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.
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.”