CAMPBELL − Jeff Sheehan started doing landscape work in his childhood, but it wasn’t until much later that he realized he’d been preparing for a lifelong career. “As a kid, I used to go around and mow all the neighborhood lawns,” he recounts. “I can remember pruning my mom’s roses and being extremely meticulous. The funny thing is, I had no idea there was a whole industry for the kind of work I was doing.”
Jeff originally wanted to pursue a career in athletics, so he attended UC Davis as a Physical Education major with aspirations of getting into coaching. However, the further he progressed, the more he felt he was in the wrong place. “About three-quarters of the way through, I realized I didn’t want to coach,” he says. “I left school and started looking around for work, and I was offered a position with the local Parks and Rec Department.” Jeff says it was at this point that a whole new world opened up to him. “It was like, ‘This is where I should have been all along!’ It just felt right.”
Later, Jeff got a job doing landscape maintenance for commercial properties, but he soon sensed there was more out there for him. “I got tired of working on large complexes where everything looked the same—500 oleanders all in a row and no room for creativity. So, I started doing residential design and installation on the side, which is where I really found my niche.” After a short-lived independent venture, Jeff started Confidence Landscaping, Inc., which is still going strong more than 35 years later.
A resident of Los Gatos, Jeff regards the Bay Area as an ideal environment for a landscape professional. “The incredible resources we have here afford us the ability to be incredibly creative, whether on a large or small scale,” he says. “Plus, the climate allows us to grow virtually anything, so it’s a lot of fun.”
Outside of work, Jeff engages in a variety of active pastimes. “You name it, I enjoy doing it, from bike riding and playing tennis to windsurfing and just going on drives around the Bay Area,” he says. “I also like to travel and explore new places when I can.” Jeff also enjoys spending time with his son, Max, who works for Confidence Landscaping, and his daughter, Kallan, who is currently attending college.
In regard to a professional philosophy, Jeff says it’s important to pay attention to the little things. “Any landscaper can install a bunch of big shrubs, but it takes a certain amount of skill and vision to address the finer details. Likewise, in terms of service, it’s the little things that often make the biggest differences, like remembering a detail that, while seemingly minor, is meaningful to the client. By paying attention to the little things, both with customer service and the work itself, we’re able to create something really special for each client.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Jeff says he’d catch up on sleep. “We work a lot of long hours, especially during the summer, so I’d definitely take a few days to rest up and recharge. Then, I guess I’d assess my next move. I’d probably do a lot more traveling, as well as spend more time relaxing and working in my garden.”