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Business Owners & Managers

Women in the Industry: Abbigail and Jacqueline Stuebs, Part One

"Starting a landscaping business at 18 and giving back to the community."

Twin sisters Abbigail and Jacqueline Stuebs are proud owners of J.A.R. Landscaping, LLC in Springfield, IL. Their success story is an inspiring one: the twins started their business at only 18 years old, studied horticulture and landscaping at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and they actively volunteer in their local community.

We talked to the sisters about owning the landscaping business at such a young age and giving back to worthy causes.

What was your inspiration to get into the landscaping business? How did it all begin?

Jacqueline: We grew up in a rural community and our family has a farming background, so working outside was a normal occurrence. We found plants and environments very fascinating. So, when we learned about landscaping as a career, we were very interested.

Growing up and going through high school, it is very common for people to say the common phrase: "Go to college, get connections, and get hired onto a big company with a well-paying job".

We never really thought about owning our own business. It always seemed like not an encouraging thing to do because of the risks and difficulties involved. So, we went to a few different landscaping businesses in our area to apply.

Our plan was to learn about the landscaping industry, get a degree for landscaping in college, and get hired by a company. It didn't work out as we had hoped, but looking back at it, it was a really motivating experience for us.

We decided that we didn't really want to wait around for an opportunity to find us. We wanted to start now. So, that's when we had the idea to go ahead and start our own business. We patiently waited for our 18th birthday to arrive and quickly went and filed for our LLC!

You started your business as young 18 year-old entrepreneurs. What helped you in the beginning? How did you learn?

Abbigail: Throughout high school, we took numerous agricultural classes, which really opened us to different career possibilities. We took a horticulture class and that's what really got us interested.

We were active members of the National FFA Organization and our AG advisors were supportive when we started landscaping. They taught us a lot through the classes and we got hands on experience.

We got our company started up towards the end of our senior year and our family really helped us build up everything we have today.

We have basically taught ourselves along the way. We learn from our mistakes and look at the advice from other landscapers through online sources.

What is the best part of a family lawn care business with your twin sister and what is the worst? :)

Jacqueline: We are both passionate about what we do and strive to better ourselves every day. So, for me, that's one of the best things about having my sister alongside me in our business.

We learn from each other when things go wrong as well as when things go right. We both know each other's strengths and weaknesses, which in the long run, I think will only help us.

Abbigail: The best part about having a company with my sister is that we are able to push each other to achieve our desired goals. We get to experience everything together, good or bad. I don't think there really is any negative aspect of it.

Your business is well-known for supporting US troops, and you've just recently hosted a quarter auction by yourself. How did you find this experience?

Abbigail: When we founded our business, our intentions were to design and create outdoor environments for people in our community and surrounding areas.

But, we wanted to help do more than just that. We wanted to help our community and those who have gotten us here today. So, we decided that we would have at least one philanthropy project a year.

Last year, we signed up for Project EverGreen's GreenCare for Troops program. It allows volunteers to be matched with a family of a deployed troop in the area. You then provide complimentary lawn services for that family during the deployment time.

We also signed up to be a AAUSS (Adopt A US Soldier) Sponsor. This program matches you with a deployed troop or platoon, in which you send weekly letters and packages to them during their employment. We thought this was a great way to show support to those who protect our rights on a daily basis.

After some months of doing this, it became costly to do. We knew that we could get help from those in our community. Not only could we help our troops, but we could get our community members involved in something great.

So, that's when we heard about quarter auctions and how to get one set up. We talked to some people and sure enough it was planned. We gathered items and services that were donated from community members and local businesses.

We designed and got t-shirts printed and sold those for some extra money towards the projects. From the auction, we found that people wanted to be involved and loved the idea of supporting our troops.

Not only did we raise money towards our troops, but we got the word out for these programs. It was a great experience, overall!

About Abbigail and Jacqueline: Abbigail and Jacqueline run the family-owned and operated J.A.R. Landscaping, LLC, offering residential services in Springfield and surrounding areas. Together, they pride themselves in maintaining and installing landscapes and lawns, giving back to their community and helping those in need. You can follow them via social media on Instagram and Facebook.

Are you (or do you know) a woman professional in the lawn care and landscaping industry, or know a women-owned business? We'd love to hear your story - you can share it with us by using the "Tell Us Your Story" section at the bottom of our home page.