Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Kent.
Nicole, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
When I was a child, we had a garden. What started off as me “playing in the dirt” turned into a love for watching things grow. I was intrigued about the process and would check on the plants daily to see their new additions. This love of plants continued on and I always had something growing. What plant life I had changed depending on where I lived, the size of the space and the amount of light available. When I moved to Los Angeles (I’m originally from Miami), I had a patio and this is when my love for the garden truly kicked in. While living in this amazing city, apartment life had me experimenting with what I could grow in small spaces. I turned my patio into my urban garden. I didn’t think much of it until the pandemic happened and I was in line at the grocery store with an empty basket, it hit me. I don’t need to buy it, I can grow it. So I left the grocery store and headed straight to the nursery. I stocked up on all the seedlings and went home and got everything planted. Now it didn’t solve things immediately I had to get them to produce. I documented this journey and immediately had friends asking how I did this. So I started hosting video calls to walk friends through the process of setting up their container gardens. I quickly realized I was onto something. I could share my love of gardening with many Angelinos, no matter the size of the space. From window sill warriors to patio dwellers to full on raised bed gardens. I started helping many choose specific plants for the size of the space, the amount of light available and the time they could commit to the garden. With this Raise LA was born.
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?
Gardening is a constant experiment with so many variables. Sun, soil, temperature, microclimates, pests, time to dedicate, even the plants themselves. With focusing on small spaces it can be a challenge, but one I don’t shy away from. You can grow in the space you have. If thats a window sill we can get herbs going, if you have a patio we can get you dwarf varieties or smaller plants that will produce a full-size yield and maximize your growing space.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Raise LA is a garden consultancy. We can help you design a space that you can grow in that is multi-functional. Many of us live in apartments with small spaces and these spaces need to do more than one thing for us. We can help you to create this. We can also coach you with the best plants for your space, the amount of sunlight you receive and the time you want to dedicate. Not sure what to do with what you’ve grown. Join us for Sip’N Sundays on Instagram where we make cocktails, mocktails, infused water, or teas with herbs from the garden, and the occasional foodie recipe. We are known for small space container gardens but that’s not all we do. We have just partnered with a community garden in the valley that we truly looking forward to the collaboration. We will be growing in this space and teaching classes (stay tuned). We are most proud of supporting small businesses and being a green company. All of our vendors are small businesses. We shop local as much as possible, and when anything has to get shipped in we do the research to make sure their practices align with ours. Raise LA also spotlights small businesses that we think are amazing. We did a series for the holidays last year and are looking into integrating this to a monthly spotlight. We practice eco-friendly methods and natural pest remedies. All of our packaging is recyclable and most is compostable. We are on our way to becoming a certified B corporation.
Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Tell anyone who will listen what you want to do/accomplish. They will be your best resource for connecting you with others that want to do the same or can help be part of your team to get things moving forward. Some of the best connections I’ve had come from telling others what I want or need to achieve taking things to the next level. We can’t support you if we don’t know what you are trying to do.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.raisela.co
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/raise.la/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/raiselacontainergardens
Natalie Obermaier (portrait) Nicole Kent (all garden images)