Kingsbury Lawn Care, or J Chapman Garden Maintenance as it was known then, spans back as far as 2009 as a Kingsbury village pocket money lawn mowing round, before Jack had even passed his driving test. It was the following seasons that Jack broke out of the village to offer garden maintenance services with the core service of lawn mowing a little further afield and this all while sitting his A-Levels. This was that starting 'somewhere'.2013 ticked by in similar fashion while studying, and it was only whist at Loughborough University in 2014 that a business plan came together, a realisation that this could be the formation of something bigger and better. With big firms foolishly turning Jack down for his placement year, (it all could have been so different Nike...) while sitting exams that spring, Jack took the business full-time, growing his ‘hobby business’ customer base of 20 up to 60 by the end of the year.
Yes, that really is a Ford Fiesta with a mower in the back
Goodbyes were said to the trusty Fiesta and the beginning of sign-written vehicles. With a busy 2015 requiring part-time help, university was put off for a further year in order to push on far enough to let go a little. Jack acted upon his passion for turf care over garden maintenance, taking on a huge project in North Warwickshire Cricket Club, Polesworth – once known for its excellent cricket pitches. A little old now, but you can get the lowdown on what he got up to from Pitchcare... well done if you make it to the end mind as it's heavy on the grass chat!
North Warwickshire Cricket Club and Edgbaston Stadium
Big change came about for the start of 2016 - the re-brand / creation of Kingsbury Lawn Care was put into motion completing the transition from solo gardener to a duel vehicle lawn care business. When North Warwickshire Cricket Club was forced to fold at the end of 2016, the wickets were in high demand from several coaches within the Warwickshire County Cricket Club youth set-up. Jack would spend time at Edgbaston this summer, a cricket ground known around the world. This would include working on a test match wicket for England v Pakistan; England winning in the final hour.
Come spring 2017 we would find ourselves attracting further lawn treatment work – many customers moving to, or opting for Kingsbury Lawn Care with its sports turf knowledge over national lawn care brands. We couldn’t resist some further sports turf with Ambleside JFC – taking a junior pitch from park to premier league in the space of weeks. That degree was nearly finished at last (relief!), and Jack also went for more educational punishment – gaining a diploma in Turf Surface Management from The Institute of Groundsmanship, passing with a distinction. 2017 didn’t stop there, Kingsbury Lawn Care was to be recognised at the Tamworth Business and Community Awards with ‘Highly Commended’ in the Trades Business Category – we had a few beers that night...!
Ambleside JFC Nursery Pitch - 11 weeks following renovation
2018 was the year of overcoming a few challenges. A quiet start of the year outside matched with a quiet start in the office with the arrival of 'the beast from the east'. A short spring raced by before we were catapulted into one of the hottest and driest summers on record. In amongst the carnage, Jack would be nominated for an Industry of Groundsmanship Industry Award for Sportsturf Student of the Year, following the diploma study. With the turbulent weather considered, we would find ourselves with constant supply of lawn renovation work across the autumn, along with a collection of end of season renovations for both cricket andbowling clubs.
Despite the underwhelming year in hindsight, we were able to go one better at the Tamworth Business and Community Awards, securing Trades Business of the Year at the second time of asking. With the volume of work on following the drought it was a slightly earlier night this time around!
January 2019 would see Jack recruited for the committee of the UK Lawn Care Association - an organisation which we had been a part of since 2015/16 to aid lawn care operations across the country. We started 2019 in the knowledge a high demand spring was to be upon us following the 2018 rollercoaster... and we weren't wrong! New customers arrived in numbers, with record referrals from our current customers. Over 100 new customers would enter or new software package by just the start of May. We were continuing to push new boundaries and set new norms with every month of the year.
Even with the most impressive shortlist to date, in October 2019 we were fortunate enough to be retaining Trades Business of the Year. With the vast rainfall of the autumn along with our hard work, our lawns had never looked better. We moved into a new unit (another one!) in preparation for bigger and better things in 2020.
Moving forwards, we're excited to be establishing ourselves as the leading lawn treatment business in the area. We're confident in continuing to deliver the same great service to more customers within the postcodes we're already serving, and look forward to being able to place a third van on the road in our colours in the not too distance future.