Some problems are big, some are small. This one was BIG!
One day, early in my career, I received a phone call from an architect. He asked me if we did indoor rock gardens. I determined that plants were involved, not always the case, said yes and agreed to meet. When I arrived at his office, he introduced me to his client, a major bank. I was told that a concept had been approved by an executive who was a plant lover and that the garden was to be the focal point of a new executive floor. After reviewing the conceptual drawings and the proposed budget, I agreed that John Mini would undertake the project.
Because rocks were the main attraction in the garden, I suggested a trip to a New Jersey quarry. As a group of four, we traveled there one morning. Most of the day was spent tagging specific rocks/boulders of varying size and determining that they could be hollowed out to house plants where needed. Happy, we started our ride back to Manhattan. As we approached the city, one of the architects asked if I knew how much the stone weighed. I gave him the formula and he did a quick calculation. He then told us the stone was too heavy. We could not use it on that floor. Reinforcing the floor was not an option. Now what do we do? The concept had already been approved as a significant part of the new executive space.
Shortly before, a colleague had received information from a company in Florida that manufactured faux rocks involving a fiberglass/concrete mix. Their primary use at the time was in high-end swimming pool settings.
The knew we installed indoor gardens and thought the product could be useful. So, after recovering from shock,
I shared what I knew with the group. Although they were initially wary, they really had little choice.
Next, I contacted the manufacturer and arranged a trip to Florida. Using their empty parking lot on a Sunday, I chalked out the garden plan. Then, using their standard inventory of shapes, I duplicated the rock garden. I returned to New York with a sample rock and color chips.
Bingo! The client approved the concept, and we were still able to remain in budget. To prove how believable the rock was, a stone mason on site was flabbergasted as he watched one of our installers pick up a small boulder with one hand.
For privacy reasons, we are unable to share photos. But I assure you, the executive floor was very happy with their new JOHN MINI tropical rock garden. Another problem solved!
Rick Butchko, Sales & Marketing