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Jessica Viola: Winner of the 2024 Great Companies International Women Entrepreneur Award


Name: Jessica Viola

Business Name: Viola Gardens Design Inc.

Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA , USA

Establishment (Year): 2015

Category: Architecture

Profession/ Specialty: Landscape Design And Build


Company Detail:

Since 2007, Viola Gardens has pioneered transformative garden spaces in Los Angeles County. Their women-owned firm, led by Jessica Viola, specializes in drought-tolerant, ecologically sustainable landscapes. Combining over two decades of expertise with regenerative design, their in-house architectural team sets them apart in the industry. Focused on creativity and sustainability through a holistic lens, Viola Gardens leads by creating captivating outdoor landscape experiences that are innovative and meaningful, deepening connections between human nature and Mother Nature.


Unique Selling Proposition or Competitive Advantage:

As a boutique landscape design and build firm, Viola Gardens stands out as a pioneer in the field as a women-owned and licensed contracting firm, led by founder, principle, and contractor, Jessica Viola. With just a handful of female landscape contractors and builders in California, combined with Jessica's deeply seasoned knowledge of plants and ecology, their install teams have evolved to build landscapes that have an artisanal approach to construction and a feminine touch for detail.


Their commitment is centered on regenerative ecological design, earth stewardship, and artistic vision with mindful execution. What sets them apart is their in-house architectural team, which adds another layer of expertise by delivering high-end and innovative, artistically inspired designs. With a passion for creating landscapes that transcend the ordinary, Viola Gardens continues to lead the industry, fusing creativity, sustainability, and a dedication to transforming outdoor spaces into captivating works of art and meaningful experiences.


Building on a thriving 17-year permaculture design practice, they recently opened their botanical design studio and ‘The Art and Ecology Studio’ at Viola Gardens in Malibu, a collaborative community space designed to promote personal growth, community resilience, and cultivate better relationships between people and the natural world through ecology and art. For more information, please visit them at www.violagardens.com.


Challenges Faced During the Journey:

This business was built slowly, steadily, and over many years. What started as a small organic garden design and maintenance business in 2007, inspired by principles of permaculture, native plants, organic gardening, and habitat restoration, evolved into a full-fledged architectural design and build firm. With no investors or financial backing, step by step and stone by stone this business was built, much like the landscape they create - mindfully and steadily.


Jessica Viola went on to get her contracting license several years ago which marked another milestone for her and for her businesses, as there are very few women contractors in California who specialize in regenerative, whole-system, and organic design and mindful construction.


Overcoming the gender stigmas associated with construction over time meant she endeavored to master her craft with proficiency, care, and expert learning. The intention has always been to cultivate ecological stewardship and restoration within every landscape. By taking time to explore and foster relationships between homeowners, their lifestyle, and their garden visions such that the designs are meaningful and map to who they are, there is an instilled sense of earth stewardship and care that is a byproduct of this process.


At the same time, by creating opportunities for living and engagement within the garden (vs. pure aesthetics), they can cultivate a deeper appreciation for nature and the inherent patterns that govern natural systems and how we can learn to harness their transformative power for personal growth and empowerment. Jessica Viola explores these topics further in her book titled "A Hundred Bells; Understanding Patterns in Nature on the Path to Empowerment". Within the book, she explores patterns in nature and principles of permaculture design as tools for personal growth and community alliance.


Advice for Women Entrepreneurs:

Learn to embrace systems thinking, cultivate relationships that support growth, and maintain a practice that embodies leadership, balance, and creativity so you can encourage a culture and ethos that reflects these shared values.





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