Robbie Kelly mows his neighbor's lawn on Dunbar Street in Chatham. Kelly started his own lawn care business called Green Scaping. Kelly has t-shirts, business cards and is building a website to help promote his business. (Joe Proudman/The Star-Ledger)
I have much admiration for this 11-year-old boy. It is hard to believe he started his Green Scaping lawn services business when he was nine. He has carved out a business for himself in a very difficult economy. That is tough to do at any age. Of course, I also dig his business name.
Jobs are tough to find for all ages but particularly the young. According to a Wall Street Journal article, the Department of Labor recently reported that a smaller share of 16-19 year-olds are working than at any time since records began to be kept in 1948.
One of my top priorities is to find kids like Robbie here in my Brooklyn neighborhood that would like a job (or start a business) helping people to grow fresh vegetables and beautiful decorative plants both indoor and outdoor.
In my view, there is a major business opportunity to educate and sell sub-irrigated planter systems (SIPs) directly to consumers. It is a knock on the door business just waiting to happen. I plan to help kids do it. Stay tuned. I will be posting much more soon.
Sunday morning, Robbie Kelly is out tending to his lawn business, mowing grass, whacking weeds, trimming borders along the sidewalk. His white T-shirt, emblazoned with the company name, Green Scaping lawn services, is soaked with sweat.
The lawns he works get professional treatment, his customers say. He goes over every inch of every yard — front and back. Wearing olive shorts, work boots with black socks pulled up to his shins, he edges the way a barber shaves an ear line.
"I can’t leave something messy when I have my name on it," he said.
His green headphones, which drown out the noise from his equipment, sitting atop a bushy blonde hair, look huge on his small frame. After all, Green Scaping’s ambitious owner is 11-years old.
Samantha Dowling, who lives around the corner and counts herself among Robbie’s satisfied customers, said the young man has always been atypical — the kind of kid who passed on lemonade stands in favor of blood pressure screening stands. Read more...