Chantal Aida Gordon, co-founder of The Horticult teaches a master class in side hustle, and how to ‘see the world through plants’ in any space.
What does a day in your work life look like?
Marketing copywriting as my day job, then planting and photographing plants and writing about it for thehorticult.com
What made you start doing the amazing things that you do?
I'm in LA now, but while I was living in La Jolla, I was working on a novel that took place in a community garden in East Harlem. At the same time, my now-ex-husband but still-creative-partner and I were planting and designing our outdoor space. That led to The Horticult, our lifestyle blog about taking care of — and designing with — plants and being obsessive and specific about certain species and genus. We're currently most active on Instagram @thehorticult.
Did you complete any training? If not, how did you learn your trade/skill?
I studied journalism in college, but much of my gardening knowledge is self-taught, through horticulture books, good ol' Dr. Wikipedia and interviews for the blog with people who know about plants!
What do you want people to know about being a woman in your field?
Women, especially women of color, have created a wealth of garden writing over the years, and alas, it's gone overlooked. Jamaica Kincaid's My Garden (Book) is a good place to start.
What's the biggest challenge you have faced in your work?
Finding enough time to give to The Horticult while also working full time, and while getting my MFA a few years ago!
What are the top five things that are always in your pockets? Phone, pen, little journal, lip balm. I don't think there's a fifth!
What are you doing when you’re not working hard? Reading, watching movies, playing tennis, practicing the electric bass.
How do you encourage other women to start doing what you do?
Don't think about what the market wants, or what you think the market wants. Start from what you're deeply interested in. When you launch that thing based on what fascinates you, you'll likely find people with the same passions.
Who’s a role model who helped you in your journey to where you are? Debra Prinzing — author, speaker, creator of slowflowers.com.
If you could give your 20-year-old-self advice, what would it be? Move, journal, meditate every day.
Do you have any special projects or cool things you want people to check out?
TheHorticult.com, of course! Our small-space gardening book How to Window Box, and our brand spanking new Bloom Bungalow Window Box and Trellis, designed and made right here in LA in collaboration with TerraTrellis.