July 04, 2012 - For Michael Wayne of Independence Township, a homily at St. Dan's about helping others got him thinking.
"I thought about what I could do to help people," said Wayne, 16. "I decided I could use my business, and help others that way."
The junior at Notre Dame Prep and CEO and manager of Pristine Lawn Care, plans to offer lawn care services to those with disabilities, elderly, or who do not have the financial means to pay for lawn care, he said.
He wants to help 4-5 homes a week.
"Our goal is to be kind to the community who has been so kind to us," he said. "As much service as possible, mow weed, help get them back up to speed. Not to give it to the luckiest, but to those who need it, and to help spruce up Clarkston a bit, make it look better."
"I'm very much a proud parent," said his father, Mark Wayne. "He told me this idea out of the blue. He wants to help community, give back to people, help them out."
Michael Wayne started Pristine Lawn Care last year when he was 14 years old.
"I take after my dad following in his footsteps," said Michael. "My dad has a lot of connections in community."
"When I was his age, I cut some lawns, but nothing at this scale," said Mark, who owns Freedom Works Financial and its building at M-15. "It's amazing. He's learning a lot of valuable lessons."
Michael serviced his first clients, his parents Mark and Kerri Wayne, with one push mower.
"A couple clients were all I could do," he said. "Now it's an LLC, and we have the equipment it's a valuable learning experience. I've dealt with a lot of amazing people."
He has an eXmark LazerZ riding mower, Stihl push mowers, Ford truck, enclosed trailer, and lots of other gear to serve about 30 clients around Oakland County.
"The eXmark, it's the industry best and most popular that was an easy choice," he said.
The young business owner interviewed and hired a foreman and three college-age employees so far.
"My dad helped with the questions. It was a lot of gut feeling," Michael said.
They mow, weed, plant flowers, trim hedges, clean gutters.
"Any odd job an owner throws at us," he said. "We're a full outdoor service provider."
His plans are to expand Pristine as much as possible over the next two years, then have a manager run it as he goes on to college.
"Business school for sure at Notre Dame, Stanford, University of Chicago, Northwestern, or University of Michigan, of course," he said.
He lives in Independence Township with his parents Mark and Kerri Wayne, and sisters Karley and Mia.
Call 248-953-4891 or check www.pristinelawncare.com.
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.