Yik Yak Founder Joins Fred! Lawn Design Co. As the Startup Pivots to Remote Landscape Design


Fred! Lawn Design Co., the on-demand landscape design startup incubated through Switchyards Downtown Club’s Founder-in-Residence program, has pivoted its model to make it more scalable and offer multiple payment plans. In the process, they’ve also brought on a new leader in Yik Yak founder, Brooks Buffington.

Formerly, Fred! offered a full landscape design and refurbishment at a flat fee. The bootstrapped startup, led by former Deloitte consultant Greg Kawalek, employed designers on a contract basis to conduct the projects, and was limited geographically by the ability for the startup to find high-quality subcontractors to carry out the design.

“We found that people are more just looking for a partner in lawn re-designs to create a blueprint for them,” Kawalek told Hypepotamus. “They want to DIY it, or they have a local person they trust to do the work.”

Now, the team has pivoted to a tiered-pricing service where they provide clients a full landscape design with increasing services in each tier, but let them do the actual work however they choose. 

The project begins with a kick-off call between the client and the Fred! team where they detail their goals and current situation. A contracted designer is then assigned to the project and connected to work directly with the client. They take into account the location and geography of the yard in order to suggest specific plants and create their custom lawn design.

The client sends in photographs of their yard in order to give the designer as much information as possible. Fred! uses aerial imagery, topography, sunlight positioning, and property records to reconstruct the client’s yard — the whole process is engineered so the designer never actually needs to be on-site.

The new plans range from a $199 Light option, which gets you a design in seven days, to a $399 Deluxe plan that comes with several additional benefits like a plant guide, list of materials, recommended installers in your area, and unlimited design revisions. 

Whereas previously, they could serve a few hundred customers over the one year they’ve been in business, Buffington says this plan will enable them to scale much faster, hopefully soon bringing on their own full-time designers in-house.

Buffington says he joined the startup because of the “potentially huge market” of landscape design. Upon Yik Yak’s shuttering, he worked at a scooter sharing company in the Valley, but recently returned to Atlanta and purchased a home. He immediately noticed the pain points in lawn design.

“I just saw this as a huge issue that needed to be solved,” says Buffington.

Featured photos by Chil Studios