Brittani Groves and Courtni Penta, Rising Up Gardens {Our NJ Mompreneurs of the Week}


Sisters Brittani Groves and Courtni Penta, our NJ Mompreneurs of the Week, learned the value of perseverance and hard work while growing up working at their family’s garden center in Holmdel. When the pandemic happened, and people were spending so much time at home on DIY projects, cooking, and gardening, they decided the timing was right to go into business together, shipping different herbs, fruit, and vegetable garden collections. They shipped out kits that included planters, dirt, seedlings, instructions, and recipes on how to use them, but eventually, as people left their homes more and shipping costs increased, they realized the business wasn’t sustainable. Still, Courtni and Brittani knew they wanted to find a niche and do something creative. With some input from friends, they regrouped, and in November of 2021, they launched Rising Up Gardens, an exterior design service specializing in seasonal planter arrangements and outdoor décor accessories in a modern yet classic approach to spruce up a patio or entryway. We caught up with Brittani and Courtni to hear how they complement each other in the business, what the future looks like, and the most magical place to be at Christmas time. 


Brittani Groves putting up planters on site.

Tell us a little about your background and family. 

Brittani: My husband, Ashley, and I met when we lived in Manhattan. Later on, we moved to Atlantic Highlands because it reminded him of England, which is where he’s from originally, and also because the ferry made it an easy commute to the city, where we were both working at the time. We still live here with our children Scarlett, 6, and Harrison, 4, and have seen the town grow in the nine years we’ve been here. The shops and restaurants are really great, and you can see the NYC skyline from here. Plus, it’s practically steps away from the beach. 

Courtni: My husband, Phil, and I have been married for 11 years and have three kids, with our 4th due in January. Lilliana is 6, Leo is 4, and Lucas is 1 ½. We live in Middletown, about 5 minutes from where I grew up in Holmdel. Phil is originally from Middletown, and we knew it was the right place for us to raise our family because it’s close to family, schools, and the park—everything we do in our daily lives. 


Sisters Brittani Groves and Courtni Penta with their families. 

How do you divide up the workload?

Brittani: We both bring something different to the table and respect and balance each other out perfectly. Courtni has all the plant knowledge; my input is sales and marketing.

We know you service Monmouth County. Do you plan to expand to other areas in the garden state?

Brittani: At the moment, Monmouth County is our sweet spot. We do all the work ourselves and pride ourselves on everything custom-made for each home. We have friends who want us to do this in their towns, some more than an hour away, but for now, this feels right. 

Courtni: Currently, we’re busy enough work-wise and can still spend lots of quality time with our kids, though in a few years, I think we’ll be ready to expand. We are working on a plan to figure out how to scale the business while still giving our clients our personal touch. 


A beautiful fall planter install, courtesy of Rising Up Gardens. Each client gets Courtni and Brittani’s personal attention so that the outcome really suits their home and adds major curb appeal.  

How involved is your family in Rising Up Gardens?

Courtni: As far as certain vendor relationships, our dad helps a lot. Also, my husband, who does exterior design, landscaping, and hardscaping and is also in business with my dad, helps with referrals. My son Leo definitely shows signs of loving this type of work. He’ll often get out his shovel to “help” and act like one of the adults working. 

Please share some of your favorite local businesses and spots in NJ that your family loves.

Brittani: I love Perspirology, a heated toning trampoline and dance studio in Seabrite where you get the best endorphin boost. Years ago, I started going there to lose my baby weight, and I fell in love with it–I’m there almost every day now. I also love Bungalow Road, which is my go-to local spot for gifts. They have great clothing, toys, things for the home, and more. And, my husband and I love to ride our bikes on the bike trail by the water and head to the restaurant, Proving Ground. It’s on the water, and they even have a Dock and dining service for those with a boat; plus, in the summer, we love eating outdoors there and listening to live music. 

Courtni: Oak Hill Farms in Holmdel was opened by our friend and is a definite family favorite. The owner makes her own products – she’s known for her honey — and what started as an online business is now a farm and retail space. They also have different events there, and it’s a great place to grab a coffee and shop. We’re also big fans of Anne Ellen Farms in Manalapan, a tree farm that’s extra special during the holiday season because they do this magical Christmas Village set up. You take a tractor ride to the village, enjoy hot chocolate, and experience the twinkle lights, and you can also write and mail!) a letter to Santa there or meet him there during certain times.  


This festive winter arrangement sets the tone for the season!

What advice do you have for a mompreneur just starting?

Brittani: You have to be open to pivoting or tweaking your business plan to be successful. Also, know that success doesn’t happen overnight—building a business and a consistent client following can take a lot of time. 

Courtni: If you’re starting your business after being a stay-at-home mom, it will feel extra hard to leave your kids, but as long as you love what you’re doing, there’s no reason not to go for it. I discovered having a good work/home balance is really nice.  

For more information on Brittani Groves, Courtni Penta, and Rising Up Gardens, please see their website, Facebook, and Instagram pages. 

About Author

Nancy Weinberg Simon lives in Summit, NJ with her husband and two children, a 20-year-old son and a 21-year-old daughter. She's a former beauty editor whose work has appeared in print and online in Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens,,, and, among others. After living in NYC for almost 20 years, Nancy returned to the Garden State when it was time to raise her family. She loves reading everything and anything she can get her hands on, entertaining friends and family, traveling the world, scouring estate sales, and crafting jewelry.