We’re so committed to the success and empowerment of women working in horticulture! We’ve experienced the loneliness of working in our male-dominated industry and battled against the stereotypes that try to tell us we can’t succeed here. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and empower women to get outside and get their hands dirty – this may mean working in your own yard for the casual plant lady but this might also mean pursuing a career in horticulture or turfgrass!
We are all for it and use our Industry Spotlight Series to celebrate women who are pushing the limits, changing the game, and taking our industry by storm!
Gardening has been around since the dawn of creation… literally! Taking care of plants was one of the very first responsibilities that God gave to humans. You would think we would know it all by now! Something we love so much about our industry is how much potential there is for game-changing innovation. There is always room for growth in gardening techniques and the application of plant sciences in our world.
Today, we’re introducing you to a true innovator in the horticulture world – Mehgan Laveck, owner and founder of Rocky Mountain Living Walls. Living walls have been gaining popularity over the years but are still extremely under-utilized and under-studied. This didn’t stop Mehgan from jumping into entrepreneurship by starting a business doing what she loves, innovating with plants!
We asked Mehgan to share her career journey with us and it is everything. It’s a story of following her passions and creating the life that she wanted for herself. We are seriously in awe and totally inspired! Here’s what Meghan has to say:
I have always been drawn to learning opportunities. Before starting RMLW, I worked in IT as a network engineer and technical project manager. Eventually I got burnt out and left my job for something more meaningful. I wanted to build a business where I could embrace my love of plants and nature while still using my project management experience. I spent 2 years learning everything I could about living walls and figured the rest out by doing it. For me, living walls are the perfect combination of construction, engineering, horticulture and project management.
In case you can’t tell, Mehgan is a boss lady! Two years researching and learning – that’s dedication to excellence and passion for plants! She has some amazing advice below for women who want to start a business, in horticulture or anything else. We had to ask her a few more questions!
Q: Tell us more about living walls! What are you passionate about when it comes to your projects and installations?
A: I love being flexible and providing exactly what customers want. I like to dig into the details of projects and bring them all together for a finished product that is stunning and really works. I love solutions that are elegant and simple. There are a lot of terrible living wall systems on the market today. It’s sad to see companies that want to incorporate biophilia but end up with an expensive solution that doesn’t hold up. I’m an advocate for biophilic design done RIGHT. We stand behind our solutions and make sure our customers are happy. It feels good.
Q: What would you give as advice to another woman who would like to own or manage a business in horticulture?
A: The #1 piece of advice I would give anyone who is really serious about starting a business – don’t give up. Keep moving forward every day, even if you are crawling. Resilience is the key to success. Self employment is really hard and can be lonely. You need a good support system, whether that’s a business coach or partner or networking group. It really helps to be able to pick up the phone and talk to someone who cares about you and understands what you’re going through. I wouldn’t have made it this far without my best friend who just happens to be the owner of the eLLe Foundation – a consulting and coaching group for women in business.
Q: What is the greatest challenge you’ve had in your career and how have you grown from dealing with that challenge?
A: The greatest challenge I have had is believing in myself and handling the fear of the unknown. Starting a business has given me daily opportunities to work on this! 5 years later and it’s still scary as hell. 🙂 I am not a natural leader and this role has forced me to deal with some of the emotional issues that probably would have stayed hidden if I had a normal “job.” Being my own boss forced me to build my self confidence, learn about myself and figure out who I really am.
Q: Do you have a favorite plant to share with our Plant Ladies?
A: I’ve never met a philodendron I didn’t like. Simple to grow, beautiful to look at and there are so many interesting varieties.
Connect with Mehgan
If you are interested in learning more from Mehgan and Rocky Mountain Living Walls, follow her on social media or contact her using the information below!
Be sure to check out all of our Industry Spotlights of the amazing women who are taking our industry by storm!
If you’re interested in being featured in our Industry Spotlight Series, we’d love to connect with you! Get all the details here.