Who are you?
We are a proud Jacksonville-based family business who create unique outdoor living spaces made of wood, skill and American pride, specializing in custom-built pergolas, hardscapes and unique outdoor kitchens to allow people to #EnjoyEarth from their backyard.
We are three brothers who collectively have an insane amount of skill and a clear vision brimming with passion and desire. We complete every goal that we set out to conquer, with a smile on our face and most importantly...on our customer's face. The Pratt brothers do not fail. We know that it takes hard work to achieve the results that we know we want.
Why Did you start your business?
Our business started in 2004 because Derek Pratt wanted to do the work he was currently doing, but for himself. He wanted to fully utilize his skills and passion for custom woodworking, to build a better product, while creating fun customer relationships. At that time, and for the next 5 years, our company specialized in indoor finish carpentry jobs, kitchen/bathroom remodels and concrete-based projects.
The Summer of 2009 is when we took this passion outside and built what is now the cornerstone of what we do. It all started from when a customer of ours asked if we built pergolas. After a quick web-search of the word “pergola” and learning that it was a structure made of wood, we replied with “yes, we can build pergolas.” Since then, we have grown to love building custom pergolas for our customers, turning it into our niche product. With plenty of research and development, we have learned to build the best pergola in the United States of America.
What makes your business unique?
The way we create our pergolas is like no one else in the USA. Our pergolas are stronger than any other, while using less materials, less metal…helping them keep that “all wood look.” We have achieved this by using the existing wood to strengthen itself, by the way we cut and lay the wood, when building the pergola.
The “wow effect” comes from the finish of the wood…and this finish is completely unique to Pratt Guys. The wood appears to look as though it’s age is over a hundred years old and been laying in the bottom of a lake. Without giving away our exclusive process, we will say that it took us over a year to master how to make the wood look exactly this way and our customers absolutely love it!
What's the biggest mistake you've made with your business and what did you learn from it??
We grew too quick, without having a plan to accommodate the demand for our product. Because of this, we were unable to meet the needs of our customers in a timely, well-communicated manner. This was not “Pratt standards” and we knew we made a mistake. We’ve learned that no matter how amazing and unique your product is, it is outweighed by your customer’s needs.
what big goal do you have for your company and how do you plan to achieve it?
We want the word “pergola” to be synonymous with Pratt Guys, throughout the entire USA. We will achieve this goal by doing two big things: continuing to build the highest quality, most unique pergola and developing and communicating our brand name using various forms of mass communication. We know that it takes hard work an a lot of hours to achieve the results that we know we want. You must be willing to work much harder than the guy next to you if you want to be the best at what you do.
what advice or tips do you have for people wanting to start their own business or follow their dreams?
We have two tips to share here. The first one is to believe in your product or service and then never give up on it! The second tip is to pay for strong logo design and brand development and make it apart of everything you do.