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Exploring Life & Business with Charles Jenkins of Jenkins & Sons Lawncare

Today we’d like to introduce you to Charles Jenkins.

Hi Charles, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
After completing my four years degree, I worked for a large bank, hired as a leadership trainee with expectations of becoming branch manager. Those expectations seemed like they were coming to fruition until I was relocated from Denver, Colorado to St. Louis, Missouri.

Once in St. Louis, the atmosphere changed and due to consistent discriminatory behavior by a sub-manager, I found I no longer enjoyed my job and wanted to find a peace of mind. Recognizing that the aforementioned situation is likely to occur in various St. Louis work environments, I determined that the best way for me to get that peace of mind was to start and run my own business., I briefly researched the type of businesses that one could start immediately and with little investment funds. And after perusing the many possibilities, I decided on lawn care.

After the decision was finalized, I borrowed a lawnmower and purchased a trimmer. From there, I sought out customers. Every year thereafter, the clientele list grew. Now I own two trucks and two enclosed trailers full of lawn care equipment. I also have two legitimate full-time employees that are paid quite handsomely.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No, it has not been a smooth road at all. Unless you come from wealth, starting a business in any fashion is never smooth… and I do not come from wealth. There were times when I lost customers, once losing 80% during the pandemic. That greatly affected the bottom line and was a serious struggle. Working for the public certainly has its struggles. As well as finding trustworthy and faithful employees, that has also been a struggle. But as I stated, growing a business will always have its struggles, and a person that perseveres will reap the benefit of learning and growing from those struggles.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Jenkins & Sons Lawncare is a family business that focuses on the simple services of lawn care i.e., mowing, trimming, hedging, and fertilizer programs. We have recently applied for minority business owner certification, which will open the door for greater opportunity and further growth.

What sets my company apart from other lawn care companies is that we are extremely professional and always provide reliable service.

I am most proud of my companies presentation. I have worked on the aesthetics of the company’s brand, ensuring the logo is on the vehicles and my employees are draped in comfortable work attire emblazoned with the companies logo as well I am also very proud of the fact that I started this company on my own, and that it continues to grow because of the culture that’s been created and the passion that everyone brings into the workplace daily.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
First and foremost, I would credit my parents. They laid the foundation as well as being my first clients.

Adrian is my best friend from college and anytime I’ve needed advice or information he is always there. He has also supplied the motivation to remove any fear I may have had along the way.

ARCO Lawn Equipment is where I have purchased all of my lawn equipment, and the owner (Tony) truly taught me everything I know about the business of lawn care.

Tallis is a former colleague who has turned into lifelong friend that is always the voice of reason. We share a common goal of helping the community, and he continues to provide a sense a stability in a chaotic world.

Tiffaney is my older sister and she has been my one constant. There is no one I depend on more for stability and a sense of belonging than my sister. She is my family and the most important person in my life.

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