Tyler Unique McClain is no stranger to tough luck, but the young woman is also not afraid of making her own luck—with plain hard work. She’s been working to grow her lawn mowing business since she was just 12 years old. Back then she lugged around her equipment in a homemade wagon, but over the years she’s built up her skills and her clientele. When her mother, Talisha McClain, was diagnosed with breast cancer, Tyler’s earnings became all the more important.
So when her lawn care equipment was stolen out of her driveway, where she’d kept the equipment safely for weeks, Tyler was devastated. She had a weekend full of clients waiting to have their lawns mowed. “It hurts, it hurts. What I go through on a daily basis, it isn’t easy,” Tyler said. Thieves stole her lawn mower, weed eater, blower, and trimmer.
Tyler’s mom Talisha has undergone four breast cancer surgeries this year and is not able to work. “It hurts as a mother to see my daughter hurt because I don’t have the means and the money to go and buy new lawn equipment,” Talisha said.
The industrious teen also recently started her own cupcake business, Unique Sweet Kustom Treats, and Tyler would one day like to go to culinary school. But in the meantime, she needs to get those lawns mowed. Not one to miss a beat, Tyler started a GoFundMe page to get her business back up and running. She also hopes to get a riding lawnmower and a truck so she can expand.
“There’s more that I can do. I’ve always had that stuck in my head: ‘There’s more that I can do,’ ” she says.
Since the GoFundMe was launched on July 7, over $7,500 has been raised with tons of support from community members. Someone donated a push mower, leaf blower, and edger so that Tyler wouldn’t have to cancel on her weekend clients. With the money from her campaign, Tyler will likely be able to add more clients soon. Certainly anyone familiar with her work ethic and resilience would be happy to have her as their lawn care professional.
Talisha McClain is proud of her daughter. “This year has been really hard on me and my family,” she said. “She’s been very supportive helping me through what I’ve been going through.”
Tyler plans to keep on working toward her goals. She said that she cried when she learned that her equipment was stolen, but that she’s not a quitter, “you knock me down 9 times I’m gonna get up ten.” Tyler will start her senior year of high school at Union High in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this fall.
Watch Tyler’s story below!
Katie Taylor started writing in 5th grade and hasn't stopped since. Her favorite place to pen a phrase is in front of her fireplace with a cup of tea, but she's been known to write in parking lots on the backs of old receipts if necessary. She and her husband live cozily in the Pacific Northwest enjoying rainy days and Netflix.