Julie Moir Messervy, Founder and CEO of Home Outside, brings her green thumb to the pod to talk about how the key to climate change might be your own front yard. As a landscape architect whose credits include the Toronto Music Garden, Julie wanted to bring her skills and expertise to millions of homeowners with just a few clicks of a button. Enter Home Outside, an innovative app that promises to change how you view the potential of your home garden. Ready to get planting? Julie has the tool for you!
Keep up with our guest Julie Moir Messervy on LinkedIn.
Learn more about Home Outside on LinkedIn and the Home Outside website.
Connect with Chris Howard on LinkedIn.
Check out Softeq on the Softeq website.
[00:00] Podcast begins
[01:14] Studying Japanese gardens & landscape design
[06:40] Working on the Toronto Music Garden with Yo-Yo Ma
[10:50] Early versions of the Home Outside app
[18:40] Biodiversity & sustainability in home gardens
[26:55] Combating climate change starts in your backyard
You’ve been a landscape designer and written books, all while being a mom and working from home. What was that like for you?
In her long and accomplished career, Julie embraced working from home and did a large amount of her landscape design work right from her dining room table. At the time, remote work and working from home was less common than it is today and Julie admits that it did cause some complications and slowed her productivity. However, she doesn’t regret the time spent at home, especially when it allowed her the opportunity to spend time with her children.
“I learned I think maybe the most from watching my children grow in a landscape and use it and discover it. I applied all that learning to my craft. I loved what I did too much to just not do it, but it was complicated. What's fun is that early time is made up now, at my age.”
What is the sustainability piece to Home Outside?
We hear the alarming statistics about climate change all the time, but the concept of combating climate change is confusing for the average person. Thankfully, Julie believes that a healthier and more sustainable world is possible when we start at home. Home Outside’s app aims to teach homeowners about plants that sequester carbon, save energy, and increase biodiversity to help animals and pollinators, too.
“A very important part is that it turns out that your yard might be one of the best things you can do to help with climate change because not only can we sequester carbon by putting in plants that really take it, but then, there's biodiversity.”
What advice do you have for fellow women founders?
Being a mother, an author, a designer, and a founder has given Julie the confidence to encourage women founders to engage with their passions and forge their own futures. Loving what you do and remaining open to technological advancements can lead to a long, happy career full of new and exciting opportunities. Additionally, your passion will create strong, trustworthy relationships with your employees and partners that last through thick and thin.
“I think that people's lives start in different ways. If you find your passion early on, and you're able to continue to follow that passion, it can take you for a long, long time. I'm old and I still love what I'm doing and I can apply it in a new way thanks to technology.”
How are you forging the future in climate change?
Home Outside has a lofty yet inspirational goal of helping everyday homeowners impact the world around them. With a first year goal of sequestering 140,000 pounds of carbon, Julie believes that changing the way we do landscaping can help us change the world. Drainage, floods, pollinators, animal populations— all of these things can be purposely impacted and improved using Home Outside to make purposeful landscaping decisions.
“I think what's so exciting about working in the outdoor space is, as I said before, there's so much opportunity to change the way landscaping is done right now. There's a lot we can do with sequestering carbon by planting more plants.”