While spreading mulch for a customer, and then seeing the happiness his hard work brought the customer, Caldwell County native Carson Bates knew he had made the right decision for his career.

Bates, 19, who grew up in Oak Hill and graduated from Hibriten High School in 2020, started his own landscaping business this year.

Bates said he has always enjoyed working outside.

“I would always ride around on the mower with my dad as a kid,” he said. “He taught me how to do everything.”

He said being in nature is what he enjoys. He likes hunting, fishing and exploring the outdoors whenever he can. Working with his hands has been a love of his as well and working in landscaping, seeing a finished product, gives him great satisfaction.

Bates thought going out on his own to do landscaping would be a great way to learn how to promote himself and grow his skills.

“I feel most comfortable in nature,” he said. “Having my own business where my work is outdoors is a great opportunity for me.”

He said he didn’t want to go the route of working at a local store or possibly having to deal with difficult employers. He felt that starting his own business and trying to grow it over the course of a year or two would be the best path for him.

“Since I’ve worked for other people before doing landscaping in high school, I knew that being on my own was something I could do,” he said.

After graduating from Hibriten, he decided to get to work, and his business began.

Bates said most of the work he does is residential — mowing lawns, spreading mulch, and trimming greenery, among other things. People from his church or those that have heard about him from others have contacted him when they wanted some work done.

The timing with the pandemic right after graduating high school has really helped him start getting his name and work out there, Bates said. Because people were shut in their homes and his work was outdoors, people were willing to pay him to do outside projects. He said he was also able to do it on his own time.

That freedom that comes along with making his own schedule is one thing he likes about being his own boss.

“I have the freedom to do what I want and go wherever I want to go for work,” he said. “Nobody’s telling me what to do, I can decide.”

Although Bates Lawn Care isn’t large yet, Bates hopes to grow his business in the next year.

“I have some people that help me out with jobs right now, but I want to eventually expand so I can run more than one crew for multiple projects,” he said.

It’s all about seeing the difference he can make and the happiness he brings people with his work, he said.

“I like helping people when I can,” he said. “That’s what I really enjoy doing and that’s the goal for this business.”

Reporter Carmen Boone can be reached at 828-610-8723.

Reporter Carmen Boone can be reached at 828-610-8723