$1 Million From Gardening
While caring for his own garden, Lars Hundley had a vision of protecting the world's gardens as well. So this former freelance writer put down his pen, bought six push lawn mowers for $100 each and began CleanAirGardening.com, which sells environmentally friendly gardening products, such as gas-free push mowers, organic fertilizers and electric trimmers/weed-eaters.
To cut costs, Hundley used his cell phone as a business line, built his own website and sold mowers from his apartment. He made his share of mistakes along the way, from overspending on ineffective advertising to stocking too many mowers in his apartment. When CleanAirGardening.com began to take off, the business initially suffered because it wasn't set up to accept credit cards. Hundley solved that problem by hosting his site through Yahoo! Stores and letting them handle the secure credit card transactions.
Hundley, who now works from an office in his three-bedroom home, expects 2005 sales to hit $1 million. Yet his focus is less on profits and more on finding new environmentally safe products and educating customers about the importance of conservation. In addition to promoting eco-friendly products such as rain barrels and reel mowers, his site offers a comprehensive list of websites that teach people about healthy gardening practices.
"I don't know how many of my customers I am converting to an environmentally friendly lifestyle," says Hundley, 35. "But judging by how many questions I answer from people who have never composted, collected rainwater or used a reel mower before, I think I am certainly making a difference."
Starting Your Own Gardening Business