In the Begining
Green Worx landscaping was not always called "Green Worx". The company began with a simple childish desire for candy. This is not an uncommon occurrence among 8-year-old boys, but this was different. RJ Duarte wanted to buy the candy himself.
In spring of 2008, RJ's older brother gave RJ a lawn mower, red wagon, and 5 weekly lawn mowing clients.
RJ immediately started acquiring more clients until he had nearly a whole trailer park as his client base. He didn't have plans to grow his service as a real business, and the growth he enjoyed was simply through word of mouth.
Enter: Owen Johnson. On the first day of middle school for Owen, he clambered onto the school bus and looked around. He saw RJ, a kid he had been going to school with for years, but never really talked to. He took a seat next to him.
A Business Decision
RJ's addition of Owen to his team was out of necessity. His clientele base gad grown way too big for him to handle it on his own. Owen's primary use was for when there were just too many jobs for RJ to do solo on any given weekend, day after school, or summer day.
Owen became an increasingly integrated part of the company as he worked on more jobs each year. The growth was enormous despite the kids' humble intentions and reliance on the "word of mouth" marketing strategy.
In 2014, now more than a neighborhood operation, RJ needed a name for himself and Owen. He settled on
Green Worx. After massive success during that summer, he and Owen sat down and talked. They realized that what they were doing was entrepreneurship. They decided to run Green Worx as a business.
RJ and Owen at the CYE 2015. They won 1st place for their age group.
A Digital Age
In the winter of 2015, RJ and Owen applied their business to a competition. The Celebration for Young Entrepreneurs. To do this, they realized that they were more likely to win if they had some sort of video to go along with their application. Owen had been interested in movie making since he was only five, so together they produced a movie advertising Green Worx which became incredibly popular among the staff and judge panel.
They won first place.
That fall they constructed the first incarnation of their website. With a digital presence, the business had the ability to grow faster than ever.
Growth And Expansion
RJ and Owen made the decision to make Owen the president of the company in February of 2016. Soon after, they hired another employee by the name of Mats. He was to start as a labor consultant, helping with the day-to-day heavy lifting.
Looking to grow clientele for the upcoming season, they began to reach out to local media outlets seeking advertising opportunities. Everything seemed to be outside of the criteria and their budget, until the Golden Informer found out about how unique Green Worx was. They wanted to inspire other local youth and wrote an article about Green Worx's story and success. It wasn't your average half-page article, Green Worx was the cover. The Golden Informer was sent to most of the 19,000 residents of Golden. The phone didn't stop ringing all season.
In June of 2016, Green Worx was nominated and won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award By Ernst & Young Foundation, the second business award
granted to Green Worx.
By the end of 2016, Green Worx was 300% bigger than the year before. Going into 2017, Green Worx has expanded its team, adding two new labor consultant to help with increasing demand.
Not only this, but Green Worx is spreading out, looking to collaborate and work with other youth businesses. So far it worked with Brilliant Sky Productions LLC to start producing videos about this revolutionary youth-based landscaping company.
In Late 2017, Green Worx was approached by an online news service called Moneyish.com. They sent a journalist to do a short article and video on how the company came to be, and how it was doing. That December, the article and video dropped. The resulting wave of press that Green Worx received took them completely by surprise.
Although the press was great for business, the company was fairly frustrated by the inaccuracies in the articles, which were used for clickbait.
(It should be noted, the kids themselves were not making six figures, but the company did do six figures in gross throughput in 2017.)
A new Addition
In the wake of the enormous amounts of press, the RJ and Owen pulled the trigger on what would be the biggest business decision they'd made in a long time.
RJ and Owen had been tracking down a good third truck to add to their growing fleet for a long time, and finally tracked one down that was within their price range, and met the power and size needs they were looking for. Only problem was that it was in Ohio.
So the two bought plane tickets, and flew out to Cleveland, where the new addition was acquired.
The truck is now in awesome shape, is registered and insured, and an is invaluable component in the daily ongoings of Green Worx Landscaping.
"A shift in Management"
After more than five years of working with Green Worx Landscaping, Owen decided to part ways with the company in order to pursue other business ventures and career options. RJ and Owen are still good friends and frequently meet to discuss Green Worx and life as a whole. Shortly after leaving, Owen started Skål Productions, operating out of Denver, and will soon be launching a small clothing brand in the coming months.