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Dedra Bennett is an incredible business woman that took over for Zinnia’s Gift Boutique many years ago and then founded Home by Zinnia’s, a home furnishing and home accessories store in the Hangar shopping center.

But what impresses us the most is her commitment to serving our youth and you will find her on school mornings as the crossing guard for the middle school. You will always recognize her for her smile and impeccable outfits.

Before coming to Scotts Valley, where did you live?

I grew up between the east side of San Jose, The Summit and the San Lorenzo Valley.

What brought you to Scotts Valley and how long have you lived here? 

My mom and I spent a short period of time in Scott’s valley as we awaited a home in Boulder creek and it was fun to have a place that I could ride a bike around, or go to the corner deli for a snack or even hang out at Perry’s floral on a hot summer day. Fast forward and  As our daughter became  of school age I really wanted a place that she could have these same moments and opportunities and the chance to be a kid surrounded by like minded moms, teachers and families. 24 years later we still call Scotts Valley home.

What do you love most about living here?

It’s home! It’s great kind hearted people, safe spaces, quiet living surrounded by brilliant movers and shakers from all genres of life and work and I just love that! I often refer to Scott’s valley as a small slice of Mayberry.

Please describe what drives and motivates you to do more for others and for the people of Scotts Valley. 

The unwavering generosity of Scotts Valley and our neighboring residents is my biggest inspiration. Witnessing acts of selflessness, like the unconditional kindness people freely give, motivates me to actively contribute and be part of something bigger. Seeing the genuine joy that radiates from those who help others fuels my desire to replicate that positive impact whenever possible.

In my daily interactions, I’m fortunate to witness the incredible thoughtfulness and compassion within our community, especially when it comes to gift-giving.  These acts of unwavering kindness have a profound effect on me, fostering a strong desire to pay it forward in any way I can.

Supporting our youth holds a special place in my heart. Engaging with them is incredibly fulfilling, as their enthusiasm and genuine spirit bring immense joy to me.