Doing the Right Thing
His Hands Lawn Care & Services relies on relationships and good work to plant the future
His Hands Lawn Care & Services (His Hands) provides landscape maintenance, landscape construction, winter, snow and ice management, and parking lot maintenance throughout Puget Sound.
With its headquarters in Silverdale, Washington, and an additional branch in Tacoma, the company serves over 250 clients throughout King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties. It is Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE), Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified and has worked on significant projects, including the Sound Transit project, multiple Washington State Ferries, and many Washington State Department of Transportation projects.
The name “His Hands” refers to the Christian faith that the company’s owners strive to emulate. “We want people to see Christ through our actions and our work,” says Dustin Orozco, Co-Owner with his brother, Charlie.
His Hands was started in 1995 by Dustin and Charlie’s parents, Chuck and Paula Orozco. “My dad started his career in the oil industry in Louisiana, laying pipe as a laborer. But through his hard work and grit, he rose through the ranks of Conoco to become a manager,” Dustin says. “He had a storied career and is a great role model for my brother and me.”
But while Dustin’s dad found glory amongst the oil workers of Louisiana, what he really wanted to do was cut grass. “I remember my dad telling me that he always wanted to mow grass,” Dustin says.
After 30 years at Conoco, Chuck retired. The family settled in Washington because of Paula’s family in Idaho and Chuck’s family in California. “They decided to split the difference and settle in Washington,” Dustin says. “My dad retired well and decided to use part of his retirement to open His Hands,” Dustin explains. “His work ethic is so strong, we never thought he’d retire.”
A New Leaf
In Washington, after years of toiling in the oil field, Chuck made his dream come true. But, this would be no ordinary landscaping service. “My parents decided that they only wanted to serve the elderly, widows and widowers,” Dustin says. “They wanted their faith to shine through their work.”
But, Chuck’s good work couldn’t be hidden under a basket; the company soon got a reputation, in part for their habit of doing the right thing. His Hands’ client-first approach and “on time and budget” mentality earned it more referrals, which led to more work, which led to more referrals.
The business’s almost meteoric growth, which Dustin says has maintained 30-50% growth per year, is due to the family’s strong work ethic. “My Dad used to say that unless you worked 20 hours a day, you can’t say you worked,” Dustin says. “And he was serious. Growing up, we lived on a farm in Louisiana. We would wake up, feed, water and ride the horses, go to school, come home, work on the farm, do homework and go to bed. All we knew was hard work.”
In 2011, Charlie and Dustin took over the business from their parents. The time working side-by-side with their father paid off; they both inherited their father’s strong work ethic. But, they had other plans for the business. “My brother and I focused on building out the business’s landscape maintenance and construction services,” Dustin explains. “We worked very hard to make our business the go-to option for general contractors and builders in the area. And once we did that, we began to go after state work and earned our DBE and MBE certifications.”
The brothers also focused on adding advanced technology to their business. “We are a landscaping company, and as such, are stewards of nature,” says Dustin. “We work to stay current with the latest technology and are focusing on making our processes as green and sustainable as possible.”
His Hands stays green by using propane instead of gas-powered equipment, using electric-powered blowers and implementing sustainable vehicle efforts. “We go out of our way to make sure we are working as green as possible. We audit our vehicles daily to track mileage and performance,” Dustin says. “Our vehicle tires are inflated with nitrogen rather than air to maximize longevity and reduce wear. We drive to multiple sites a day, so anything we can do to reduce our footprint—like efficient route planning to reduce fuel consumption—is part of our sustainable driving efforts.”
The brothers’ changes, combined with their focus on landscape maintenance and construction, made an impact. “We quickly took on bigger and bigger projects and hired more experienced staff.” Today, the company has 106 ground force employees and 14 project managers and administrative support people. “We have some talented people,” Dustin says. “Our area and project managers have 25-plus years of experience. Our foremen and superintendents have been with us for over 10 years. These are people who have the same strong work ethic and refuse to take shortcuts. In all reality, our customers love us because they trust our people. We do a good job at all costs.”
Dustin also credits the business’s success to the wide range of services it provides. “We are a ‘turnkey’ company that provides the total package of services,” he says.
“We do everything from landscape construction, ground maintenance, annual flower enhancements, landscaping installation, parking lot sweeping, and snow and ice management. Because we do so much, we can work with a client’s budget to create customized service packages.”
Dustin says that the firm’s work is respected throughout the region for its “simplicity and elegance. We work diligently to bring our clients’ visions to life and recommend the right plants and landscaping features that best fit the environment,” says Dustin. “For example, right now, we are focused on xeriscaping and installing drought-tolerant plants. We haven’t had rain in 60 days, so it’s important to think about a drier future.”
His Hands’ most recent landscape construction projects include the Downtown Redmond Link Sound Transit Extension, the SR-167 Bridge Crossing, the Harrison Medical Center (now called St. Michael Medical Center), and the Sound Transit Federal Way Link Extension project.
“At each of these sites, we engineered a landscape that both beautifies the location while providing added benefits to the environment,” says Dustin. “For example, the SR-167 Bridge Crossing provided a new, safer way for pedestrians and cyclists to use the Interurban Trail. Or the St. Michael Medical Center, which included a Healing Garden. This garden stimulates one’s senses through the choice of plants and offers visitors a range of benefits or an escape when life inside the hospital becomes overwhelming. We have been incredibly blessed to work on projects that improve our community,” Dustin says. “We are so proud of our work and our people.”