On this week’s Bucket Talk, we talk with Jason Costello, a landscape curber based in Southern California. Over 20 years ago, Jason and his family all needed some curbing done at their homes. Rather than pay out of pocket, they bought a machine and did it themselves. Jason has been curbing ever since. Listen in as Eric and Jeremy chat with Jason about becoming a landscape curber, incorporating his family into the business, and making some of the most satisfying TikTok videos out there.
Eric Girouard 0:00
This is Bucket Talk a weekly podcast where people who work in the trades and construction that aren't just trying to survive, but have the ambition and desire to thrive. The opportunity to trade and construction is absolutely ridiculous right now. So if you're hungry, it's time to eat. We discuss what it takes to rise from the bottom to the top with people who are well on their way, and roll up their sleeves every single day.
Jeremy Perkins 0:28
This is Jeremy and Eric here with Bucket Talk powered by BRUNT. This week, we have Jason Costello, also known as Jason Costco. But before we dive into the world of concrete that he lives in, Eric, what's been going on?
Eric Girouard 0:42
Ah, it's been exciting, exciting times for sure. On the front side, which has been pretty much 24/7 365 The past few weeks, we just had an incredible executive join the team is president of BRUNT goes by the name of Kevin, who was at Under Armour actually, for the past 10 years developing really cutting-edge technology and products from footwear to apparel, and it's really good, I think, take help us take the business to a completely differently than where we are today. So super, super excited to have him join us here. And obviously you've got to meet him and the rest of the team has and so we're gonna start digging in and making some waves. What about you?
Jeremy Perkins 1:23
Well, speaking of new additions of family, we just had a baby goat, our first ever live birth on the farm. So that's pretty exciting for the family happened at like two o'clock in the morning, my wife came down and was like, get up. I'm like, I don't want to get up. But anyway, I went, went supported her. The kids were super pumped, and they love the new baby goat. And he's named Bruno after the, I guess the children's movie. So that was a joint decision by the two children. So we have baby Bruno at the farm. But other than that, that's good. I know. It looks like me, right. So, alright, let's dive in. All right.
All right. Today we're here with Jason Costello. He also goes by the name of Jason Costco on TikTok, Jason, how're you doing?
Jason Costello 2:20
I'm doing good. Thank you.
Jeremy Perkins 2:21
Alright, so Jason, this is an interesting trade for me because I actually know nothing about it. We chat a little bit offline and and I definitely want to learn more. But your title is landscape Kerber. Correct. That's correct. All right. So let's dive into what that is and how you got your start.
Jason Costello 2:41
Alright, so a landscape curver we are the guys that would go put a cement border around the grass area or a rock area planners. Big where we live because we have at least an area I live in a lot of big lots. So instead of putting grass in the whole area, they'll separate things out. So they'll put a grass area, we'll put a curb around it, maybe some rock landscape change the rock color, we put a curb in between the two colors. So that's where I guess we would help out the landscapers that are actually doing the design we come in and I guess trace the lines in between different areas of the yard, if that makes sense.
Jeremy Perkins 3:20
I'm actually in New England, which is the northeastern part of the United States, which just, you know, it things are a little bit different, but you're on the west coast. So it's like a whole different landscape style. Correct?
Jason Costello 3:32
Correct. Yeah, I'm actually in the high desert areas. So we have pretty pretty good weather if we don't really have a true four seasons, like I'm thinking you guys do so yeah.
Jeremy Perkins 3:41
We're in mud season right now, which is like a transition between winter and and spring. So it's like snow melting and just lots of mud. But it's definitely a different type of landscaping different type of, like, I guess architecture to people's yards or commercial properties. So a lot of concrete, I guess.
Jason Costello 4:02
Yep. Yep. And in your asking how I got into it, if you want to hear that was absolutely. Yeah, kind of a funny thing because it was actually on accident. So like I said, looking at it, I just bought a home and this is quite some time ago and my brother had bought his home and just looking for ideas for my yard and started to see these concrete borders or the landscape curbing popping up in people's yards. So started looking through the phone book that was before the Google days and found someone that actually offered the landscape curbing call them got an estimate, you know, basically, you know, they charged by the foot which is what I do, primarily is charged by the foot or or by the job. And by the time I was done with the math on what I wanted to put in my yard, the total was pretty good. Same with my brother, same with my dad. So the idea came about of you know, I wonder what one these machines would cost. So that's kind of what sorry The whole thing got online reached out to a few different companies. At that time, they sent me a big envelope with a VHS tape inside of it and started watching some videos and narrowed it down to one company that I went with and kind of got talked into buying a trailer. Because my trailer has a mixer that setup with it just to make up kind of kind of a one stop shop show up at the house, I can mix everything on site, throw it into the machine and put the curb down and be done. So ended up buying the whole setup, which was kind of stressful at the time, but figured if I can, you know, start a business and do one job a month and make the payment, then I wouldn't worry about it. So that's how we got into actually, that's interesting.
Jeremy Perkins 5:45
So like, for me, you know, being you know, in the automotive field and stuff, there's multiple different tools. And I know that you have just by watching your content and, and having a little bit of background in concrete. I know that there's hand tools and stuff involved, but like, the main tool that you use, there's one of them?
Jason Costello 6:06
Yeah, I guess the main tool, I'd say would be the machine. But the main tool that you see in all the videos would just be the hand trowel. And that's whatever shape of the curve that I extrude is the shape of trowel that I use.
Jeremy Perkins 6:21
Okay, yeah, that's cool. And this machine, what do they actually call it?
Jason Costello 6:27
I would just say a curbing machine would be probably the easiest and simplest way. But um, yeah, I guess that's what we call it, the curb machine
Jeremy Perkins 6:36
I've actually never seen it before until we came across you and started, you know, talking with you. And I, I mean, it's fascinating, because your videos are actually extremely satisfying to watch.
Jason Costello 6:50
Jeremy Perkins 6:51
It's crazy. I mean, it just kind of just leaves a path of concrete curving behind it. And that's awesome. So everything was learned on the job.
Jason Costello 7:00
You know, in that's true. I, when I first got the machine, they did offer training, but the time it was in Utah, I was in California didn't have I mean, maybe YouTube was around because I bought this, gosh I wanna say it was back in 19. Maybe 1989, I think is when we bought the machine. Wow. So So I had a couple phone numbers that I called kind of, you know, pick these guys brains a little bit and ask how they did certain things. And, you know, if you have a bump here, how would you do that? Why is my curb doing this? So it was kind of just ask some questions, trial and error. I learned in my brother's front yard, we thought it looked awesome. And soon as we started to learn it, we went back, we tore it all out. And we redid it because you it's like anything, you start getting better, you start getting more comfortable. And then just recently, I actually took some formal training, because I don't care how long you've been doing anything. There's always room for improvement, right? So I took some formal training, learned some new stuff, and just been kind of going through it and still having fun after I believe it's been 23 years now
Jeremy Perkins 8:08
you know what's amazing about what you said earlier? So you bought the machine in 89. Let's call it so I was born in 85. But what's amazing is the fact that people forget what it was like to learn back then. And it's amazing, because like everything, you can go to Google, you go to YouTube. I mean, we have information at our fingertips. Like, at one point, the joke was your math teacher told you you'll never have a calculator in your pocket. So you need to learn math. I mean, that's pretty much everything. Now we can source everything at the drop of a hat. So for you, it's interesting that everything had to be learned through trial and error or through your network. So that's awesome. That's crazy.
Jason Costello 8:51
Yep, no, and I said 89. It was 99. So quick correction on that. But yeah, yeah, it's making me look really old. But no, but you're right. And even still, to this day, I all watch, you know, get on YouTube and search stuff and look for different ideas. And that's the beauty of it. It's I'm not stubborn to say yeah, I know at all definitely don't know at all. And I admire quite a few people's work. And I think all of us you just keep trying to get better at what you do so
Jeremy Perkins 9:22
so you and your brother and your father kind of got together bought this did it for your own personal gain. Do they still join you? Or is it just kind of you and your family that are kind of running it now?
Jason Costello 9:35
So currently my brother he moved to Texas, I want to say it's five or seven years ago? Yeah. And then my dad, my dad and I bought a place out in Texas. So my dad has been out there since June of last year. He actually got COVID and got pretty sick. So he's coming home here pretty quick. So it's been just my son and I my son and I we are the first ones to post our first video. My daughter is actually the one that kind of gave me the idea of the format. But as far as all of us working together, it's been a family thing all along, but it's been myself, my youngest boy. And then occasionally when my oldest boy is not working, he'll help out. So yeah, family the whole time.
Jeremy Perkins 10:16
And the boys are taking a liking to it? It's something that they could see themselves doing as a career, or it's just more of a, hangin out with dad at this point.
Jason Costello 10:25
Yeah, I would say hanging out with Dad is probably definitely on the list. And then something maybe to always fall back on. Let's say my oldest one, he shows interest. My youngest one, I would say shows a little bit more interest. I just took him to our training. It was last month in Arizona. And he was pretty excited about the whole thing. And I just love what they said there. There's nothing that he can do here that we can't fix and correct. So it was basically no pressure at all and just kind of do your thing. So but yeah, I would say probably something to fall back on. I don't know if he wants to deal with cement his whole life and there's nothing wrong with that. It's a different generation. They love the computer stuff. Yeah.
Jeremy Perkins 11:08
So one thing I'm trying to wrap my head around is so like out here, we have landscapers and we have hardscape or we have you know, lawn maintenance, lawn design, you know, all that stuff. On the other side of things we got, you know, patios retaining walls. Do you kind of like straddle that line? Are there hardscapes out near you that do the same thing you do? Are you more of like a specialty? And this is kind of all that anybody would do in your field? That's all they would do.
Jason Costello 11:36
You know, there's some landscapers that offer landscape curbing, I would say the majority of the landscapers out here, I'm kind of a specialty guy. I'm just basically like a framer would for the house come to your framing and get out of there, I come in, usually the landscapers will either have a line painted on the ground, or I have a landscaper that just comes out and freehand. He'll just start dragging designs on the ground and say, Hey, can you do this? This is what I'd like to see both kind of talk to themselves. I need sprinklers here here. Yeah, that should work. And we kind of work it together, I tell him what would work the best with the machine and, and we just go for it.
Jeremy Perkins 12:12
That's interesting. I've seen it at least with irrigation, guys, you know, though, they'll have the machine that kind of tears up and puts the pipe down and then kind of back fills it. So that's cool out here. We have nothing like it, at least to my knowledge. So this is a whole nother ball of wax for me, where do you actually picture your career going? Or is this kind of it is, you know, you're where you want to be,
Jason Costello 12:34
I would say my goal is I would like to move out of California, I would like to move out to Texas, because that's where my family's most of them are going to be. And I'd like to start doing it full time actually. It's one of those things after 23 years of doing it, I still enjoy it, I get kind of giddy and excited every time I'm going to go do a job because when I'm done with it, it's such a good feeling just to look at what you've done. And that's not saying there's days where I don't like what I'm doing because it's you know, 120 degrees and can't stop sweating and the wind is blowing and drying the cement faster than I can finish it. But I would say on the most part, it's a very satisfying job that when I'm done, it's kind of one of those things, you stand back and you're like, you know what I did that I feel pretty good about that.
Jeremy Perkins 13:20
Your work is awesome. Like I said, I've witnessed it through numerous videos that you guys have posted. And it's awesome. It's unbelievable. And it there's almost like an artistic feel to it too. You know, I'm sure you have to do different borders and different designs. And that's pretty cool. And there's different angles of the curving. The curve is not pretty straightforward. I mean, some of it's different, correct.
Jason Costello 13:41
Yep, I actually. So as far as like standard shapes, I offer three different shapes. And one of them they call mower style. The I guess there is a design was so you can run your lawnmower wheel on it. Probably not the best idea, but it was a good sell point when we first started selling and that's the one that has kind of a sculpture look to it. Yeah, we have a four by six which is kind of like your square one that's flat on top, rounded edges but flat on top. And then probably the most popular right now is the slant curb and done quite a few videos with that. And then the newer stuff that I'm doing, which I did a little bit before is the stamp stuff. So you could take the angled curb, you put a concrete release on it a color release, roll a stamp on it, you can push the stamp into it. And then I do another one that I posted a couple videos on those we call it stonework or carving to where it looks like you had some kind of like cobblestones or big chunky rocks stacked together but it's basically running the line of the curb if that makes sense. So you can still run around grass or a planter but look like rocks lined up.
Jeremy Perkins 14:49
It's funny when you said the slant curb it kind of triggered a memory for me. We had a parking lot that we were going to be in charge of snowplowing and we had the contract for the winter but they We're redoing the parking lot prior to. And since we were local, we kind of knew what was going on. And at that point in time, we had approached the owner of the parking lot, we're like we don't recommend you putting in. We call it Cape Cod curves. And it's done in asphalt, it's not done in concrete. And what happens is essentially, like when the plow hits it, we're just gonna peel it back, it's, well, like, you're gonna put it in this beautiful parking lot. And unfortunately, for us, it kind of sits on top of the asphalt versus being tied into the asphalt. So I mean, literally, you'll peel it right off. And that's kind of why we we have a lot of granite curbing up here or no curbs at all. It was funny, and they went ahead with the project. And let's just say they are missing pieces of curbing.
Unknown Speaker 15:49
You called it, yeah.
Jeremy Perkins 15:51
Well, I didn't, somebody much wiser than me was the one. That was kind of my my insight into curves and how they performed, it was a pretty eye opening experience. So yeah, you want to just kind of get into this more, and you really enjoy doing it. I mean, I've met some people who really liked the money of their trade, like maybe the hours or the fact that they go to work, and then they can come home and turn it off. But for you, you like the love of actually making the curves and, and doing all this stuff. That's great. I mean, that's kind of actually inspiring. A lot of people don't do what they love to do.
Jason Costello 16:28
No, it is true. And it's funny, because just talking to these guys that I went to the training with, you know, we start sharing stories, hey, what do you charge, and I realized that I was charging way too little for it. And I was okay with what I was getting, there was never, and that's what people asked me Oh, yeah, you know, you have your own business. I said, Well, I'll never get rich, but I enjoy doing it. And it's, you know, it's nice to have the extra money and it just works out. So it's a good thing. And again, I I wouldn't change it. I wish I would have found the machine I'm using currently, probably about 10 or 15 years ago. But again, like anything, there's always improvements in equipment and the tools so
Jeremy Perkins 17:08
well, that was that was gonna be my next question is what was the number one thing you know, now that you wish, you know, like starting out? What would it be the choice in machinery? Or would it be something completely different?
Jason Costello 17:18
I would say it's going to be a combination of a couple things, the equipment, it's absolutely, the machine that I'm using now is just top of the line it again, terms that probably no one cares about this one has a longer stroke. So it pushes more cement through the extruder than my other one, the other one was short, it's kind of a, I guess, a ramming motion. If you can picture a playdough machine when you're a kid, just squeezing it through their mind just has a basically a ram that spins and it just pushed it forward, back forward, back until it pushes it round the extruder. So has a little bit different wheelbase. It's heavier, it's a little bit longer machine, just better leveling jacks on it, because I've got to keep it level when I'm putting the curb down. This thing has a thing that reduces the amount of slag which my other one, if you weren't paying attention, you can leave and slag is what's underneath the curb the part that kind of squirts out of the bottom. Yeah. So little stuff like that. I'm using chemicals now. In my curb that I wish I knew about 20 years ago, I'm using plasticizer in my cement and sand mix, and then I'm using another product that's basically a curb lubricant. Instead of some of my earlier videos, I was splashing water and a lot of people ask, you know, where's Why aren't you splashing water anymore, but, and I didn't mind doing that. That's the way I did it. That's the way it worked. And now I have a pump sprayer so it saves my hands from getting wiped out with all the lime from the cement and getting dried out and now I'm actually wearing gloves and using this curving lubricant. So it's made a world of difference.
Jeremy Perkins 18:58
Well, I mean, that is one thing that had changed in my industry is actually PPE. We went from you know, having dirty greasy you know, hands, dealing with all of the old lubricants and what have you it wasn't necessarily good for health. So you see a lot of people wearing latex gloves nowadays working on vehicles, but I did want to get into the plasticizer and curbing lubricant so when you're talking about the curbing lubricant you're talking about when you use to put water on it, it just helps form the concrete better almost like a pottery wheel.
Jason Costello 19:30
Yeah, I was. The reason I was using water is I was adding moisture so I could get a better finish. Right, right. Hopefully it boils down. The most important thing about landscape curbing is the mix has got to be right on if the mix is off. It's it basically creates a rough day for the finisher, which is me. It'll run out of the machine. It'll look good. But once you put that trial on it, you'll hear it's you know, scraping you know real scratchy sound. Yeah. So, and again, usually I have it laid out I'm dealing with the elements, it's hot out here, it seems like it's always windy in the high desert. So by the time I get done, I go to finish it, and it's drying up. So I'm adding water which and I always got really, really nice finishes, they would look like a broom finish. But it's just one of those things where it worked. And I'd come back or see the job, you know, week later a year later, and the stuff look great. And I wasn't having any issues with cracking. So the mix was everything. But now the stuff that I'm using is helped that quite a bit. Because it's the plasticizer is actually a water reducer if that makes any sense. So I don't have to put as much water it's still going to feel like it is and less water and concrete is actually going to make it a little bit stronger. So but again, it was a learning curve. When I started using that stuff,
Jeremy Perkins 20:48
does it help with like cure time or less water means years quicker?
Jason Costello 20:54
Yeah, I would say so. And that's why you know, people ask me are you a concrete guy I am to an extent I'm you know, a landscape curver. But concrete guys, they use it sand aggregate and cement minds just plaster sand or Mason sand, just whatever you have in your area and use the sand and cement and then the plasticizer if you're going to use it and you don't have to but so it's not soupy like a lot of the flat work, guys. So usually by the time I leave the job, it's firm enough that you could work around it. It's not settled, it usually takes you know, 24 hours or more for it to be safe enough that I could tell a little kid you could walk on it. But I would say it helps out a little bit. Again, I haven't looked at it enough or gone back because usually by the time I'm done with the job, half the job is already dry enough for it's turning white on me so
Jeremy Perkins 21:46
Okay, yeah. So there's definitely a difference between like structural concrete, you know, formwork versus and the materials you work with. So concrete isn't just concrete, there's different makeup to it a different science, if
Jason Costello 22:00
you will. Yep, yeah, and we use no forms that comes out of the machine in the shape it's gonna be and we put it right on top of the dirt or hard surface that they want me to put it on. So nine again, the up the surface has got to be nice and compacted. And that's going to give the cement that we put on the strength that it has
Jeremy Perkins 22:19
for that young kid that's listening that wants to be a landscape Kerber, what would you tell him or her what would be that piece of information that you can give them to help them
Jason Costello 22:32
start off, I would say definitely do the research on the equipment, there's a lot of different companies that are out there. I would say that's number one, you have good equipment, buy the right equipment the first time and I would say before we even look into it, I would say research the area make sure that people want landscape curbing. And again, the only reason you wouldn't want it is if you have very harsh weather. I'm sure you could do it but you may be out of business for three or four months out of the year because a lot of guys do have to shut down I can curb 12 months out of the year some weekends I have to take it off or days I have to take off because it gets a little bit weathered but if you have artistic ability you like to create stuff I guess you get that satisfaction when you build something or make something this is this is a job for you then a lot of design goes into it a lot of people give me the give me the shovel to say and say Hey, can you draw something out for me I really don't know what I want and that's some of my most favorite things to do because I get to get creative I know what the machines capable of doing and I'm going to give them the best possible design for their yard and what the machine wants to do because it's straight lines I'll tell you are an absolute bare machine but you can do it yeah. curves and nice smooth radiuses are what that machine is intended to do.
Jeremy Perkins 23:55
Yeah Nice nice. Alright, so outside of all this concrete talk and curbing what is Jason like to get into for a little bit of downtime, little r&r, what's your go to
Jason Costello 24:10
go to I'd say definitely family time hanging out with my family. I like to keep myself in shape because I'm not getting any younger so I like to go to the gym my fiance and I like to go and get our time in get a little bit of time away from the kids and what's been taking up a lot of my time here lately is messing around with these videos and editing and spending time with my son and getting ideas and thinking about shots and I say travels definitely on there but says a busy life like anybody I squeeze in what I can but I enjoy my family whenever I can. Nice, nice.
Jeremy Perkins 24:46
So I mean this is pretty much the end of the podcast unless you had something else for our listeners to hear. This is really the time where I let you plug something or tell them your handle and you know if you're willing to take questions or give further guidance on landscape curving or whatever so the floor is yours
Jason Costello 25:10
always open to questions and anybody can any always send me something I guess as far as my handle at Jason COSCO on TikTok, same name on Instagram
Jeremy Perkins 25:23
Costco spelt CLSC. Oh, correct.
Jason Costello 25:26
Yep. And you know what I guess that's, that can lead me into a little story about the whole Jason Costco thing. I'm not affiliated with Costco. And that was it was a, I did work at Costco. I worked at Costco for 13 years, actually. And I even my oldest boy works for Costco. So that's kind of how that came about. When I coached high school football was about the same time I started curving. And I used to drive from Costco and go to the practice field, and the kids called me coach Costco actually. So that name kind of stuck because I knew I was a Costco employee. And then jumping up probably too few years ago, unfortunately, got a divorce. And a friend of mine wanted to get me onto social media. I was against it. And he created an account for me. And lo and behold, that's how Jason COSCO guests are. Nice. Yeah, and my son and I posted a video just to tell you how it didn't change. And the first one did did did okay, I got about 7000 views. And I believe a week later we posted I think it was our fourth video at that time, and it went viral. And then I was kind of stuck with a name. So
Jeremy Perkins 26:45
that one was what 4 million views?
Jason Costello 26:48
I believe. So yeah, that one that one did pretty well, we had a good run, we had three weeks in a row where we have viral videos. And if you're new to social media, and if you're posting when you have that first video take off, it is a pretty good little rush because you really don't know what's going
Jeremy Perkins 27:03
on. But, I mean, I dabble in the world of social media. And it's just amazing that 4 million people have put eyes on Jason Costcos. curbing. I mean, that's so huge. And yeah, you can kind of whittle it down and say like, oh, how many people actually watch to the end? Put all that aside. 4 million people have seen you lay down curb?
Jason Costello 27:27
Oh, yeah. And I'll tell you the one that blows me away. And this was my son and I kind of work in some math on something. So if you were to go to my TikTok page, I have a video that I believe it's at 44.9 million right now. It's my top pinned video. TikTok is nice. They give you a little analytics page where you can kind of break it down. We did the math on that video and it has over 23 years of views or view time. So it's one of those ones where I still I we get a big smile on our face and go, Man, what the heck if
Jeremy Perkins 28:04
a lot of impressions there.
Jason Costello 28:06
Yep. And I'll have to have to give a shout out to my daughter because she is actually the one my first video I put with music. And my daughter was sitting there on the couch and we were messing around editing the video and she says Dad, she says I think the sound of you trawling is very satisfying. And I kind of looked at her and I didn't get it. And she says no, I'm serious that it's satisfying. She says just do a video where it's just the scratching sound of the trowel. So I had one that the first one went viral I had music but it was because my my dad and my son were talking in the background so I had to put music over it. But then after that all the big videos have no sound on him. It's just the natural sounds you can hear cars running in the background the birds chirping and then the sound of me trowel and so I gave it to her she was right there was an audience for the I guess the ASMR sounds.
Jeremy Perkins 29:01
I was gonna say that too. Are you? Are you gonna start going into just
Jason Costello 29:08
now I've posted videos, you know, the satisfying sounds of the trowel? Yeah, different stuff. And it seems to work I actually posted a video about a month ago where I put a little bit of music and the guy basically said hey, don't crap on your videos by putting music on them. So
Jeremy Perkins 29:24
there you go. You get you're getting in at the right time, I guess.
Jason Costello 29:28
No, it works. Yeah, it definitely definitely works. I was a first time I posted I saw maybe one or two Kurvers and you know I had oh maybe 50 followers a couple 100 followers and it makes me feel pretty good because I log on now and on my for you page I probably get 10-15 curbers now. So hopefully our videos inspires other people to get their stuff out there because there's some people that do beautiful work out there.
Jeremy Perkins 29:55
If it's not curbing if it's not concrete work if it's not even landscaping I mean The real message is for us anyway is to try to just get more people that are inclined to work with their hands to do so. I mean, I feel that some people are just pushed away because that's not what they're supposed to do when really, they were born to do it. They have the knack or the skills and abilities to to be able to do some of this amazing work. And so bringing light to stuff like this has been actually eye opening. And it's been great to have different relationships through this that, you know, now I'm learning I'm able to pass that knowledge on to somebody else. Somebody goes, Hey, you know, oh, I know. Jason, why don't you talk to Jason about this? You know, I mean, I'm hoping somebody listens. Right. Well, thank you for coming on the show. This has actually been very enjoyable. And I look forward to seeing more of your work and your ASMR page. So
Jason Costello 30:55
yep, once again, thank you so much for having me on. I really appreciate it. Awesome. Awesome.
Jason Costello, known by Jason Costco on social media, has been landscape curbing for over two decades now. After realizing the exorbitant cost of having someone else outfit his new home with landscape curbs, he decided to take matters into his own hands and buy a curbing machine himself. This allowed him and his family to do their own projects, while taking on some others to pay off the machine.
“...how I got into it, [is] kind of a funny thing because it was actually an accident…I started looking through the phone book and found someone that actually offered landscape curbing. Call them, get an estimate…and by the time I was done with the math on what I wanted to put in my yard, the total was pretty good. So the idea came about…I wonder what one of these machines would cost.”
At the time, there was no YouTube to turn to for instruction and the only classes he could take were hundreds of miles away, so everything he learned was through trial and error. A curb didn’t come out right? Tear it up and do it again. Since then, he has taken some real classes to hone his craft, but to get his start, he did it all the old fashioned way.
“So I had a couple phone numbers that I called kind of, you know, pick these guys brains a little bit and ask how they did certain things. And, you know, if you have a bump here, how would you do that? Why is my curb doing this? So it was kind of just, ask some questions, trial and error.”
There is an art to landscape curbing. Many landscapers see it as a specialty job, which has helped Jason get work over the years. He comes in to build a specific part of the landscaper’s vision, then moves on to the next gig.
“I'm kind of a specialty guy… basically like a framer, [who] would, for the house, come to your framing and get out of there. When I come in, the landscapers will either have a line painted on the ground, or a landscaper that just comes out and freehand. He'll just start dragging designs on the ground and say, ‘Hey, can you do this?’”
Jason has also managed to find a cool way to get involved with social media: his oddly satisfying TikTok videos. Mixing the ASMR of his trowel gliding across fresh concrete and the satisfaction of watching a curb take the perfect shape, his videos not only take you through a bit of the curbing process, but leave you feeling better for having watched them. This has led to his account, @jasoncostco, having over 725,000 followers and over 8,000,000 likes.
“The real message is, for us anyway, is to try to just get more people that are inclined to work with their hands to do so. I mean, I feel that some people are just pushed away because that's not what they're supposed to do when really, they were born to do it.”