By Eric Herman
I had the pleasure early in December of attending the first-ever Genesis 3 Fountain School in Toronto. As we’ve often discussed in these pages, Genesis 3’s programs are loaded with useful information, feature great food and entertainment and, most important, embody and promote a vision of watershaping that is nothing short of transforming for those who attend.
But this isn’t about Genesis 3 per se. Rather, it’s about our hosts for the event, Toronto’s own Crystal Fountains.
For a long time now, I’ve been a huge fan of Crystal Fountains and its president, Paul L’Heureux, with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working on several articles for the pages of WaterShapes. In addition to being a truly gracious and delightful guy, Paul is a tremendously savvy businessperson.
Flat out, I like his style. Where many others in the fountain manufacturing/design/installation community make a dogged point of aggressively withholding information from watershapers in the name of protecting their markets and clientele, Paul and the staff at Crystal Fountains have done their utmost to open up and share a vast store of knowledge and experience with designers and builders who are willing to listen and learn.
By demystifying fountain technology in this way, Crystal Fountains is empowering and encouraging watershapers to embrace a brave, new world of water effects and include them in projects in diverse spaces for a huge variety of clients. From a business standpoint, I can’t imagine a more growth-oriented strategy. From my perspective as one cheering on the continued success of the watershaping trades top to bottom, this strategy is just the sort of thing that spurs creativity and shapes the future.
The plain fact is that consumers generally want what they’ve seen. When the elegant effects made and marketed by companies such as Crystal Fountains find their way into more residential settings, there is no question that a whole new class of consumers will want and ultimately demand these effects for their own backyards – and front yards, side yards and office spaces, for that matter.
While in Toronto, I was delighted watch this sophisticated company – one famous for high-end installations around the globe – pull back the veil and show those in attendance the rich array of watershaping possibilities available through use of basic fountain technology. It goes without saying that this information exists in other companies and that there are those in these companies who have willingly shared some of what they know, but to my knowledge, none have gone so far or been quite so open.
To my mind, what Paul and his colleagues at Crystal Fountains did with this school – and will continue to do with their open-book approach – creates the best sort of win/win situation: Crystal Fountains wins because watershapers will see them as the resource for product and technical information; watershapers win because they have a wonderful resource and an expanded bag of tricks they can use to make their clients happy; and most important of all, consumers win because they will have a greater potential to experience the joy of these watershapes in their homes.
To all of this I say, “Bravo, Crystal Fountains!” – and will say the same for one and all who follow their lead.