30 Sep 2022

Pint-sized lawnmowing contractor has edge

From Checkpoint, 5:48 pm on 30 September 2022

It's not everyday that you run into an 11-year-old lawn mowing contractor, but New Plymouth youngster Kayden Wallis-Potroz is not your everyday kid.

The Central Primary School pupil already owns two mowers - and an edge trimmer - and has a burgeoning client base to brag about.

From small beginnings come great things, and so it was with Kayden Contracting.

"My dad's friend texted him and asked him if he could get me to mow his lawns because I used to mow my dad's lawns quite a bit.

"Then my parents were like he actually likes this and might want to keep doing this, so on my 11th birthday they got me a new lawnmower."

And one thing led to another.

"They signed me up to a business and I was like 'yes please' so we did that and I've been doing it for six months."

In the meantime, the local Ryobi dealer has gifted Kayden its latest electric model to save on fuel costs.

And he certainly knew one end of a lawn mower from the other.

"Well it's electric and it's a lot different than any other lawnmowers. It takes batteries and you can see down here it's got batteries.

"That's a safety switch and you just pop off the batteries like that and put them on charge and right here with this little switch you can lower it."

Eleven-year-old Kayden Wallis-Potroz with his mum Chalsey Potroz who transports him to his lawn mowing clients.

Kayden Wallis-Potroz with his mum Chalsey Potroz who transports him to his lawn mowing clients. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Kayden's mum Chalsey Potroz said she and husband, Mark, wanted to teach their son the value of money and she had been blown away by his work ethic.

"I'm super proud to be honest just the motivation and the determination he's got to keep going.

"He was on an X-box in the middle of a game before we came here, but he happily got off and out the door we go and here we are."

Kayden charges $30 an hour and there had been no shortage of clients.

Alana Anderson runs Kiwibike Insurance.

Kayden's business proposition came along at just the right time for her lawn mowing dilemma.

"We used to have two lovely elderly gentlemen that used to come along and do it for us one would start at one end and the other would start at the other, but unfortunately they retired.

"We don't have a lawnmower here, so we thought let's start looking for someone and I saw Kayden's post on Facebook so we thought let's message him and see if he can do the job for us."

Eleven-year-old Kayden Wallis-Potroz from New Plymouth has a lawn mowing business with a burgeoning client base.

Kayden on his electric Ryobi mower. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

And there had been no complaints thus far.

"He's done an absolutely fantastic job for us. He comes along with his lovely mum who brings him in on a fortnightly basis and he does the job for us for $30, so I can't complain."

And although Kayden had long since saved enough for the X-box he initially wanted, he was still enjoying the work.

"It would be one of my top favourite things. I get to help out people and it just makes me feel happy about myself."

It may be lawn mowing for now, but Kayden planned to graduate to diggers and trucks in the future and go after the big dollars.