COLUMBUS — Sometimes a childhood job can become a career.
That's the case for Chris Stuthman, who got his professional start mowing lawns as a youth.
“I was maybe 12 years old when I started doing lawn care,” Stuthman said. “It started off small, just a lawn here and there.”
Later years found him working at Cargill in maintenance. As time drew on, he decided to return to his roots and started Stuthman Lawnmowing in 2003.
The business provides a wide selection of lawn care services, including fertilizing, garden tilling, landscape upkeep and occasionally snow removal.
But Stuthman and his wife, Crystal, noticed a need for more winter work.
“Snow removal around here can be a little bit unreliable,” Stuthman said. “So I added an expansion to the lawn mowing and started doing holiday lighting three years ago.”
The first step in the lighting and decorating process sounds similar to an interior design consultation.
“I sit down with customers and we lay out the plans they want to see,” Stuthman said.
The house layout is discussed as well as how the homeowners would like the final product to look. Then it's time to pick the products.
“I get almost all of the lights from two companies in Omaha,” Stuthman said. “I’m a distributor for Holidynamics and Brite Ideas. During the consultation, customers and I sit down and we figure out which decorations they want to use and we set up a plan for that. I order the supplies and sell them to the customers for a wholesale price.”
Customers may also use their own lights, but Stuthman said the condition of the lights can make or break that deal.
The Stuthmans hold an annual open house at their location 5 miles north of Lake Stop and 1 mile west of Monastery Road to display products and ideas.
“Around Thanksgiving every year we decorate our shop in the different decorations that can be bought from Holidynamics,” Stuthman said. “Just to kind of show off what I can do."
In a few years, Stuthman will also be able to offer area residents another holiday service.
“I just started planting Christmas trees on our property in Leigh,” he said. “I think in about seven or eight years the trees will be ready to be cut and sent home for people. It will be a small choose-and-cut kind of thing.”
The business, located at 19061 340th St., can be reached at 402-910-7496.