A new South Range business, Elite Portable Toilets LLC, opened in late June.
Owner Laurisa Richardson, 22, started the business with roughly 50 units, a truck, a trailer and a contract for the city of Superior. It’s a milestone for Richardson, a 2016 Superior High School graduate. She’s been charting her career path since middle school.
“Probably (in) eighth grade I decided I wanted my own business in the septic industry, but I didn’t really want the big truck,” Richardson said.
She aims to make a mark in the business she grew up around. Her parents have owned Geno’s Septic Service in the town of Parkland for 27 years. In addition to working part-time as a special education assistant at Superior High School, the South Range woman has spent three years working with Brent’s Septic Service LLC in Duluth.
“I told them right from the get-go, I’m like ‘I do plan to have my own company someday,’” Richardson said. “They worked with me and helped me get going on my own. Now they’re like family to me.”
Owners David and Karen McDonald mentored the young entrepreneur as she took the required classes and put in 1,600 driving hours for her license. They also sold her the toilets, truck and trailer for the enterprise.
“You keep an eye on that girl and you watch Elite Portable Toilets,” said David McDonald. “When grad parties come and these little events and weddings, I can see her toilets getting bigger and bigger and bigger.”
Richardson is honest, hard-working, friendly and focused, he said. Standing 5 feet tall in boots, the 22-year-old wrangles the portable toilets into place herself, hauling them to and from sites with the truck and trailer.
"She just has a drive to succeed," David McDonald said. "She's an amazing young woman at her age."
The septic business is about environmental protection and keeping things clean. It requires a Department of Natural Resources septic license, which Elite Portable Toilets LLC received June 30.
“I feel like people kind of take for granted what we do,” Richardson said.
The job involves a lot of testing, and if anything gets in the soil or water, septic businesses are mandated to report it.
Basing the business in Wisconsin keeps it close to home, and there are fewer competitors in the Superior area then in Duluth, she said.
“I wanted to get it rolling over here,” Richardson said, although she expects to get occasional big event jobs across the bridge.
The service area for Elite Portable Toilets LLC extends about an hour and a half drive from South Range. Most jobs are weekend or monthly contracts, but Richardson said she can offer pricing options for week-long rentals if needed. Visit the Elite Portable Toilets LLC Facebook page, call 715-398-0111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.