Indies Only: High School Pals Growing Budding Landscaping Business

Five 2011 Oswego High School graduates and one senior are working together this summer to earn money towards their college tuitions.

Last summer, five friends were each motivated to earn money toward the cost of college, but they couldn’t find jobs. In brainstorming, they realized a commonality: they each had some landscaping experience. More importantly, they knew someone in the field who could help them.

Oswego Landscaping was born. And although their first summer didn't go off as well as they hoped Jake Masey said they're making a fresh start in 2012.

“We learned a lot and this summer we are starting earlier and are more organized and committed," Masey said.

John Vann has 28 years experience as a landscape architect and has provided training and mentoring for Oswego Landscaping.

“I think it’s so cool to see kids taking initiative and responsibility,” Vann said. “Plus, they had the guts to ask for help.”

Last summer, Vann lined up a couple jobs that the group did for practice. Vann taught skills such as spreading mulch and how to measure correctly, Massey said.

Oswego Landscaping offers services including: installation of plants, flowers, and bushes, mulching, lawn mowing, weed control and prevention, and odd jobs. 

“We are motivated and have as high a standard as any professional,” Massey said. “We have a limited time to work and make money for college. We’ll put in everything we can during this time. Our end goal is to make a substantial dent in our college payments."

Oswego Landscaping’s labor charge is $15 per hour, per person, no matter the job, Massey said.

The company's crew currently includes:

  • Brandon Lang – Eastern Illinois University; Major: Marketing
  • Jake Massey – Illinois State University; Major: Graphic Design/Marketing
  • Cate Mitchell – Oswego High School, graduating June 2012
  • Dan Roman – Waubonsee Community College; Major: Art
  • Matt Schimek – Drake University; Major: Psychology
  • Eric Zweep – University of Iowa; Major: Business/Finance

“They are high school buddies and seem to enjoy the work while they are sweating bullets,” Vann said. “It seems like a good team effort and from what I can tell they are doing a good job – even with little training.

“I think we should reward kids who are trying to do something for themselves,” Vann said. 

Contact Oswego Landscaping at 630-618-6987 or service@oswegolandscaping.com

Rick Jacobsen February 26, 2012 at 02:12 PM
I think this is awsome! Its good to see young people get out there and work hard during the summer break. It makes me wish I started doing what I do now that young. Good luck this season!!
Diana McIntyre February 26, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Love this crew's initiative! And tenacity...many kids would have walked away last summer. I'll be jotting down their number!
patricia hish February 26, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Great job! Do you have cards by chance? I have many clients who ask me about this or that and I'd be more than happy to give out your card. I bet your parents are so proud of you!!
Summer Scott February 27, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Patricia - thank you for your comment. Please contact Oswego Landscaping directly to request business cards - they appreciate your interest and would love your help in distributing cards: service@oswegolandscaping.com
Todd Hegseth March 01, 2012 at 07:11 PM
We used these guys last summer to do landscaping and odd jobs on our property. They were industrious, timely and very hard workers. I would highly recommend them, and hope to use them again this season!


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