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Lake Verde youngster starts his own grass cutting enterprise

Stephen Pitre, 16, of Lake Verde went looking for a summer job last year and decided to go into business for himself. He’s now set to enter his second summer as the Lawn Barber.
Stephen Pitre, 16, of Lake Verde went looking for a summer job last year and decided to go into business for himself. He’s now set to enter his second summer as the Lawn Barber. - Dave Stewart

Stephen Pitre, 16, of Lake Verde is cutting his entrepreneurial teeth by pushing a lawn mower.

Last year, Stephen and his father Jason were sitting around talking about a summer job for the teenager when the youngster decided he was going to try and go into business for himself.

Stephen gave his business a name — the Lawn Barber — and ended up with 31 customers and 41 lawns in the greater Charlottetown area. At $30 for the standard lawn, that’s not a bad summer job. And, he’s looking to be even busier this summer.

“It went pretty well for my first year,’’ Stephen told The Guardian. “We posted some signs (around) and it got shared on Facebook.’’

Problem was, he and his father posted some of those signs on public property in Charlottetown and the city had them taken down and deposited at its public works facility on MacAleer Drive.

The story went viral on Facebook, with people as far south as Florida offering Stephen work. Kind of tough for a teenager who only possesses a learner’s driving permit to cut lawn in Florida, but father and son were rather impressed at the reaction.

“That’s how we found all his customers last year,’’ Jason said. “If that hadn’t happened I don’t think he would have gotten near the amount of attention or interest in the plight of the entrepreneur the city was picking on.’’

Watching his son develop a business plan has been a source of pride considering Jason is self-employed with a hair salon and a real estate publishing business.

Stephen said he’s not wasting his money, either. His plans are to save up for things like tuition and a truck so he can transport the ride-on lawn mower, push mower and whipper snipper around. He hopes to have that, and some help, by June considering Jason and Stephen’s older brother have done the lion’s share of driving up until now.

“I want to get my own pickup truck this summer,’’ Stephen said.

Jason said his son chose the name Lawn Barber because “you expect a certain amount of fussing if a barber cuts it than if it’s your brother that did it.’’

Stephen plans to continue cutting at least this summer and next.

And, for anyone interested in hiring the young lad for some trimming he’s available for work in Cornwall, Charlottetown, Stratford and east to Pownal. He can be reached at 902-330-5485.

dave.stewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

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