Those Plant Ladies have two founders, twin sisters Fawn and Heather. It’s time you get to know each of them a little better! You can learn about their journey to Those Plant Ladies on our website but there is so much more to dive into about these women and today we’re starting with Fawn.
Fawn is an inspiring leader with a heart for entrepreneurship and building the life that she desires for herself and her family. She has studied horticulture and worked in the professional landscaping industry for years before pursuing her vision of a better horticulture industry with Those Plant Ladies. Fawn has been able to use her leadership skills to bring a team of women together in this male-dominated industry to change the way women see themselves in this landscape. (Pun intended ?) No one works harder than Fawn during our installations and our team is so empowered by her willingness and confidence to tackle any challenge that’s put in front of us. There is no project too large or piece of equipment too heavy for Fawn to take on! We asked Fawn some questions to help you get to know her better!
Q: You have so much experience with professional sports turf! Give us your one “go-to” piece of advice for someone trying to get their lawn in shape!
A: I get asked a lot about ‘how do I get the perfect weed-free lawn?’ My response is always that it takes work. The best way to protect your lawn from weeds is to establish a thick, dense stand of turfgrass. Every season brings new challenges, whether that be weather-related, disease, pests, or something else. Having the mentality that there’s always going to be something that pops up and challenges your knowledge but that you can figure it out is the key to success. Choosing the right variety of grass for your yard is essential as well. You wouldn’t want to put a shade-loving grass in full sun and vice versa… you wouldn’t want a sun-loving grass in your full shade area. Choosing the right plant for the right location will make your grass growing experience that much easier!
Q: What makes you so passionate about inspiring, empowering, and educating women in all things horticulture, landscaping, and gardening?
A: I have almost always been the only female on all of my crews. When I entered this industry, I knew that it was predominantly males. I never wanted special treatment, but I realized I had to work 10 times harder to keep up physically (given my petite body) as well as continue to prove myself to be respected as I was often considered a ‘cute’ female among all men. This was even more challenging as I worked my way into management, having men look to me for guidance. Respect is 100% earned and I did just that! While I understand that women and men have their innate differences, I always longed to have that camaraderie with another female to share experiences with. This is why I’m passionate about giving other women the opportunity to learn, and to show the next generation what it looks like for a woman to get it done!
A: I’ve always had leadership skills… just ask my sister! I’m very driven to make moves and to pave my own way. I have always wanted to be my own boss but I thought I needed to climb the ladder to make this happen. The closer I got to that top position, the more I realized that even that position has more bosses and more people to answer to. I’m a creative and when I get my mind and dreams set in one direction, I make it happen! Not to say that all the ideas I have are successful, but I’m not afraid to take risks.
Once my son was born, I knew I wanted to spend more time with him instead of spending so much time on my commute. I was only able to spend about an hour a day and it was usually the witching hour in the evenings. I felt like I was giving him my leftovers. I created both Fawn Renae Designs and Those Plant Ladies while I was working my full-time position. I spent my morning drive, lunch breaks, and weekends pouring into these businesses. I remember rocking my son to sleep one night and feeling the calling. This calling was to turn in my one month notice and take the leap to pursue these businesses full time. I now set my own schedule, I let my son wake up on his own instead of getting him up at 4 am; we go on neighborhood walks and spend more time together other than that fussy hour in the evenings.
There have been a lot of learning curves in my entrepreneurial journey; I’m not only running two successful start-up businesses, but I’m starting something that isn’t a traditional business. I’m paving the way — breaking barriers and mindsets along the way! I now have my own team of women who I lead and employ. I’m empowering them to have their own freedom of time as well as giving them all the resources to be successful in this industry!
Q: What do you want to tell women who are working in the horticulture industry, especially who might work with mostly men?
A: “It’s all figureoutable!” I live by this quote from Marie Forleo. I never wanted to be feeling stuck in a place that caused me to be complacent in my thinking or in my life. If you’re getting that internal nudge to make a change, listen to it! Take actionable steps and be willing to face adversity and challenges. For the women who are wanting to enter this industry just as I did, be willing to put the work in. Don’t expect it to be handed to you! Be the hardest worker on the team every single day. Stand up for yourself and encourage others along the way.
Thanks Fawn, for spending some time with us. It was so fun getting to know you on a deeper level and hearing your heart as you make waves in the green industry!
Check back soon for a chat with our other founder, Heather Payne!