In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the women of Yardzen! From our incredible CEO and co-founder, Allison Messner, to product and marketing, Yardzen is proud to be a company led by strong, creative women. This month, we’ll be celebrating those women by highlighting several of them here and on our blog.
Zolene Quindoy: Head of Horticulture, Wife, Mother, Science Nerd, Avid Home Chef
How did you know Yardzen was a good fit for you, career wise?
Joining Yardzen early on was an exciting opportunity to help build out a successful platform and deliver top-notch landscape design services using a novel, all-remote approach. I love the dynamic energy of working at a young company. Being surrounded by such smart, motivated people everyday is energizing and inspiring.
Do you think it’s important for your personal passions to also become part of your career?
Yes! Isn’t that the ideal scenario for everyone? When there is so much overlap between your career and hobbies, it rarely feels like work.
Do you think your kids are absorbing your work ethic?
My kids are young (4 and 2) so while they don’t fully understand what I do for work, they do know that “mama likes plants” and that I help other people “make their gardens look nice.” Now that I think of it… that is a pretty good way to describe what I do!
What are your hobbies, or moments in your life, that allow you to totally disconnect from work?
I enjoy looking at plants and landscaping when I’m out and about (and mentally cataloguing new species to try and interesting design solutions for tricky sites), so I’m often in a work-adjacent headspace. But, since horticulture is such a deeply-ingrained passion of mine, it never really feels like work!
My true zen hobbies are pulling weeds and cooking. I can happily do either for hours (although hopefully my garden doesn’t need it)!
If you weren’t Head of Horticulture at Yardzen, what would you be doing?
I’ve always loved the idea of becoming a garden coach – helping people set up their vegetable beds, compost, or even backyard chickens. Lots of people are nervous about getting started or “doing things wrong” but for me one of the greatest joys in gardening is trying out new things – the latest quirky cultivar of your favorite flower, or a cool plant you’ve always wanted to grow but weren’t sure it would thrive in your area. Whether you succeed or fail, you’ve learned something! Take that knowledge and build on it in your next garden endeavor.
Have to ask – what’s your favorite feature of your own yard?
My raised vegetable beds! In Southern California we’re fortunate to be able to grow herbs and veggies year round. I had a few very prolific eggplants last summer, followed by some monstrous broccoli and cabbage this winter. I just got my potatoes planted, and am looking forward to getting my summer crops in as the soil warms up: tomatoes, zucchini, basil, and peppers!