March is Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by honoring the women of Yardzen. While we want to give a behind-the-scenes look at the work the women of Yardzen do every day to give people the opportunity to live a better life outside, we also recognize that work isn’t the only thing that defines you – your personal passions do, too! This week, we’re spotlighting our CEO and Co-founder, Allison Messner.
Allison Messner: CEO & Co-Founder of Yardzen, Mother of Max and Coco, Avid runner
You launched Yardzen in 2018, what was the motivation?
To help people get more out of their outdoor spaces! We’d been through a wildfire and were navigating the landscape design process as we put our yard back together. The idea was born out of our own experience. Coming from technology backgrounds, we recognized ways we could leverage technology to make the process better for the homeowner, the landscape designer and the landscape contractor, alike. And ultimately help homeowners get a yard that lets them live better outside.
Do you think it’s important for your personal passions to also become part of your career?
I think following your passions might feel like a luxury to many, and I can only speak to my own experience. I feel truly passionate about the Yardzen mission and so it rarely feels like work. Across the board at Yardzen nearly everyone – from software engineers to marketers – is passionate about being outside. That’s a huge part of our culture, and I think that authentic passion helps make for a better client experience because being outside is what our clients are looking to do by improving their yards. We also have a very active Slack channel called #crazyplantpeople, which tells you a lot about the Yardzen team’s personal passions.
What are your hobbies, or moments in your life, that allow you to totally disconnect from work?
I’m not sure I ever fully disconnect from work, but I truly love what I do so I think that’s a conscious choice. Running is my daily ritual that both gets me outside, in nature (I prefer a trail over a road and I’m lucky to live in a place where trails are easily accessible) and also helps me think critically and creatively.
If you weren’t the CEO of Yardzen, what would you be doing?
Writing for a newspaper, which was my first job out of college. I loved every second of it.
Have to ask – what’s your favorite feature of your own yard?
My fire pit! It’s where everyone – including my kids – gravitates in the evening and the flames, coupled with some warm blankets, creates such a coziness. We just naturally put our phones down and connect with each other when there’s a fire burning. It’s no wonder fire pits are a top requested yard feature across all Yardzen projects.