Young, broke and busy

Sophomores Bobby Staelgraeve and Blaise Sarate start their own lawn care business


Marsida Cukaj

Spontaneous services. Lawn care, pressure washing, fall cleanups and snow removal are some of the main services that sophomores Bobby Staelgraeve and Blaise Sarate offer. “Don’t be afraid, just do it,” Sarate said. “Just buy whatever you need, just do it and pass out flyers.” He utilized his sources at Shelby Junior High School and printed over 2,000 flyers to kick off the business.

Teamwork makes the dream work with sophomores Bobby Staelgraeve and Blaise Sarate coming together this past March to start their own lawn care business as freshmen.

“It’s nice to have somebody else there to help you out. You know, when things go bad, you always have somebody you can depend on,” Sarate said. “Bobby, I don’t know what I would do without him. He’s helped out a lot.”

Taking it one step at a time together, Staelgraeve and Sarate came up with a plan to launch their newfound business, DNR Lawn and Landscaping Services. They bought a lawn mower and sent out flyers in their neighborhoods. Eventually, they expanded from one lawn mower to three and then a whole trailer full of tools and lawnmowers.

“When we started, we weren’t getting everything done in time. We’d have certain days where you had to get a certain amount done and we wouldn’t get it done,” Sarate said. “So, it would get pushed back and then that day, it’d be pushed back to the next day and the next day.”

Practice makes perfect. During the beginning of their journey, they used to take about 40 minutes per lawn. Fast forward to now knocking a lawn out in about 15 minutes.”

“Just like repetition, I guess that you become better at things as you do them over and over again,” Sarate said. “So, we became quicker, faster and better.”

Since autumn is here, the boys are switching from mowing lawns to fall cleanups. Soon, they will be moving along to snow removal. Working Saturdays and Sundays dawn to dusk, these fellas have gotten a lot closer through all that they’ve learned together.

“Definitely record everything you do,” Staelgraeve said, ” (Marsida Cukaj)all your expenses, all your income; everything.”

Organization and keeping track of all things is important during a change in the seasons. As time goes by, so does the knowledge gained go by. 

“I’ve learned quite a bit,” Staelgraeve said. “I learned to think things through fully and always just put more thought into some things.”