It’s an understatement to say Luke Lovell is not the typical high school student. Businessman might be a more accurate description.
The Lakeview Academy senior owns rental properties.
“I’ve got a few of them” was his response when asked how many.
The first one came when he was 11.
“I felt that I’d found a really good deal,” Luke said.
He said Phil Forrester at Gainesville Jewelry “loaned an 11-year-old some money.” Forrester was “influential in helping me get started,” he said.
“I’ve always been influenced by real estate from a really young age,” Luke said, because he often rode with his dad, John, who worked in commercial real estate.
That purchase, however, was not his initial entry into business. Luke sold snow cones on Riverside Drive, where his family lived, for a couple of summers.
“Why go out and spend time in the sun if you can’t get a $1 out of someone?” he asked, explaining why he picked snow cones over a lemonade stand.
He made $150 to $200 some days with his sales, he said.
When he was 10 he owned vending machines. That was “a really eye-opening experience,” Luke said.
“The main problem with vending machines is the candy’s very expensive.” And not very profitable, he implied.
But “I did well on it when I sold it,” he said.
Now he works at Zip Cash on Pearl Nix Parkway. He said he usually is there from about 3:30 to 8 or 9 p.m.
Luke will go to Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., in the fall and “probably major in finance or something in the business field.”
He picked Wofford over the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia because “I fit in” at Wofford.
Luke said the smaller setting was better for him, much like Lakeview Academy, which he has attended since the first grade.
“It really is a big family,” he said of Lakeview.
He is active in the school. He is the student council president and has been involved in that all four years — vice president as a junior, treasurer as a sophomore and freshman class president. He might get involved with student government at Wofford, he said.
Luke has been on the Lakeview honor council three of his four years. Wofford also has an honor code — an attractive feature for him.
Luke also plans to “stay involved” with his rental business, although he will be two hours away.
His parents are John and Janna Lovell, and he has two brothers, Spencer and Hunter, who work with him in business.
“Everything’s always changing. You have to be ready to change with it in the business world,” Luke said.