Everyone hears about the client from hell. Well I’m here to tell you about the best client a business of any size would love to have, Granite Properties! We are fortunate to have the privilege of working with them for almost 14 years. Working with Granite Properties has been an exercise in humility (a trait that is not always easy for an artist to embrace). If I were to use a few words to describe Granite Properties, respect, trust, integrity and loyalty all come to mind. I have been so fortunate to know this company, and have met most of the employees there. They have a great company culture, and no matter who you meet they all speak with the same voice and exhibit the same core values.
I often share the story of our first project with Granite Properties, the Texas Oak Tree Chandeliers, as an example of living respect, living integrity, and trusting in an unknown...me! Being our first real commercial job, we did not have an understanding of all that goes into a job of this size. I placed a bid and the Director of Development, Mr. Cunningham, eagerly took us up on it. Man, did we work hard! With 4 months to complete the project, we finished on time and delivered the chandeliers in a Mayflower moving van. We were told that we were the only contractor on time in the entire building. Unknown at the time to Mr. Cunningham, the job cost us more to produce than I had initially bid. To keep my word and complete the project, I had remortgaged my home and borrowed money from several people. I was stressed to say the least. With great pride though, we had the chandeliers up and lit in four hours. Then, the most amazing thing happened. Mr. Cunningham came up to me and commented on the beauty of the chandeliers; he then turned, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Now I have a feeling you underbid this!” I answered back with a yes. He replied, “To us it’s nothing, but to you I have a feeling it was just about everything”, as he then offered to work out the difference. After my cry of relief, David went on to say, “The reason why we are doing this is because we want you to succeed, and we want to hire you again!” I honestly don’t know if there is another company out there that would have the courage to live their company culture like Granite Properties does.
This is but one example of Granite Properties corporate culture. In the years following our first piece, we have been thoroughly educated in the architectural and construction procedures, as well as the importance all aspects have in projects of these sizes. When we worked on Westchase II, we were brought in on almost all of the development and design meetings. It was a lot of fun, but most importantly it taught us how everything interrelates with one another to create the final piece of art! It was through the building process that I realized the greater message. That message is Granite Properties mission statement, “Inspiring People to Flourish Through The Places We Create.”
As an artist, it is often not easy to work with other artists. One of the unusual aspects about working with Granite Properties is their spirit of the construction meetings. In those meetings everything is open for discussion. Everyone can voice their opinion on anyone else’s “part of the puzzle”, much like working with artists! The beauty of this system is that you start to build a synergistic environment. The more input you have, the better the result! I personally love this system so much that I implemented it here at the Glassworks. Here, we design as a group. I believe this is the reason why the work in our gallery can hold its own with anything in the world.
Working as a group is what sets Granite Properties apart; they allow us to be collaborative with them in the creation of lobby art pieces for their buildings. Please take a moment to browse the photos of our collaborative creations.