Mason is getting a new local lawn care business, but this is not your typical lawn-care company. Austin Lewis, a 15-year-old resident of Stockbridge and owner of A Lewis Lawn, is expanding his business to Mason this summer.
Lewis has the help of his stepmom, Katie Smith, and father, Justin Lewis, running the business and marketing himself as a trusted and hard-working contractor.
A small business powered by one weed whipper, one leaf blower, two gas cans and a lawnmower that was purchased by Austin on a $2,000 loan that he promptly paid back to his father in one summer, Austin knows the value of wanting something and working for it. “If I want something, I’m just the type of person to go get it. My dad does a lot for me but he’s never been the type of guy to just give me whatever I want whenever I want. If I want something I have to work for it,” said Austin.
A Lewis Lawn promises low prices, timely service and exceptional quality. Austin loves making sure his mowing lines are straight and crisp. “Just the other day I walked in his room and he was looking at pictures of the lawns he’s cut,” said Smith.
It’s hard work for Austin, but the reward is worth it. “Sometimes we take before and after pictures of our lawns and you can kind of just sit back and know you did that and you made it look how it looks now and that’s just kind of a relief and satisfying,” said Austin.
You wouldn’t think that a 15-year-old would have as much appreciation as Austin does for the things his business gives him besides the money. However, Austin says,
The money is nice, too, but Austin prides himself on the low price of $40 per acre, which is substantially lower than most professional lawn companies. “Some people said that they have paid double or triple what Austin charged,” said Smith.
The hard-working, father-son duo of Lewis and Austin often work side by side. While Austin runs A Lewis Lawn himself with the help and advice of Smith and Lewis, it is Austin’s business at the end of the day. Yet, Austin’s father is a local construction contractor at his own company, cleverly named Justintime Renovations, and Austin helps out with his father’s business all the time. The two pride themselves on being handymen and reliable workers. “You do see a lot of people wanting to hire local contractors and it’s a dying breed. There’s not a lot like us left. It’s an old-fashioned way,” said Justin Lewis.
Austin has learned a lot from his father from a young age. The two have lived very similar paths. Justin Lewis grew up in Stockbridge and attended Dansville high school, the same as Austin Lewis. Both began working careers at the ripe age of 12, Justin Lewis at a tree farm and Austin Lewis at a flower shop. “I started working at a tree farm when I was 12. I worked every weekend and every day after school,” said Justin Lewis.
Whether it’s Smith driving Austin around or Justin Lewis giving his son scheduling and money advice, this family works together to help everyone succeed. They don’t officially have a family business, but they work as though they do.
Smith helps Austin Lewis in a variety of ways. She is his main method of transportation as he doesn’t turn 16 until October, and she is the marketing mind behind A Lewis Lawn.
Austin’s 16th birthday can’t come fast enough as he dreams of the days when he can drive himself to work in his 1987 square-body Chevrolet Silverado. Austin says he’ll pay for it himself, too, just like he did for his driver’s training class.
That’s part of the reason Austin started this business in the first place. He’s been taught by his father that if he wants something, he must work for it.
While Austin Lewis’s work ethic may seem genetic, it’s something Justin Lewis has instilled in him from a young age. Smith said, “It has a lot to do with his dad. His dad’s a very, very hard worker, he’s worked for everything he has, and he has a lot to show from it, and I think Austin kind of wants to be the same way. He doesn’t want handouts. He wants the satisfaction of ‘well I worked for this, I paid for this.”