Shenandoah valley business journal

Page 12



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A ‘Happy Little’ Career Twist Name: Kyle Miller Age: 34 By VIC BRADSHAW Daily News-Record

HARRISONBURG — A frustrating personal experience turned Kyle Miller into an entrepreneur. The 34-year-old Orlando, Fla.-area native was preparing to move his family — wife Heather and daughters Hensley and Reagan, now 9 and 7, respectively — to Elkton from Alabama and wanted a small trash bin for objects they no longer needed. He had to rent a full-sized dumpster, though, because he couldn’t find other options. And when he called the company to say it could haul the unit away before his rental was up, he was told it had to remain for the full month. “It stayed there a lot longer than it needed to be, and it was very expensive,” Miller said. “So I decided I wanted to start a dumpster rental company. “My wife thought I was crazy.”

He began business preparation in September 2016, buying assets he’d need and building a business model that included removing bins when customers wanted. He arrived here in March, and Happy Little Dumpsters served its first customer in May. Miller intended to work for a local company while launching the business but scrapped that plan. “The dumpster rental thing,” said Miller, “just kicked off so hard.” Six months later, demand has led him to more than double the number of bins in his inventory. He’s used profits from his sales to cover the purchases. While he has commercial clients, Miller said residential users are his primary customers. He’s dropped dumpsters at locations from Edinburg to Lexington and east into the Charlottesville market. The “Little” in the company name refers to his bins’ footprint. Though much smaller, taller walls allow them to hold 20 cubic yards of refuse. Happy Little Dumpsters is an in-

teresting career twist for a man who took his father’s advice to join the military so he could become an aircraft mechanic. He signed up for the Alabama Army National Guard in 2000, while still in high school, and twice was deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. When not overseas, he managed a barbecue restaurant in Huntsville, Ala. In 2010, he earned a bachelor’s degree in professional aeronautics and logistics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Miller retired from the Army National Guard this year after 16 years. Based on the name of his business and its smiling-dumpster logo, he apparently has marketing and branding chops, too. Miller said “Happy Little Dumpsters” and its logo concept was pieced together during conservations with Guard colleagues about his post-military plans. Contact Vic Bradshaw at 574-6279 or

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