Custom Hardscape Manufacturing: The Windsor Heart Project
Custom manufacturing (whether hardscape or other) is a unique sliver of the economy. By its very definition, no two items are alike, like the proverbial snowflake. Custom manufacturing brings certain words to mind, many at odds with each other:
IN-efficient, unprofitable, distracting
Custom manufacturing is not for the faint of heart. You do not "dabble" in custom, at least if you want to be good at it, and hope to make money at it. Walk through any high-volume plant in the USA. The mear utterance of the world custom will be more often than not be met with skepticism, pessimism, and a host of other ism's
Clients are smart and savvy with a BS Detector like no other. It's easy to spot people that embrace the world of custom, and the people that grind their teeth when describing something out of the ordinary. They know when your heart isn't in it, and when you are "grinding away" just to get it done. Keyword? HEART....
PAVERART and Custom have been synonymous for 20 years. We bring OTHER people's visions to life.
A few years ago I received a call, from Jay Schneiderman, the Town Supervisor in Southampton NY. Jay had an idea for a "Tessellation" pattern made out of a series of hearts. Those hearts would need to be ENGRAVED with personal messages. The hearts would be strung together to make a larger heart. My reaction? Easy. It has PAVERART written all over it. Cutting. Shapes making art. Personalization of engraving. It's what we do, and we've been doing it for 20 years. But this project description is not what got me excited. I asked Jay to tell me the back story, the inspiration for this project. That's when things got interesting.
Windsor Vs. The United States Government.
Here's a 1:35 briefing.
Jay had a vision he actually reduced to a visual rendering. The "Love Wins" platform for marriage ceremonies and he called it "The Windsor Heart Project."
That's all we really need to get on board, and Jay made it easy.
The inspiration behind a project really matters. I was drawn to this from the start.
I couldn't imagine my name "US v Olivito." In fact, that thought would send shivers down most people's spines. But do I admire the hell out of people who stand up for what is right? ABSOLUTELY.
Edie clearly stood up, not just for herself, but countless others. That takes courage, tenacity, and drive.
People have diverse beliefs, some are "traditional," some more progressive, and many are blends of the two. I respect people's personal beliefs and don't try and "impose" what I think on others. Does that mean I don't have opinions? Of course not.
My default position on nearly ALL matters?
Default to FREEDOM. It's the cornerstone of America.
All businesses matter. Remember COVID and the words "essential" vs "non-essential?" Tell somebody that needs their job to put food on the table they are "nonessential" and therefore can't work, how will that work out?
Respect differences. Not everyone is the same, but we all still need to co-exist.
I believe people REALLY do not know where they stand on an issue until it comes really close to home. Said differently, people may THINK they have deeply/strongly held beliefs, up until the point when their son/daughter/sister comes to them and says "can we talk.....and that conversation is in stark contrast of what you believe is "RIGHT?" That's when things get real.
So what do equal rights, respect for differences, and freedom have to do with Custom Manufacturing?
On the surface, not much. But under the surface, it is everything. In the world of custom, you ABSOLUTELY need a deeper motivation to deliver something new to the world. Often times that is on BEHALF of someone else. Your motivation needs to come from OTHER's. Does their story matter? Or could you care less? All too often, when people dabble in custom, the customer's story doesn't really matter to the manufacturer. The customer knows it deep down. And I don't need to see the manufacturer's P&L to know they aren't as successful as they could be. So we try and understand the backstory. We look for reasons to build, build with heart. To serve. To NOT just muscle through a project. We create art. It's emotional.
Throughout the project, we had multiple Zoom calls, tweaking designs, working on project timelines, and adding different elements. We had the pleasure to work with Edie's spouse Judith Kasen-Windsor, a fierce advocate in her own right.
The final design added a new element that brought a special feature symbolic of Edie.....a diamond band. These are the touches that make a project truly distinctive, and usually only come about when multiple people collaborate and bounce ideas, possibilities and challenges off each other.
It's fun when we work with clients that bring great skill to the table, Jay shared the new design in the courtyard layout.
So PAVERART and ENGRAVING coming together to support a tremendous effort. A quick progress video of the design coming together, followed by install pictures.