By Pete Wurdock

When Lacy Fitzpatrick and Marvin Schoolcraft moved to Newberry, they had no idea where their new path was going to lead. They came to Newberry from down state with the hope of getting their business, Inside/Out Home Services, up and running in town. When they arrived they had two push mowers, a weed whip, a vacuum, and a bundle of cleaning products.

And then they got to work.

Both of them are from the Indian River area and knew each other as kids. When they were 10 years old they were boyfriend and girlfriend insomuch as 10 year old kids can be. But time marched on and Lacy moved away. Years later she moved back “She came home when I was still a jerk and didn’t like me,” Marvin recalls. Through a stroke of luck Marvin got Lacy’s number. They talked things out in his driveway and have been together ever since.

Marvin had an elderly friend in the Newberry area who needed some help keeping up his property and together Marvin and Lacy decided to make the move from one small town to another. Marvin had a background in landscaping and tree trimming in addition to performing various “handyman” type jobs on a day-to-day basis. Lacy also had a skill set that complimented Marvin’s.

“We didn’t have much, but when I started cleaning homes people would ask me what Marvin could do,” Lacey recalls. “After I started telling clients all of the services Marvin and I could provide, the phone started ringing and hasn’t stopped.” They got lucky and found a house to buy in Newberry when the housing market was not in anyone’s favor.

The winter of 2020 was pretty lean for the snow removal business; it wasn’t until the seasons changed in 2021 that their business took off.

Suddenly they started getting calls and requests from area residents and their business expanded. If there was a job request they couldn’t fulfill, they networked with contractors in the area to find someone who could get it done. They continue this practice and have made a lot of people happy as a result.

“We had a five-year goal as to what we wanted our business to be like, such as attracting new clientele and sticking to the type of work we knew we could perform,” Marvin commented. “We accomplished our five-year goal just inside of two years.”

Marvin and Lacy continue to expand their business reach by hiring employees and purchasing new equipment and sticking to what they know best, which is making their customers happy at reasonable prices. “We don’t take the big jobs because we like to stay focused on the smaller ones to bring services to those who need the smaller projects done,” Marvin said.

Their services continue to expand and they have recently added camera sewer inspection and drain auguring. This is in addition to power washing, plumbing services, lawn care, cleaning, snow removal, and roof shoveling. They also have experience in property management, currently servicing five area Airbnbs that they own within Newberry and its vicinity. These properties range from overnight stays to longer term rentals. The rentals include snow removal, lawn care, and cleaning.

Their unofficial business model is based on the needs of those in the community. “We need bigger business cards because now we offer so much more than what is on them now,” Lacy chuckled.

A majority of their snow removal and lawn care services accounts are residential and business has soared over the past two years. They don’t advertise or have a fancy website. All their work has come by referrals and word of mouth.

“We’re here trying to help the average person get by and do our best to keep it affordable,” Marvin explained. “If you have something that needs to be done but don’t have the money, we will work with you on payment plans.”

They care about the community’s needs and strive to get their customers the services they require. If they can’t provide it, they will assist in helping them find someone who can, even if it means giving work to someone else. Lacy and Marvin have embraced Newberry and the opportunities that exist for them, and the town has embraced them back. For Lacy and Marvin, it’s not just a job, it is a way of life.