As a professional designer you have to visit your clients and job sites. You cannot put together a credible working document without physically walking the site.
That said, when my clients (landscape designers, architects and builders) are surprised to see me get out of the truck when their orders arrive on their job sites, I’m always just as surprised by their surprise. There’s no better way to understand what they have created and how Eye of the Day was included in that process than to be there walking their design. Without the in-person visit, there’s a disconnect.
By the time the containers and other decor elements are placed, the rest of the garden is close to completion. That means Eye of the Day’s delivery puts the finishing touch on the garden. I call it the jewelry.
When the Tommy Bahama store designer for their new flagship location on 5th Avenue in Manhattan specified our Greek Terracotta done in a custom whitewash, I decided to fly to New York to meet the shipment. Because delivery is the trickiest part of my business, I wanted to be there to answer questions in person and sort out any problems if there was breakage en route, for example. In the more likely event that there were no shipping problems at all, I just wanted to show my face and make sure my clients knew I stood by my products in the most literal sense.
The man who held the door open for me at Tommy Bahama turned out to be the company’s CEO. When he found out that I was the owner of Eye of the Day and had made the special effort to come all the way from California, well, to say the least, he was impressed. It’s rare for vendors of custom, authentic products in niche industries to be so present, and it must have been a welcome change because we got the job for their Chicago store, too.
I won’t lie: travel isn’t only a sacrifice. I enjoy the perks, too. It didn’t hurt that I got to have lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Gramercy Tavern. I just wish Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame was closer, but such is a traveling man’s plight.