Kahlil Ealey has been in business mowing lawns for a year and half.
As a mild-mannered, very tall, and genuinely kind young man sat down at the table in my office, he smiled, gently shook my hand, and thanked me for having him come in. When I asked him the first question, “Why did you start a lawn care company?” his honest answer could have come from any 13-year-old child.
“I wanted some money,” said Kahlil Ealey. “And to spend time with Papaw.”
But Kahlil is no ordinary kid. Kahlil’s Lawn Service has been in business for a year and a half, and has roughly 15 paying customers, and several charitable customers. Ealey began his lawn care business right after the lock downs removed him from his classmates at Ashland Middle School, and paralyzed “Mary’s Kitchen,” Alan and Robin Bocook’s catering business… Kahlil’s “Memaw” and “Papaw.” Rather than wile the time away from in person classes playing with his drone, Kahlil was thinking of ways to help others. First, he considered his grandparents and their thriving business that screeched to a halt like so many in their sector during the quarantine, and secondly, by considering the people in his community who could no longer find help for the more mundane tasks, like mowing their grass, because lockdowns kept them from being able to get family, friends, or lawn companies to come to them. He was definitely living up to his scholastic award certificate of “Kid With The Biggest Heart.”
Kahlil talked to his Papaw and got an investment of $100 and a business partner. Upon reflection, Alan said, “I hate mowing grass, but I love Kahlil more than I hate mowing!” Kahlil purchased a push mower and a weed eater and went to work! First for his own grandparents, then for a couple of neighbors who were physically unable to mow their grass.
Kahlil has been busy ever since, even having to turn work away! He made enough money in the first few months that he was able to purchase two trucks, a camper, and a 2003 Mustang that he is saving for when he gets his license when he turns 16. The other items he sold and reinvested the money into his business by purchasing some professional lawn care equipment to up his game!
Now, Kahlil pays attention to the other services in the area. He said that he was “inspired” by seeing the Brown Landscape Management’s trucks and the Prichard Lawn Care and Tree Service’s impressive offices. He said, “That’s what I want to do. I want to expand my lawncare business like they have with guys in trucks and a big company.” When asked what his next move will be, Kahlil said, “I would like to invest in real estate.”
He has already opened a savings account at Members Choice Credit Union, and they are so impressed with him that he has been invited to be a part of the MCCU Mentorship Program as the youngest ever participant. “He is a tremendous young man with a great work ethic, and we are excited to get a chance to work with him.” Said David Deborde from Members Choice Credit Union.
Kahlil’s servant heart also extends to other avenues. He participates at Bridges Christian Church with his youth group, volunteers at The Masonic Temple with ‘Feed and Seed’ every Sunday at 1 p.m. with his Papaw to provide a hot meal for people on the weekends, and he continues to cut grass for free for neighbors who need it. He even wants to learn all about catering so that he can “take over the family business” when his grandparents retire.
Ealey certainly inspires those young and old to do more with the opportunities they encounter, and it seems the only limit for him is the sky. Makes you kind of wonder what you’re doing with your life, huh?
By Renee Parsons