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Joey and Family

Abecs Small Business Review/ Tree Monkey Joey 
By Barbara L. Roose
This article was published in June 2009 by ABECS SMALL BUSINESS REVIEW

As far as business owner, Joey is concerned, his difficult upbringing put him ahead of the other kids in his North End neighborhood who didn’t struggle like he did. “At the time when I was growing up things where very rough,” remembers Joey. “Now I realize the value of having to work hard for everything I have.”

Joey grew up as one of 10 children in a single mother home. His father was in the area, but times were tough and Joey remembers his mom doing whatever she could to keep the family together. “At a young age, I was going up and down the alleys looking for cans to make some extra money.”

When Joey was 8 years old, he tried to get a job at a machine shop in his neighborhood. “The man asked me how old I was,” explained Joey. “I told him that I was eight and he told me ‘Come back in ten years.’ But, then he saw my tears and when I explained that I needed to make some money to help my mom, he had me do some odd jobs around the shop and sent me home with $20.00.”

For the next eight years, Joey would work odd jobs around the shop to make money to help his mom make ends meet. He graduated from Woodward High School in 2003. The man who owned the business moved away from the area, but Joey still keeps in touch with him. “I think I owe most of my success to him,” admits Joey. “He taught me how to work hard, leadership skills and how to be a man.”

After working a series of different jobs, Joey learned how to trim trees away from power lines while working for a contracting company. In 2005, Joey left working for the contractor and got bonded and insured so that he could open his own business, Tree Monkey.

In the early days of Tree Monkey, Joey didn’t have much equipment, but that didn’t stop him. “I started the business with my step dad’s trailer and my friend’s pick up truck and a chainsaw…and it wasn’t a very good chainsaw.”

 Joey worked very hard to establish his residential clientele by pricing his services very competitively. Even now, Joey still encourages clients to get a second estimate so they will know that the prices of his services are hard to beat.

As the business grew, Joey acquired better equipment and now. “I can cut any tree you can look at,” explains Joey. “Obviously, you have to know what you are doing in this business or you are going to get hurt doing it. You have to be alert and do the hard stuff first.”

Joey credits some of the turn around in his life to attending CedarCreek Church and getting back to prayer. He used to go to church as a kid, but stopped going until a friend invited him to church a few months ago. “I was having a hard time with everything,” remembers Joey. “A friend invited me to CedarCreek and I started to pray again. Everything started coming together right when I started going back to church. I got 28 jobs in April.”

In the future, Joey is planning to purchase some more equipment to grow his operation in this area. He is also making plans to expand Tree Monkey into Columbus, Pennsylvania and Indiana.

P.S. My friend and lifetime mentor, Michael Brooks is the owner of a brass product manufacturing company. He is the man who I worked for as a kid, and he is the man who has coached me into being a fine american, and a striving entrepreneur. If you have any interest in fun american made brass cannons or brass tools, made in his shop be sure to check out his cool website below.