designed many office complexes, streetscapes, parks and schools around town, working for architects, municipalities and private developers.

We also love doing work in our own neighborhood. We live (and both grew up) in La Jolla and we both went to La Jolla High (as well as our two children). We have been lucky enough to do projects at the high school as well as at our favorite beach, Windansea. Jim, and I are also very involved in our community and feel it is important to give back whenever you can!

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We are both looking forward to growing our business, creating more beautiful spaces around Southern California and enjoying those environments whenever we can.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.nerila.com
  • Facebook: Neri Landscape Architecture
  • Twitter: @nerilandscape

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