Business brings smiles throughout the season
By Jenn Watt
Published May 15, 2018
Smiling Season’s Yard Work, celebrating three years this October, has succeeded in Haliburton thanks to hard work, help from friends and Jamie and Ben Guenther’s belief in themselves.
The couple started the yard work, garbage pickup and car detailing business to put to use skills they already had. Jamie had done work with Community Living and Ben had many years of construction experience.
Starting small – they didn’t have a car when they first launched – they’ve innovated and grown each season, and this year were recognized with nominations in two categories at the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce Community and Business Achievement Awards.
“We didn’t have a vehicle until October of last year. So we worked out at the time a deal for gas so customers would be comfortable picking us up and dropping us back off,” says Jamie.
“We have a wagon and we actually walked as well, quite the distance, with stuff. With all our equipment. It was quite the adventure. We didn’t give up. We made sure we got to our customers whether it was on feet or with help with the ride.”
Last year, friends of theirs helped them buy a car, which has greatly improved the range of their business and they purchased a large tent to use for the newest part of their business, car detailing, which they added as a service in July of 2016.
Smiling Season’s offers a variety of services including cutting grass, raking, stacking wood, light construction, building pathways, weeding, planting, clearing brush, hedge trimming, garbage cleanup and picking up garbage for the landfill. They currently have both business and individual customers.
“We’re booked for the whole month of May for car detailing and yard work,” Jamie says, smiling.
Although they’ve got a steady base of clientele, the Guenthers are happy to take on more.
“We believe that there’s never enough good work you can do out there. Putting a smile on someone’s face, we’ll take as many as we can get,” Jamie says.
Ben Guenther moved to the Highlands eight years ago.
“I needed a new direction,” Ben says.
He grew up in Stouffville and originally was attracted to the region for Haliburton School of Art + Design, he said.
Jamie moved to the area as a child with her parents from Whitby and has been here for the last 29 years.
The couple met in 2012 and were friends for a year before starting to date. They married in July of 2013.
“We’re a really good match for each other,” Jamie says, who adds their two dogs Koko and Odie are also part of the family.
After their nominations for Business Achievement Award and Entrepreneur of the Year, the Guenthers say they’ve received plenty of positive feedback.
Jamie says Smiling Season’s Yard Work isn’t just about making money, it’s also about doing good work and believing in yourself. She says she has had challenges in her life, but hasn’t let anything stop her.
“I want people to believe, no matter what, believe in yourself. Don’t be embarrassed about what’s going on in your life. You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish.”
Smiling Season’s offers yard work for $40 an hour (with two workers). Car detailing is $100 for the works, or you can specify which services you’d like. For more information, find them on Facebook or call 705-455-3856 for car detailing, 705-455-2089 for yard work and garbage or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find their business cards and brochures, designed by April Martin, at various locations around town.