Sunday, August 29, 2010

Strike a Pose in Times Square

I always expect to be surprised and impressed by the artists and contractors that I meet in my travels, but a recent trip to NYC tops my list of "WOW" moments! A few weeks ago in Long Island City,  I trained some 2nd year apprentices on how to apply our new Venetian Plaster and Metallic Plasters. The instructor was shocked at the ease with which the product could be applied to the wall and was particularly shocked with the ease of burnishing.  He said "We have had every company in here over the years and this is the BEST Venetian Plaster that I have ever seen!"  His comments were great to hear, but the invitation that I received to come back ASAP was even better.  The local Sherwin-Williams commercial sales team needed me back the following week to meet with the largest commercial contractor in NYC who was installing 23 floors of high polished Venetian!  A date was set for a Times Square morning meeting...

Like any good tourist, I got to Times Square early to have a Starbucks and soaked up the vibe. I then arrived early to the building to meet the contractor and field rep.  As I stood there, I was shocked at the vast numbers of "Beautiful People!"  (I mean all shapes, sizes,genders, ages, etc, decked out and looking spectacular!)  I wondered if all people in Manhattan looked this good while hurrying to work.  I was feeling under dressed and a little out classed.

I was prepared with my SW fan deck to match several colors and take a look at the previous Italian Plaster texture and finish. My hosts met me and we went through security, up the elevator to our first viewing. When I stepped off of the elevator into the first lobby, it all made sense.  We were in the international headquarters of VOGUE magazine.  (Soundtrack from Madanna or from Glee began running through my head.) 
I tried to stay on task, but I was a bit mesmerized by the location, the racks of clothes, models, production staff, posters of previous magazine covers and of course a certain CEO's presence in the offices.  I did my job and got out of the office without disturbing their fast paced intensity of purpose.  In other words, I managed to exit without knocking over any clothes racks.  Before I could recover, we stepped out of the elevator onto the Vanity Fair floor.  More of the same...Then it was Glamour, Bride, Wired... (I was wired!!)  As we left the building, I joked with my hosts that perhaps next time a little pre warning would be helpful.

See photo of Vogue Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour below:

Check out a great article in the Huffington Post regarding thing to learn from this icon!

That afternoon, I spent a couple of hours working with the commercial foremen and journeymen, getting them squared away on the correct application and burnishing of our new Venetian Plaster.  They really took to it quickly and stated that they felt that this formulation and approach to application was going to allow them to make an appropriate amount of profit. (Not usually the case)

Last week, while at my interior designer presentation, I showed the New York designers some of the samples from this high profile installation. They loved finishes and were shocked that such a high polish was achieved in only 2 coats and without the use of a wax or clears.  I left my presentation at the D & D Building and hurried over to see how the boys were doing.  They had completed 4 of the 23 floors and were doing a GREAT job! I could even see my reflection in the mirror polished finish of their Venetian. Their "Real Walls" looked just like the approved samples and all was WELL!  After rave reviews and compliments,  receptionist commented on the low odor, as she remembered the last time that wax was used, how the smell lingered for days.

I can't wait to see the completed project, and I am thrilled and proud to have our Faux Impressions, Venetian Plaster in on of the most important fashion and design buildings in the world. 

You can find out more first hand at your local Sherwin-Williams store or at  

Next week I will share my recent visit at Vigini Studios in San Antonio.  Nicola is incredible!

Hope to see you at the upcoming PDPA Education Summit in Golden. Co.

Email me with any questions or comments at

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