How Allison Messner Is Transforming Luxury Landscape Design With Yardzen

Second Life Podcast: Allison Messner
(Image credit: Cameron Cressman)

Welcome to Second Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode gives you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere you get your podcasts to stay tuned.

Allison Messner, the founder behind landscape design service Yardzen, has built a brand with the mission to bring visions of dream yards to life in just a click of a button. With Yardzen, Messner aimed to democratize landscape design, making it more accessible and efficient. The platform harnesses the power of technology, allowing users to easily collaborate with designers virtually, which not only speeds up the process but also is cost-friendly. Ultimately, this makes the luxury of professional landscape design more accessible.

Messner started the brand in 2018 after she and her husband experienced a devastating wildfire that ruined their entire outdoor space. As they embarked on their restoration journey, they quickly realized how slow, inefficient, and expensive the typical landscape design process was; thus, the seeds for Yardzen were sown. Today, Yardzen operates across all 50 states and boasts a network of hundreds of designers and architects as well as major partnerships, including a notable collaboration with Crate & Barrel. Furthermore, Yardzen has successfully raised $11 million in venture funding, underscoring the market's confidence in Messner's vision.

Before Messner was bringing the landscaping industry into the modern era, she actually had quite a different career path, from reporting as a journalist in Alaska and working in PR to navigating the high-stakes world of tech as the CMO of OpenDNS (which Cisco acquired for a staggering $635 million) and even starting her own VC firm. One thing is certain: Messner has always been driven by a desire to innovate and improve.

Listen to the latest episode of Second Life to hear how Messner was able to turn a traumatic life event into a burgeoning business that fills a gap in the market while also helping others.

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Freelance Editor