Ferguson teen expands lawncare business, experiencing rapid growth and success

News 4 first met Lawrence Hoye as he was going door-to-door offering his snow shoveling service to those in his Ferguson neighborhood.
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 6:41 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2022 at 6:42 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A local teen entrepreneur is expanding his lawncare business and gaining experience and mentorship along the way.

Lawrence Hoye, 14, will be a freshman in high school next week. But unlike most kids his age, he owns his own business and employs five people, including his mom.

“It doesn’t feel real,” Hoye said. “I worked hard and I grinded and I got what I deserved.”

Hoye started Hoye Creek Lawn and Landscaping LLC. two years ago. But, it wasn’t until last winter that business really began to take off.

“You get in over your head and you have to really think about what you’re going to do moving forward to make it work,” he said.

Hoye said he was overwhelmed with calls from potential clients after his story first aired on News 4 in February. It was the same story that caught the eye of JaRon Dent, owner of Dent Lawncare LLC., based out of the Metro East.

“I thought, I started at 12 and somebody helped me so let me help this kid,” he said. “So I reached out to him, set up a meeting, went over and saw him, liked his ambition, liked his drive and liked his energy.”

Dent has helped Hoye secure equipment needed for summer and fall lawncare, although Hoye pays for everything himself. They’ve tackled large properties over the summer together so Hoye can learn more about the business.

“I’m showing him the business side,” he said. “Such as the better equipment you have, the more efficient you become. I’ve also talked to him about how to work together as a team, set appointments and always overdeliver.”

Hoye said the insider knowledge has helped him get organized, adding that setting appointments has helped him calm his busy schedule.

“That’s the most important,” he said. “Because without that, it’s pretty crazy and you have to stay organized so that you can best serve clients.”

In February, Hoye was saving for a truck and trailer, allowing him to more easily transport his equipment. However, at 14, his mom drives him to each of his jobs.

“Earlier this summer, her car went down,” he said. “My business took a decline, but I didn’t let that stop me at all.”

A few weeks later, with the help of Dent, Hoye purchased a small riding mower. It became his mode of transportation around the neighborhood to continue his jobs and marketing efforts.

“I have a lot of clients in my neighborhood and I even picked up a commercial one,” he said. “So I just drove the mower on the sidewalk and I attached my gear to a little pull trailer I found at Home Depot to get to jobs and hand out my business cards to people.”

Hoye said after a lot of blood, sweat and tears this summer, he is officially the owner of a truck. He got the keys on Sunday and while he still can’t drive, is thrilled at the prospect of being able to serve customers more efficiently.

“I made it this far and I’ll always figure it out, I’m going to be a millionaire, I know I will be,” he said.

His mentor, Dent, has complete confidence in his mentee.

“We need more kids outside the house, working in the yard, learning a skill, learning a trade and not necessarily on the video games or computers,” Dent said. “With a kid as focused and driven as him, why wouldn’t I help him?”

Hoye said despite school starting soon, he plans to continue serving his clients as much as possible. He’s hopeful business remains strong through the fall and winter months.

To contact Hoye, email him at hoyecreekcutzlawnservice@gmail.com or send him a text at 314-793-6473.