We recently had the opportunity to speak with Curtis Alexander, owner of Urban Jungle in South Philadelphia. Urban Jungle specializes in landscape design and installs unique botanical displays all over Philadelphia, equipped with irrigation systems, lighting and any other necessary amenities. Their projects range in size from flower boxes to full deck rehabs. In addition to their landscaping endeavors, they also operate a well-known retail shop on East Passyunk Avenue that offers plants and supplies for any gardening project imaginable.
Curtis started this business as a hobby, installing window boxes for friends and teaching them how to design drip irrigation systems to promote vigorous plant growth. He quickly realized that quality landscape services were a rarity in the city and that it was difficult for Philadelphians to even obtain gardening supplies. Curtis developed a vision for his a new company and began seeking out advice from local professionals and doing a great deal of careful planning. Before long, Curtis located some affordable warehouse space and got to work customizing it to meet his specific needs. He got Urban Jungle up and running and the rest is history! Now, Urban Jungle has an entire community of admirers and they play a significant role in beautifying Philadelphia.
The Urban Jungle’s welcoming, open space attracts a diverse crowd, many stopping in to simply admire the gorgeous plant displays. However, the retail store is much more than just a showroom; it is stocked with over 5,000 products for gardening projects of all kinds, including seasonal decorations. In order to ensure the shop is stocked with the most modern and high-quality products possible, the staff is constantly traveling to trade shows and nurseries across the country. And since all employees take part in the inventory selecting process, a wide variety of styles are represented in the shop at all times.
Since opening, Urban Jungle has built an impressive résumé. They have acquired a huge client base, scored some high profile gigs and even won “Best of Philly” in 2012. Their retail store is booming year round and they are constantly building up their landscape design skills in order to meet the diverse needs of their clients. They have had the opportunity to make many contributions to their own neighborhood, designing the garden and patio spaces of several East Passyunk restaurants including Le Virtu, Paradiso, Fond, Nord, Cantina and Will. The Urban Jungle staff has earned themselves a very positive reputation and their work is admired all over Philadelphia.
Curtis explained to us that “Urban Jungle is a great place to work because we are always creating. We’re always being challenged to come up with a new look for our clients that is unique and fresh.” He also states that he “loves the sense of community that is constantly being fostered by our clients and employees” and the ability to “meet and become friends with so many people” through running his business.” They feel that supporting charitable causes is an important part of what they do and always look for opportunities to give back to their community. They support a number of neighborhood associations and gardening clubs. Curtis is thankful for his opportunity to work in such a thriving community and state that it has led to “a much richer life.”
In the future, Curtis plans on opening several new Urban Jungle locations and expanding their installation operations. They hope to attend more trade shows and get the word out about all of their services and exciting new projects, especially their green walls and roofs. We are very happy to have this amazing business in Philadelphia- not just because they are our first stop for all of our gardening needs, but because there is nothing more inspiring than the pursuit of a passion resulting in success!
Written by Patrick Kaisinger (Mike McCann Team Blogger Extraordinaire)