Some things are just meant to be. As L.J. Cirilo describes how she started Cultivating Kindness Landscape & Design in Olympia, you are definitely left with the impression that her rapidly growing business is one of those “meant to be” things. “Cultivating Kindness was born from my love for gardening and desire to help people, realizing that by being kind to one another we can all make this world a better place to live,” she explains.
In 2016, Cirilo was working at a local garden center when her landlord asked if she would take on the landscape maintenance of his 20 properties in the area. With a lawn mower and a few basic tools loaded in her truck, Cirilo jumped at the opportunity. It wasn’t long before she realized she wanted to expand her client base and take on more meaningful projects. “I made up a simple flyer,” she reflects with a laugh, remembering how simple it looked. Between word-of-mouth, advertising and client recommendations on social media, Cultivating Kindness has blossomed into serving 171 clients, offering an ever-expanding list of services, and showcasing completed projects on her website with an updated logo.
“I believe that love makes everything grow and I apply that philosophy in everything I do,” says Cirilo. “I enjoy building relationships with my clients and collaborating with them to create a landscape that is unique and personal.” As each project concludes, her most satisfying moment is the smile her work has earned from a client.
Cirilo has taken her love of gardening a step further by starting Eternal Harvest, which builds community gardens, the first of which was at the Providence Community Care Center in downtown Olympia. “Having my hands in the soil is like therapy,” she notes. “I wanted to give others, especially the homeless, a chance to grow food and build community.” The bounty of the garden was given away at the Center. Cirilo hopes to build more gardens in the future with the help of community support and donations.
CULTIVATING KINDNESS LANDSCAPE & DESIGN