Matt Cook is a landscape designer, salesman and influencer at Purple Care in Fort Worth. Founded in 1993, the company handles lawn care, landscaping, pest control and construction. Matt also contributed to our article “Fescue to the Rescue.”
What’s the best part of your job?
Being outside in the fall and spring.
What inspired you to get into the industry?
I was teaching science in the Texas school system and had an after-school outdoor landscaping club. We designed and implemented an Outdoor Learning Center to instruct students about natural cycles and the importance of water conservation and a love for the outdoors.
I used 500 students with their hands and buckets to unload 7 yards of mulch in one day! We also created over 10,000 seed bombs to overseed the prairie section of the Outdoor Learning Center. Then we had a celebration day: the band played, people spoke, and afterward everyone in attendance helped overseed the entire 5,000 square foot space.
This project introduced me to Landscape Design. I had to plan the entire space out. I had limited to no training, but had many Texas Master Gardeners, Native Plant Experts, and the Agriculture Extension office help me with the layout and planning.
What did you learn from doing that project?
I discovered a few things about myself. Number one: I love being outside. Number two: not everyone can visualize and conceptualize a project, and I could do that. Number three: I realized I had a passion for native plants and wildlife habitats. While doing this project I met the owners of Purple Care. I had both of their sons in my class that year. While working outside and volunteering his time, Justin Berg looked up at me and said, “Matt I would hire you if you want to try something different.” Two years later, I took them up on it.
What’s the key to great design?
Creating a space that your customer enjoys seeing every day, a space that invites them to come have their coffee outside. I want them to look at the space and be drawn outside.
Formal or casual?
Neutral or colorful?
What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited?
Yosemite. If you have never driven through the tunnel and stopped to take in the view of Bridal Veil Falls and El Captain you have not lived. Load up your kids and go today!
Where’s your happy place?
I live on a free-range sheep farm on a dead-end, country road. When I turn down my wooded driveway and see my house, everything is right in the world and my blood pressure drops.
What are you most proud of?
My kids. My wife and I have been blessed with three independent children who think for themselves and are not afraid to go against the tide.
What is something not many people know about you?
I am the product of a broken home. My mother had three different husbands. We were very poor. My mom and her third husband grew and distributed illegal drugs from our home. I broke the cycle of poverty, broken homes and addiction all with the help of God, grandparents and a foster family.
What’s the best advice you have received for your career?
My boss Justin Berg said, “Matt, shut up and listen to the client.”