Meet the Women Of Yardzen

Posted on March 2, 2022

Alanah Andersen: Product Manager, campground chef, photo booth enthusiast, failed March Madness bettor


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How did you know Yardzen was a good fit for you, career-wise?

Yardzen was my first job out of college. It was just me and the two co-founders back then! I was looking for a very small company so that I could start learning about things like raising money, building a product from scratch, and generally growing a business. With Yardzen I was able to satisfy my desire for the perfect company stage while also working towards a mission that I believe in.

Do you think it’s important for your personal passions to also become part of your career?

Definitely! I find it very satisfying to build products that you want to use yourself. It’s unique to have a marriage of passions like this. There’s landscape design, which is very artful and creative, paired with technology, which uses a methodical, analytical approach. Yardzen is full of people that want to work, hangout, and spend quality time outside. This makes for unbeatable work culture. 

What are your hobbies, or moments in your life, that allow you to totally disconnect from work?


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Doing anything outside really helps to disconnect from my computer, especially since we’re all spending 90% of our time within the same four walls.

I love camping and hiking and recently rented a camper van to go down the coast of California. Also, I used to commute to work via bike, so I’ve been going on some rides to fantasize about going into an office. 

My friends and I have been coming up with extremely random activities to keep ourselves entertained at home. We’ve had a fake wedding, turned each room in our house into a different themed bar, and have cross-dressed as each other to perform a roast. Not necessarily a hobby, quite yet..

If you weren’t Product Manager at Yardzen, what would you be doing?

I initially wanted to work for national or state parks, working to mitigate wildfires. In college, I created models for mapping wildfires and how they move around a forest. I’m definitely interested in how Yardzen can use fire-wise planting around homes and also help people to rebuild post fires. 

Have to ask – what’s your favorite feature of your own yard?

We have an outdoor movie theater, which is THE BEST. It’s just a screen and a projector, so very easy to set up. Our house has become the destination for movie screenings, so now when I fall asleep during the movie, my bed is only 50 feet away. My favorite quarantine movie so far has been Uncut Gems, which did the impossible and made me like Adam Sandler’s acting for once. 

Tess Fischer: Contractor Relationship Manager, avid road cyclist


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How did you know Yardzen was a good fit for you, career wise?

Allison had reached out to me on LinkedIn about working with Yardzen contractors. I was working at a company where I worked with contractors everyday and never imagined my skill set would fit so perfectly somewhere else. 

After doing some research on Yardzen and speaking with a few Yardzen employees, I knew I had to take the leap. It was the perfect fit of my skill set and what I’m passionate about—great design, living a full life outdoors and plants!

Do you think it’s important for your personal passions to also become part of your career?

To me it’s more of a luxury, not a requirement. I feel very lucky to not only have a career in a field I’m passionate about but that I’m also surrounded by co-workers with many of the same values and interests. I was incredibly excited to see the #crazyplantpeople Slack channel when I first came on board–I knew I was going to fit right in.

What are your hobbies, or moments in your life, that allow you to totally disconnect from work?


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Over the last few years I’ve managed to turn my apartment into what I can only describe as an indoor jungle (this is what happens when you don’t have any outdoor space in a big city). I spend a lot of time learning about my plants through research, caring for them, propagating them to give to friends, and rearranging them frequently.

I grew up with a mother and grandmother (a Master Gardener) who were always out working in their gardens. Some of my best memories as a child are the times spent with them pulling weeds, planting flowers, learning from them and turning over rocks looking for new critters to marvel at. Taking care of my indoor plants at home harkens back to the time I spent in the garden growing up and always helps me disconnect.

If you weren’t a Contractor Relationship Manager at Yardzen, what would you be doing?

I would probably still be doing something similar! I have always been passionate about design and would likely be an interior designer. The other (less likely option) would be to move out of the city, buy a chunk of land to put a greenhouse on so I could grow and sell plants!

Have to ask – what’s your favorite feature of your own yard?

Well I don’t have a yard of my own because I live in the heart of Chicago, but we do have an amazing roofdeck! There is a spot with a fire pit that overlooks all of the major buildings where I like to bring a nice cheese plate and glass of wine to unwind on the weekends.

Grace Carlson: Director of Project Operations, avid hiker, traveler, picnicker 


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How did you know Yardzen was a good fit for you, career wise?

I knew I wanted to work for a company where innovation and design were at the forefront, and where I had an understanding of and respect for the product. I wanted a job where all of my skills would be put to use, rather than be pigeonholed into one area, so I knew I wanted to be part of something as it grew, so I could grow with it. I love being outside, I love conceptualizing spaces, and I love working with good people. Yardzen immediately felt like the perfect fit for me!

Do you think it’s important for your personal passions to also become part of your career?

I feel so fortunate that my career closely aligns with my personal passions. I think that the job you have should definitely reflect your interests and sensibility, though I also think a great job can diverge slightly from your personal passions or path. A workplace is all about the people and the culture. 

What are your hobbies, or moments in your life, that allow you to totally disconnect from work?


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I love hiking with my husband and our dog on the weekends. Being outside in the sunshine (or fog) really grounds me and releases any stress from the week. I’d say my happy place is sitting on the back porch at my parents’ house and watching the sunset with my whole family, with all the kiddos and dogs running around and a glass of rose in hand. 

If you weren’t the Director of Project Operations at Yardzen, what would you be doing?

A private investigator. I’ve always had a knack for getting to the heart of mysteries, and my family frequently calls me “Detective Grace.”

Have to ask – what’s your favorite feature of your own yard?

The fire pit! I love having a place to sit outside after dark, and having a way to socialize outdoors. I am also extremely happy to finally have garden beds, which I’m just planting for the first time — we’ll see how things go. 

Hannah Ford: Director of Client Success, Mom, creative, taco enthusiast, reader, painter, and re-arranger of furniture

How did you know Yardzen was a good fit for you, career wise?


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I’ve had the privilege of working with other companies that marry art and science in really special ways, making services like design and personal style more accessible than ever before. When I was introduced to Yardzen and the inspiring founders, I knew it was a team of people and a mission I wanted to be a part of.

We are spending more time than ever in our homes and yards and are very impacted by our physical surroundings. Empowering those we serve to spend more time in their beautiful outdoor spaces really resonated with me. Professionally, I knew the opportunity to help build a business with bright, motivated people who possessed similar values, would be challenging, rewarding, and exciting. 

Do you think it’s important for your personal passions to also become part of your career?

Not everyone has the privilege of translating their personal passions into a 9-5. When the opportunity arises to blur the lines between career and the things that provide great fulfillment outside of work it can feel very fortunate.

From my childhood to becoming a parent myself, being outside with family and friends has always been a big part of how we spend our time. Now working with a team of people who prioritize outdoor adventure, I feel a deep sense of gratitude to be a part of a culture that is constantly inspiring each other to get outside or pick up (yet another) house plant. 


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What are your hobbies, or moments in your life, that allow you to totally disconnect from work?

Having a busy five year old is hands down the best motivation to unplug and get outside. I love the work I do so disconnecting isn’t always easy but our backyard family dinners and weekend adventures really allow me to fully disconnect. I also love getting lost in a book which is another wonderful way I achieve balance and fulfillment. 

If you weren’t Director of Client Success at Yardzen, what would you be doing?

Post Pandemic, if I weren’t the Director of Client Success at Yardzen I’d aim to become a travel vlogger, spending a year or more traveling around the world with my family and our pug. I suppose we’d have to juggle homeschool on the go which seems perfectly realistic and achievable after surviving the 2020 school year. 

Have to ask – what’s your favorite feature of your own yard?

We tackled our yard renovation before I joined Yardzen and had a blast doing it. We live in Austin so I knew I wanted to incorporate lots of gravel and pavers. I designed the entire thing myself and delegated the heavy lifting to my partner and my dad. With the addition of our bistro lights, wine and warm summer nights, the back yard has become the backdrop of our favorite memories. 

Kendra Poppy: Head of Growth, Mom to one giant dog and five chickens, avid gardener

How did you know Yardzen was a good fit for you, career wise?


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I have had a diverse career, but I truly feel like it has all culminated in my experience at Yardzen. Out of college (Smith!), I spent four years pursuing a PhD in comparative literature. Passionate about writing and critical thinking, but skeptical about academic job opportunities, I pivoted to content marketing and social media, working at Google and Facebook. My claim to fame: I managed Facebook’s Facebook account!

As I grew in my career, I moved on to become Audience Growth Editor at Sunset magazine. Then, after speaking with Yardzen’s incredible cofounder, Allison, I decided to join Yardzen as the first marketing hire in 2019. Yardzen is truly my dream job. It combines my passion for lifestyle content, social media, and technology. Plus, I am a passionate gardener.

Do you think it’s important for your personal passions to also become part of your career?

Yes! I am an avid home gardener, and everyday I’m excited about helping homeowners create their dream outdoor spaces! 


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What are your hobbies, or moments in your life, that allow you to totally disconnect from work?

Being outside! Gardening and exercising–preferably on a hike with my husband and our 110-pound German Shepherd rescue. Those are two times that I’m actually able to truly disconnect.

If you weren’t Head of Growth at Yardzen, what would you be doing?

I would be going back to school to become a landscape designer! 

Have to ask – what’s your favorite feature of your own yard?

My edible garden! I live in the Bay Area, so I’m able to plant a full garden every season. From greens and broccoli in the cool season to tomatoes and squash in the warm season.

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