Evan Ceglar transforms his personal hobby to a full-time career.
Meet 20-year-old Evan Ceglar—he runs the creative and successful landscape business LNG Landscapes alongside co-owner Jake Lambrides, where they employ up to six full-time employees during the busy season. Ceglar started a micro-networking group for young entrepreneurs. And if you live in the Brightons/Colby Lake neighborhood in Woodbury, you’ve probably heard of him.
“When I was 14, I started mowing lawns with a few of my middle school friends,” Ceglar says. “We lived in a townhome, so I never had my own lawn to mow. I talked to my buddies and said, ‘There’s money to be made—you can pick your own hours.’”
As a hockey and lacrosse player, he learned to schedule his time, hitting the rink from 8 to 10 a.m. in the summer and mowing lawns until sundown, Monday through Friday. “When I first started, I thought it was going to be quick money to get pizza and buy a new hockey stick,” he recalls. “My friend’s dad had a riding mower so we just got started.” He paired the riding mower with a push mower, shifting his business from mowing to landscaping just two years later.
With a knack for online outreach, Ceglar put his social media skills to work; not only to build his business but to learn from others around the country. “I joined Facebook community groups that focused on landscape and design,” he says. “I asked a lot of questions to see what others were doing in other states and mixed it together to create my own drawings.”
The landscape designer says he’s always been interested in outdoor space but it wasn’t really something he had thought about as a career before he started mowing lawns. “My favorite part is talking to the client to see what is interesting or unique to them.” He credits the online social media app Nextdoor with a lot of his business’ success and says one of his first projects taught him how to build interesting-shaped paver patios.
His first landscape job was in the Stonemill Farms community in 2019; and one of his favorite projects was one he did this past summer for a military couple who had just moved into their new home in the Colby Lake neighborhood.
“She was leaving for Qatar … Her hope was to return from her deployment to find a backyard space where friends and family could always come together,” Ceglar says. He started with a bubble dome, something the clients wanted incorporated into their space. Then drew an octagon-shaped deck and large patio to complement the bubble.
“We finished right before she got back in September,” he says. The heated tent allows the couple to work from home outside, even in the winter.
Another landscape job in Stonemill Farms, also completed this past summer, included 25 landscape lights that change color, a seating wall, fire pit and hot tub. “The owners gave us some hints, we drew up the plans and it turned out perfect,” he says. “It’s a beautiful, cozy space they can use all year-round.”
Of his business acumen, he says, “Sometimes I ask myself ‘Why?’ I get texts at midnight and wake up at 5 a.m. It’s hard, but I love it,” he says. Like all good business owners, he says his work is a direct reflection of who he is. And, he says, he’s learned the art of listening in order to tailor each project to the specific needs of each client. But he’s also realized the importance of sharing ideas and gaining new perspectives from other young entrepreneurs. “I was a freshman at the University of Minnesota and started a networking group we call Apeiron Apex alongside Jake,” he says. The group meets biweekly in Woodbury and is made up of 12 young business owners who pick a different topic for discussion each week, about financial and personal health, discipline, marketing ideas and other business lessons. Plus, he’s created a “Power List” of five things he has to do each day to stay focused and grow.
Ceglar said after his first year at the university, he realized the investment wasn’t for him. “My mom didn’t like the decision I made when I dropped out, but my parents have been very supportive and have let me do ‘my thing,’” he says. So far, it seems like things are working out just fine!