Jacob Arrowood is a pretty complex young man. He bow hunts, he’s the reigning Jasper County Horse King, he repairs cars, is active in FFA and is preparing to start his junior year at Newton Senior High School.
Oh, he also started his own business at the beginning of the summer.
At 17 years old, Jacob is the proud owner of Jacob’s Scrapping n’ Stuff. Jacob’s is a scrap removal business primarily manned by Jacob and that utilizes two out of the three pickup trucks he owns.
“I just started doing it here and there a little bit, and one of my mom’s friends went, ‘You should do this for a business,’” Jacob said. “I didn’t know how to start it, so I talked to my FFA advisor and he ended up kicking it off by helping me with my business cards. I ended up going to some gas stations and putting up my business cards there and handing them out.”
In addition to his FFA advisor and family’s friend, another inspiration for his business came from a chore assigned to him by his father.
“We had a lot of junk leftover, from the person that had (previously) owned our house, in one of our barns,” Jacob said. “He had a hog confinement down there, just in the bottom of the barn. My dad wanted me clean it out and take (the junk) out. And he said I could have all the money from it. I got all of that out of there and I ended up making a good profit out of that.”
After that initial foray, Jacob saw the potential for scrapping and launched his business in June. He’s said business was kind of hit or miss early on, but once he got his business cards out there, things picked up. Jacob estimates he has a customer base of between 20 to 30 people.
Another aspect that has helped Jacob attract customers is he doesn’t charge anyone. You call him; make an appointment, and he takes care of the rest. His profit comes from the selling of the unwanted goods, which he uses for gas and to save up for a new truck.
“The truck I most use is my ’93 short-bed Chevy,” Jacob said. “My other one is an ’83 Chevy and it’s a long box. But the sparkplugs and sparkplug wires and everything are ruined. I’m going to be spending a lot of the money on tires now. The truck that I drive now, the front end is un-aligned. The tires are like racecar tires and pretty bald.”
Scrapping is hard work and sometimes even Jacob needs assistance with his operation.
“My brother and sister help me out a little bit,” Jacob said. “Some of my friends, when they are down on their luck a little bit and hurting for money, I’ll give them a little bit of money if they help me out.”
Jacob’s age hasn’t hindered business, but it does tend to catch new customers off guard.
“A lot of people are really surprised when they see me,” Jacob said. “They always think it’s like an older man. Like a 20-year-old or someone older than that to be doing this.”
With school set to start on Wednesday, Jacob has his priorities straight.
“During the week, school comes first before anything,” Jacob said. “So, if there are quite a few clients that want stuff done, I’m going to end up telling that ‘School comes first and I need to get my school work done.’ Then, if I have time, I can squeeze them in on the weekends.”
If you would like to become a client of Jacob’s Scrapping n’ Stuff, you may contact Jacob Arrowood at (641) 521-3854.
Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.