MEET

Sam & Chanda

With being 12 years apart, Sam and I might seem an unlikely pair for a set of best friends. The truth is, our friendship ignited through shared passions and interests. It’s a kind of a kindred spirit type thing. Then, five years ago, we met up over coffee and had one of those transformative conversations that you mark in time. We started sharing about our future dreams and inspiration. It was a conversation that was riddled with “Someday I want to….” After a pretty darn animated tag-teaming of great ideas, I stopped Sam short and said “SAM! Why don’t we stop saying, ‘Someday I want to…” and let’s make someday, TODAY. Have you ever had a transformative moment like that? It was awesome, and our perspective completely changed. In that moment, Zest it Up was born. A perfect expression of our approach to life. Our passion for sharing and teaching wonderfully balanced with our love of DIY, food, and celebration.

At first, we dove into letting our creativity loose through our daily blog where we pounded away at DIY projects and recipes that we hoped would inspire others. Our first project was an old desk and office chair that we rescued from the side of the road and gave a second life. We always joke that we began Zest it Up with the all-in capital of some spray paint and Gorilla glue.
Shortly after, we took our design and culinary skills and began creating one-of-a-kind special events for our clients.

As we continue to teach through our blog and help clients realize their dreams, we continue to expand upon the Zest it Up lifestyle. Through video tutorials, guest writing on other reputable networks, and working with local makers to create an artisan online shop chock full of beautiful and practical pieces, we continue to cultivate the zesty lifestyle.

MEET

The Team

Chanda Brown

As a mama of three, I work daily to figure out how to balance my many hats. As co-founder of Zest, I get the exhilaration of working with an amazing community while getting to stretch and flex my creative muscles every single day. I guess I love riddles and conundrums, because nothing gets me more excited than puzzling my way through motherhood and entrepreneurship. Currently, my puzzler is sore with navigating my kids’ transition from childhood to the world of “teenagedom,” figuring out the ins and outs of web design, keeping on point with cooking and gathering my fam around the table every night, and growing Zest with my best friend, “Samela!”

Spirit animal? Owl (take the test on link below!)
Go-to road trip snack? Cheetos all the way
Guilty pleasure? Netflix binging
Favorite ingredient? Garlic
Favorite outdoor activity? Hiking, kayaking
Childhood dream job? Ballerina/Psychologist
Cats or dogs? Dogs
Most epic concert? Vivildi @ Warwick Castle {fireworks, strawberries n cream, yep enough said}
First job? Assisted a CPA
NY resolution? Balance & Health
Favorite item to borrow from Sam? Shoes
Go to cocktail? Grey Goose martini straight up, 3 olives..or an Old Fashion

Samantha Nason

With a love addiction to making things pretty, creating delicious flavor combos, and hosting too many parties- launching Zest has really become an extension of growing…messing up…learning….teaching and creating things I naturally already love and find in my “everyday.” Thankfully I have a business soulmate to do all the above with me so we can giggle along the way. I also have an amazing teammate and cheerleader, my hubby Billy, whom constantly reminds me to keep creating and loving peeps no matter the outcome. As we grow our little Nason family I am excited to grow our Zest family, so nice to meet you!!

Spirit animal? Butterfly (take the test on the link below!)
Go-to road trip snack? Cheetos- love a good crunch!
Guilty pleasure? The Bachelor
Favorite ingredient? Coconut oil
Favorite outdoor activity? Bike ride & swimming
Childhood dream job? Ballerina/Hair Stylist
Cats or dogs? Dogs
Most epic concert? Pitbull (time to dance!!)
First job? Lifeguard and swim instructor
NY resolution? Drinking more water
Favorite item to borrow from Chanda? Cowboy boots
Go to cocktail? Moscow Mule

Anya McInroy

I graduated from Cal Poly in 2015 with the plan of moving back to the Bay Area to pursue full-time freelance photography. Within months of graduation, I met Sam and Chanda over a Plutos salad, changed my entire focus, and decided to stay on the central coast to instead freelance here. Fast forward 2.5 years, and I have had the pleasure of hanging with the Zest girls once a week, capturing their creativity through my lens. We have grown together in ways I didn’t know were possible. These gals are truly inspiring, from food to design to running such a successful business. I am also a HUGE foodie, so I have learned not only more about food styling and photography, but have broadened my cooking horizons immensely. Being the Zest Photographer is the bomb.com!

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Courtney Pomo

Taylor Gatlin

Laurel Thomson

My time with Zest started with a very interesting Skype date with Sam and Chanda in a hot sauna. Let me explain. I had just quit my job unexpectedly and was texting Sam about the situation and minutes later they were calling me with a job offer. I recently graduated with my degree in Marketing and Public Relations. My job is to help make the personality(s) of Zest it Up shine! I am the annoying one behind the Instagram stories with a vengeance for embarrassing people – especially Taylor when she is eating. I would say that I am equal parts creative and analytical, which is exactly what makes Zest tick. I am a total nerd when it comes to home decor, painting, homemade food, and recognizing the driving factor behind what draws people to businesses.

I kind of accidentally fell in love with Zest It Up after emailing my resume and explaining my new found interest in the wedding world. Sam, Chanda, and I grabbed a cup of coffee about a month later and in the midst of a normal, relaxed conversation while realizing some fun connections, they asked “So what’s your biggest strength and weakness?” I honestly can’t tell you what my answer was because I instantly got butterflies thinking “Wait, Is this real life?” Needless to say, our coffee date changed this little Aggies life. Each day brings something new at Zest-quarters from answering blog questions to serving at events and even helping with coordination. I love interacting with people, eating all the wonderful food, and feel honored to be apart of this amazing team!

I’m what my mother calls “a complex piece of machinery.” On the one hand, I’m very logic-driven, analytical, and critical. On the other (and completely opposing) hand, I’m design-driven, emotional, and creative. Working for Zest it Up allows me to fulfill both crazy sides of my personality! Somedays, I’m analyzing website data to determine our viewership, and other days I’m designing and staging product photos. It’s the best of both worlds! Zest It Up has allowed me to realize that my complex personality is not only okay, but it’s actually a great thing! I’m learning to tap in to either side depending on the task, which is an AWESOME set up for my professional future.

Spirit Animal? Bear
Go-to road trip snack? Chocolate covered pretzels
Guilty pleasure? Donuts
Favorite ingredient? Cocoa Nibs
Favorite outdoor activity? Hiking
Childhood dream job? Fashion designer
Cats or dogs? Dogs. Absolutely
Most epic concert? Florida Georgia Line
First job? Receptionist at a Dojo
NY resolution? Put myself first in all avenues of life.
Favorite thing to borrow? Sam’s dogs!
Go to cocktail? Whiskey Ginger ale with a squeeze of lime
Spirit Animal? Tiger
Go-to road trip snack? Any sour candy
Guilty pleasure? Long walks on the beach 😉
Favorite ingredient? Lemon Pepper
Favorite outdoor activity? Camping
Childhood dream job? Fashion designer
Cats or dogs? I freakin’ love cats!!
Most epic concert? Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood
First job? Cleaning pools with my Papa
NY resolution? Be happy with who I am
Favorite thing to borrow? Clothes!
Go to cocktail? Whiskey Sour or Cranberry Vodka
Spirit Animal? A pug (take the test on link below!)
Go-to road trip snack? Coffee & caramel apple rice cakes
Guilty pleasure? Netflix
Favorite ingredient? Cheese, absolute favorite is pepper jack!
Favorite outdoor activity? Riding horses
Childhood dream job? Professional horseback rider
Cats or dogs? Dogs
Most epic concert? Matt Kearny & NeedtoBreathe @ Vina Robles
First job? Server at a retirement home
NY resolution?  Worry less, live in the moment more!
Favorite thing to borrow? Power tools for craft projects
Go to cocktail? Moscow Mule

Danielle Baldovin

Interning at Zest has been quiet a whirlwind of learning how to market, maintain, and measure a growing business (plus eating yummy food). It’s not every workplace where you can come in having had an absolute horrible morning and your boss will stop what she’s doing just to make you breakfast, but that’s Sam and Chanda and what makes interning for Zest amazing. As I’m heading into my last year of college Zest has allowed me to dabble in all aspects of the business so that when I graduate I have the skills and confidence for what my future might hold.

Spirit Animal? Deer (take the test on link below!)
Go-to road trip snack? Chex Mix
Guilty pleasure? Homestyle potatoes
Favorite ingredient? Rosemary
Favorite outdoor activity? Exploring the Central Coast
Childhood dream job? Professional Tap Dancer
Cats or dogs? I love cats and their sass, but I have to give it to dogs
Most epic concert? Muford & Sons @ the Forum was pure magic
First job? Cashier at Home Depot
NY resolution? Be more intentional with people
Favorite item to borrow? My mom’s cardigan collection
Go to cocktail? Whiskey Sour (aka my dancing juju)
 
 

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