Success stories

Taylor Smith & Michelle Holmgren


A lot of people work out of their homes, but most aren’t doing so with a stash of hedge trimmers, lawn mowers, and irrigation supplies, while receiving plant deliveries, with 3 employees and multiple trucks, and trying to do it all without being a neighborhood nuisance. That’s the situation Taylor Smith and Michelle Holmgren found themselves in when they took over – and grew – their mother’s landscaping business, Taylor Made, which she’d established in 1993.

“We were limited in the amount of crew we could have, how much equipment, how to receive big deliveries… and we wanted to respect the neighborhood [the home office was in],” Taylor recalled. They knew that having a building would allow them to grow in several aspects, but rental opportunities that suited them were few and far between. With most of their clients in Shasta Lake and Redding, the north end of town was ideal: travel time is money lost. Plus, locations had to offer security for their vehicles and equipment, and all for the right price.

“I was getting frustrated because I couldn’t find a place to rent – we grew from 2 to 4 trucks, pretty quickly,” Taylor remembers. They finally went to Scott Valley Bank to explore their options, and buying beat out renting. “Looking at rates as far as buying vs renting… when Justin at Scott Valley told us about the Superior California Economic Development program, it became a no-brainer for us to invest,” says Michelle.

To be honest, we didn’t really do much, SCED did everything.

Once it was decided, the siblings appreciated how easily everything came together. “There were very few challenges with this whole process. With a conventional loan, you’d have to come up with 20% down, and there was no way that would be feasible,” Taylor explains. “We’d probably still be looking.”

“To be honest, we didn’t really do much, SCED did everything,” adds Michelle. “They guided us through the process, and it was very painless transition. We went home and talked about it, gave them the information they needed, met up at their office, went over a few things, next thing you know you’re signing papers [for a loan to buy the building], and you’re done.”

Taylor Made closed escrow on a building with 5,000 square feet of warehouse and 1,250 square feet of office space in September of 2016. After their struggle to find suitable rental space, they saw the opportunity of building that market, and are hoping to rent a portion of their space to other businesses.

They’ve grown from three to seven employees, but the biggest gain? “The freedom – being able to breathe,” says Taylor.

“It’s been great having a location where we can start at any time of the day and not worry about neighbors, or blocking driveways. We can accept plant deliveries without having them lay on top of each other, and we can expand into other opportunities: do more installs,” says Michelle.

Their advice for other businesses interested in investing: make sure you look at your options, and talk to people. Reach out to resources. “Having the bank help you and knowing what your payments are going to be is key. Get to where there are no surprises,” recommends Michelle, so your office can feel like home, without actually BEING home.