Barr says his ancestry is Scottish, Irish and Welsh, and he happened upon the kilt part of his business by luck.
“I don’t like heat, I don’t like hot summers,” he explains. He started looking for something to wear that would help him through the warm days, and happened upon the kilt. “I love this. I wear my kilt everywhere. This is my culture!”
Barr had a brainwave: “we’ll call it the Celtic Trimmer. We cut grass and we’re Celtic!”
The company logo is a man in a kilt pushing a lawn mower. Taking it a step further, he wrote on his website and his signs, “If we aren’t wearing our kilts while we trim your lawn or shovel your snow that day… consider it on the house!”
The marketing seems to be working. “We’re really easy to recognize,” he says. Many of his clients are elderly women. He thinks potential customers think the kilt idea is funny, and ask for his services, curious to see if he will really show up in a kilt.
For the past year, he has been servicing homes in Port Arthur, but hopes to expand to Fort William this year. Other than himself, he has three people helping him. He wants to be environmentally friendly, so his lawn mowers are battery operated. Snow removal is a different ballgame, however, and he uses gasoline-powered snow blowers in the winter.
He has gotten requests for general landscaping, and hopes to add rototilling services soon. “Some people want us to do weeding. I always say, ‘We’ll come and we’ll pull it out or dig it out, but we’re not using chemicals. They’re not good for your garden,’” he explains.
Although he has been busy, Barr says he hasn’t forgotten why he started his company - to help more people. “If they can’t afford it, we tell them, we’ll come do it and it won’t cost you anything,” he says. “I’m not in it for the wealth, I actually want to help my community; that’s my main focus.”