Two Brothers’ Path to Success
Clyde and Billy Hargrove, the brothers behind Hargrove Roofing and Hargrove Construction, have seen their business grow from a one-man operation to an expansive enterprise with over 72 employees and locations in seven cities.
But working together wasn’t always the plan. “Clyde and I are very different people. So if you’d told me ten years ago that we’d be in business together, not a rock band, but an actual business, I probably wouldn’t have believed you,” Billy Hargrove said.
Maybe not, but the signs were always there. Just take a look at their history.
Growing up, the brothers were practically inseparable. They shared everything: a bedroom, a closet, a bathroom… even friends. “After a while my friends became friends with Billy’s friends, and vice versa,” said Clyde. “It was just one big group.” When it came time for high school, their relationship was put to the test as they chose different schools. Clyde, who is two years older, opted for Caddo Magnet High School (Class of ’01), while Billy decided on C.E. Byrd (Class of ’03).
“I wanted to play football. Clyde wanted to play soccer and do the whole art thing. But it worked out.” Work out it did, even when they were quite literally pitted against each other, as they were on the soccer field when Magnet played Byrd.
“Billy had never played soccer but decided to play on a whim his freshman year. I still think he did it just so he had an excuse to compete against me. He’s weird like that,” Clyde said. Billy confirmed Clyde’s suspicions. “That’s exactly why I decided to play soccer,” he said. “I’m weird like that.”
Clyde went on to attend LSU, and Billy followed suit two years later. Soon they began living together (which meant sharing with each other, yet again) and ultimately formed a band – The Sidewalks – in 2003. “I’d grown up around music, but my dad and Clyde were the real musicians of the family. I just casually played the guitar. I’d never been in a band before, so it was exciting.” And successful. A year later, the band was signed to a Grammy-winning producer’s label in Los Angeles and embarked on a nationwide tour. Not a bad start.
But for Billy, it wasn’t meant to be. Trying to balance the life of a rock star with architecture school was nearly impossible. Ultimately, he decided to leave the band to focus on completing the design school. “I respected Billy’s decision,” Clyde said. “It was a very responsible decision. The last thing I was thinking about was school. I was having a great time touring.”
Alas, that, too, would come to an end. In 2007, while on tour, the band – now called The Terms – was in a devastating car wreck, all but putting an end to their budding careers. Clyde was in rough shape. The car had actually landed on him, and it took over a year to recover.
But the brothers would find each other again. And again, they found themselves sharing a bedroom, a closet, a bathroom, etc. Only this time, it was in New Orleans.
In 2009 they began working alongside each other at the Brennan Family’s reputable restaurant, Commander’s Palace. “I really enjoyed working there. I didn’t know how to cook, and they let me learn. It wasn’t really Clyde’s thing, though,” Billy said. “It wasn’t really my thing,” added Clyde.
So Clyde decided to become a Marine. He graduated from Parris Island in 2010 with a fresh haircut and no real plan. Meanwhile, Billy had worked his way up to line cook at Commander’s Palace. “I was making a lot of the salads and soups, sometimes an appetizer or two. I just wasn’t dedicated enough to stick around. And I really like salad,” he said.
In 2011, the brothers were reunited in Shreveport and decided to start playing music again. Soon, another band was formed. “I think they needed a break from music after what happened with The Terms. It took a few years for them to start playing again, but they picked up right where they left off,” said Kemerton Hargrove, their cousin, and roommate at the time. Soon, their band – Super Water Sympathy aka Hydrogen Child – was signed to a Portland-based indie label and began to tour the country. But in 2012, architecture reared its ugly head, yet again.
In 2013, Billy left the group in order to get his architecture license, going on to work for a local firm and earning a role as managing principal. “It was like déjà vu all over again,” Clyde said.
In 2014, Clyde signed with Warner Bros. Publishing as a songwriter and musician. He had a couple of songs placed with some big-name artists. While they’d both found success, professionally, the biggest achievement wouldn’t occur until 2015, when Billy downed 15 dozen oysters in 15 minutes at the Acme Oyster House in Baton Rouge and had his name placed on its Board of Champions. “Hands down, my biggest accomplishment,” Billy said. “Can you please stop talking about that?” added his wife, Kelly Hargrove.
In 2016, Clyde started working for a roofing company in Shreveport. “I don’t know how many people go from music to roofing, but it made sense to me,” he said.
Their professional lives remained separate until 2018, when their father unexpectedly passed away. Following his death, the two found themselves wondering what to do next.
They wanted to stay close to their loved ones and give back to Shreveport, as their family had done for generations. But this time they wouldn’t be sharing a bedroom, or closet, or bathroom. Instead, they’d be sharing a company.
With Billy’s background in both architecture and development, and Clyde’s roofing experience and strong relationship with clients, they united to form Hargrove Roofing and, eventually, Hargrove Construction. It finally came full circle.
They continue to argue and love each other in addition to giving clients 100% effort and service, day in and day out.
In addition to the company, they also share a genuine excitement for the future.
What a long, strange – and wonderful – trip it’s been.