NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. – A New River Valley man hopes his not-so-traditional journey to success inspires other people to act on their ideas in life.
For Jason Price’s day job, he’s a mailman, but for his family business on the side, he picks up more than just mail around communities as a professional pooper scooper.
“We clean residential and commercial properties,” Price said. “We clean up dog waste and dispose of it properly.”
Price’s family business, the NRV K9 Crew, has been thriving since he first thought of it five years ago.
“We serve customers from Shawsville all the way to Draper,” he said. “Shawsville, Christiansburg, Blacksburg, Radford, Dublin, and Draper.
Like his busy life as a dog waste cleaner, Price has always been hard at work.
“My dad died when I was 14, so I had to learn most things most boys learned on their own,” he said. “My grandma would take us to church Sundays, Wednesdays, or whenever the door was open, so I have a deep Christian background.”
With his Christian background came hard work working during the summer with his grandfather in Hillsville. He said hard work runs in his family.
“My mom was always reaching for the stars so that was very inspiring to me,” he said. “I was one of those students where I was smart enough to do the work, but I did just enough to get by. I was always looking for something because I knew college wasn’t for me.”
At age 20, Price said he applied to work for the railroad industry.
“I did that for about 10 years, but I needed a change because it was a tough time in my life,” Price said. “I probably spent 120 days a year in a hotel room. It paid a lot of money, but the stress got to me and I was married with two kids at the time, so it bothered me more and more that I couldn’t be with them.”
Price decided to quit the railroad industry and after hopping from a couple of jobs, he found himself unemployed at one point.
“I applied at the postal service and went part-time,” he said. “I knew it would be worth it in the end but first, I had to struggle and sacrifice.”
Price said he started his mowing business when he had his fourth son but that became challenging.
“10 years ago, I didn’t worry because God always had my back,” he said. “He still does even though I don’t deserve it. But, I kept searching for things to do, and unfortunately, you can only mow grass seven months in the year to make money so I needed something else to be able to provide for my kids.”
Price said it was working as a mailman that sparked his entrepreneurial idea of the K9 Crew.
“On my runs, I would step in dog poop in people’s yards and along different trails,” Price said. “One day as I was cleaning it out of my shoe, I thought to myself, ‘I wonder if I could get paid to clean up dog poop.’”
Like everything in Price’s life, he went for it.
“I studied it for a while, and I learned there were pooper scoopers all over the country,” he said. “So I did my research and I got started on it. Everybody thought I was crazy,” he laughed. “Even my wife. She laughed! I just wasn’t afraid to try.”
Eventually, everyone got on board with Price’s dirty journey, and even though it took a while to start up in the beginning, he and his wife are now successful, tending to about 70 residential properties. He said they can collect up to 200 pounds of dog waste in a day everyone once in a while.
Price added that it is more than just a paycheck for his family and food on the table. He said it is good for the environment.
“If whatever the dog is taking medicine-wise, it comes out in their waste and eventually gets into the water table,” Price said. “Not only that, but the kids also end up wearing it too and tracking it in the house. Also, if we keep it cleaned up the other dogs have a better chance at not getting worms and things.”
Price said he is beyond blessed that this stinky adventure has led to a clean future for the community and for the people he loves the most.
“Stay humble,” Price said. “No job is too good for anybody. That is the way it is for everyone. I went and cleaned up feces to feed my kids I didn’t care, and it turned out to be something cool.”
If you would like to learn more about Price and his company, visit their Facebook page.
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Social Media: Japhanie Gray WSLS 10 News