School’s in Session  
Know Your Designer Friends to Make the Grade  
b y S t e v e S u d e t h  
emember the first day of school? finding the type of glass they’re look- this type of designer by being patient  
Maybe you’re returning to a fa- ing for and placing it on their design and helping them understand all the  
miliar place with friendly faces board. Sometimes a designer either different components that are going to  
and can’t wait to share the stories of doesn’t have time to call the salesper- make their glass a success.  
summer. Maybe you’re the new kid in son, doesn’t know who their contact  
town and are walking into a whole new is or finds the perfect solution in their The BesTie  
world and don’t know a soul. Or maybe library without needing to reach out.  
These designers are the ones who  
you want to run for the hills because of These jobs come in solely because know who you are and what you do,and  
a past screw-up and you don’t want to there was a box in the library for the they’re fiercely loyal. They are also the  
relive the anguish.  
Working with a design firm can be  
a lot like school. You have your favor- The BailouT  
ite firms with people you’ve become  
designer to pull from.  
ones who will dream up larger projects  
and more incredible designs because  
they know the capabilities of glass. We  
This is the person who emails you at recently completed an awesome feature  
friends with, the firms that you’ve 4 p.m.on a Friday asking for a very spe- wall that took hours of design work.Our  
never been to before, and the firms cific type of glass“or something similar.” team worked closely with the designers  
that have been part of the never-ending This tells me they’re on a serious dead- to make sure that this custom backlit  
jobs from hell that you wish would go line, don’t have what they need in their installation had the dramatic effect they  
away. I tell our sales team all the time library, and are throwing a Hail Mary were going for while still being some-  
that we’re in the relationship business to any glass person they might know. thing we could execute in a cost-effec-  
and must offer solutions to our clients’ The best way to be successful is to be tive and timely fashion. Your besties  
needs. We’ve found that there are dif- as prompt and responsive as possible. typically are developed as a result of  
ferent types of designers who will spec- Often, it’s the first one who responds multiple projects where you’ve been able  
ify your product, and each requires a who gets the job.You might not be able to establish both a personal relationship  
different level of involvement.  
to get them exactly what they need in and a track record of dependability.  
the time frame they need it, but if you They keep coming back because they  
respond swiftly you can quickly become know you’re going to take care of them.  
The decorative glass industry is get-  
ting more and more competitive, so we  
have to meet designers’ needs in many  
Some designers need their hand held different ways. Whether that’s setting  
The Box Puller  
One of the first objectives when their go-to glass person.  
working with a new firm is to get our  
samples into the materials library.Each The Bewildered  
firm has its own way of selecting and  
organizing resources, and it’s the sales through the entire glass-selection pro- up their library with useful products or  
person’s job to maximize the shelf cess because they’re either unsure of being there to help them out in a bind,  
space with the most useful products. If themselves or don’t have a ton of glass it’s important to remember that the re-  
a firm is focused on healthcare,they are experience. When you’re invited into lationships we build are the things that  
going to want more neutral, backpaint these conversations with a designer, are going to keep them designing beau-  
tones and a couple of designs that are move beyond being a glass specialist tiful things for us to make. n  
inspired by nature. A hospitality firm and become their personal glass  
is going to want bold colors, mirrors tutor. I love meeting these de-  
and dramatic designs. It’s our job as signers because I’m able to edu-  
salespeople to understand their future cate them on all the processes we  
needs and populate their libraries with have and often come up with a  
S t e v e S u d e t h is the  
creative director for Glas-Pro  
in Santa Fe Springs, Calif.  
the most helpful options.  
solution that’s beyond what they  
A specification can be as simple had originally dreamed up. You  
as someone walking into the library, can become most successful with  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | September 2016