5 Minutes With … Jennifer Hatalski
What drew you to the green industry?
I was forced into it, actually. From a young age, I spent the summers waking up early and going to work with my mom at the garden center. When I was 18, I started managing the seasonal shop. I would travel home from college each summer and work 12-hour days seven days a week until July 4. One morning at the end of June when I was feeling drained toward the end of the season, I realized I still had a smile on my face and knew if I can work that hard and still love what I do, this industry was exactly where I was meant to be.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Leading by example for both my team and others. Some days, that means coaching my team on strategy; other days it’s sweeping the floor and helping with carryouts. I get the opportunity to work with the most talented group of people. The cross-functional collaboration and support that we have for each other is unmatched.
What is your biggest goal for this year?
My biggest goal has already happened! This year it was to successfully launch our first Calloway’s location in the Austin market. We opened our Cedar Park store at the end of April. I’ve been fortunate enough to open six new locations in my tenure, but opening a new market was a milestone in my career.
If you weren’t in this profession, what would you be doing?
I’ve tried out other industries! Starbucks, Tesla, Studio Three fitness studio … and I came back home.
What’s something that few people know about you?
I can twirl a baton and had the opportunity to perform in the 1998 Miss America Parade in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Favorite plant to grow? Why?
That’s a hard question! One of my summer staples is always coleus — so many different sizes, shapes and colors, and they are so easy to care for. After all this time, it somehow finds its way into all my containers. This year I’m enjoying ColorBlaze ‘Wicked Witch’ from Proven Winners.
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