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What I’ve Learned: Janet Lennox Moyer

Owner, Jan Moyer Design

Janet Lennox Moyer

Women have to prove themselves in a man’s business world. I started as a Lighting Designer in the 70’s; for my ideas to be taken seriously, I had to prove that the engineering was sound. On one project, a female architect, who had faced the same prejudices I had, was the hardest one to win over. But, once I did, we were fast friends.

In 1974, at the ASID National Conference in LA I sat across the lunch table from Fran Kellogg Smith, one of three women that I knew of who were practicing lighting at that time. I asked her a lot of questions, and, she took me under her wing and helped me get my feet on the ground in this business. I feel very strongly that all of us have to help young people who show an interest so that they can get their feet on the ground, and not have to make all the mistakes we have made along the way. 

Vision, the ability to see what light can do, is a gift. It took many years for me to realize that the gift of seeing light that I have, not everyone shares. I thought that since I can see how light can transform a space or a garden that everyone can. Not so. 

Sharing is the only way to improve our industry. In the 1980’s, I didn’t know enough about corrosion. I felt that if I was going to have my clients buy landscape lighting fixtures, I had to know that the fixtures could withstand the many kinds of corrosion that punish them each day. A voice in the back of my head said to write about what I had learned. I tried to silence the voice. I made a deal with the voice, ‘if a publisher wants me to write, I will’. Two publishers wanted the book---The Landscape Lighting Book---now in its 3rd edition---it became the first vehicle to share what I have learned. 

Our time is limited and we have to know how to spend it. For too many years, I worked too many hours at the exclusion of enjoying life. We all need to learn how to balance work and play in order to make the most of our time on this planet. 

My husband George tells me each time I board an airplane to ‘talk to strangers.’ While we are taught, as children in the US, to be cautious of strangers, as adults we have so much to learn from them. Many become good friends, some for a few moments, some for a lifetime. 

Be there for those who need you; whether a small problem, or a large one, if someone we love needs help, there is nothing more important. My husband and I moved to Arizona to live down the street from my mothers’ sister, my 91 year old aunt. We give her a sense of security by just being up the street. 

I wanted to know everything immediately when I was young. My boss, Steve Squillace, said, “Jan, be patient. Knowledge and experience require time.” It has taken all of 40 years to learn that one. 

A friend told my husband and I before we were to be married, “It’s all about thank you.” that small sentence is profound. Life is challenging and so is marriage, even a great one. When you can see what to be thankful for in every good and bad moment of your marriage, and say, ‘thank you’ every day, your life becomes full of contentment, joy, and the sharing of time on this planet with your best friend.



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