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Conversations with Brianne Schoener

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brianne Schoener.

Hi Brianne, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’ve had a long journey to get where I am today when it comes to my world of plants. I have found a home at a family-owned garden center in Chester, New Jersey as nursery manager and on-site horticulturist. I wear different hats at work where I get to make an impact when it comes to gardening pursuits. I self-proclaimed that I’m “your favorite plant girl” because I have solutions to help people have their dream garden. I also started my blog and social media to connect to the industry on a deeper level as a writer, photographer, and industry figure as The Botany Scholar in 2015. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I have started in the industry since I was 19. I’ve worked at two garden centers before working at the garden center I work at now. I have failed classes before getting my degree. I had to learn how to manage a department, I had to learn how to gain the trust of my customers, I had to juggle life and balance work duties. I’ve cried, I’ve got frustrated, I’ve felt it all trying to climb the ladder to get where I am now. Everything that I’ve been through has been worth it. You reap what you sow; I’ve been sharing my love with plants with everyone and I get to see it every day with my customers and everyone that I interact with 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I strive to make an impact filled with knowledge and kindness. I am really proud of committing myself to know my customers at the garden center. I make sure I keep myself up to date with industry knowledge as a horticulturist. I make sure I take care of my customers when it comes to plant care at work. I make sure I take my experience and I write my experience in the industry to help people in the industry or help any plant enthusiast or gardener beyond the garden center walls. I’ve definitely became something bigger than myself in the horticultural industry 

What do you think about luck?
This is my favorite story all based out of luck and got me to where I am now as a nursery manager and industry figure: I worked at a garden center in Hopatcong, New Jersey and unfortunately the business went other and I had to scramble to find a new garden center to work at because I did not want to work at a retail store. I ended up traveling throughout New Jersey because I was determined to find a new garden center. On my way back home, I stopped at the once location in Annandale, Nj and I walked in and said, “I need a new garden center to call home”. The store manager gave me an application and I filled it out. I went on my way and I got a call right down the road it was the manager from Annandale and he told me I was overly qualified to work at the store but the Chester location needed someone like me. The manager asked if he could send my application down that way; of course, I said yes. Ten minutes go by; the manager from Chester calls me and asks for me to come in for an interview. I said yes and I drove to Chester, had my interview, and I got the job and I accepted as nursery manager. That Chester manager is now my boss and the best boss I ever had. The Botany Scholar developed one year later. I have developed my nursery floor and the Botany Scholar because my boss believed in me because I have customers who believe in me, I have coworkers and supporters who believe in me, and because I believe in me – all because I spontaneously chose to drive to Mendham Garden Center Annandale to be where I am today at my second home, Mendham Garden Center Chester. 

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