• Doreen Morris

It's all in the Details


It's almost my Birthday and my mind always seems to go back to a Happy event that brought me to my first big project in my career.


I love the saying, "It's all in the details" because it reminds me of how I got my first big project.


Let's set it up - my client came through a referral. I did a kitchen for a General contractor who lived in my area, for his newly purchased house. After all was said and done, he and his wife loved it and thanked me for all the attention given to their modest project. He then asked me if I would like to take a look at another project he had been working on in Manhattan. I said sure and he agreed to drop off the plans the very next day. The client (keeping his privacy) was not from this country, not very similar to the USA, just moved to New York City in an over 200-year-old Historic building on 5th avenue, 9 stories, and semi-private resident.


When I saw him coming with this huge roll of architectural plans, I was a little nervous. He rolled them out and here it was. Four Kitchens and nine bathrooms. We spent a good amount of time going over the client and the particulars. He told me he had confidence in my abilities to do this. It was daunting for someone just starting out, but I'm in. He told me I would have to put a bid together as there were others bidding on this project.


First, I had never done a bid, crash course on doing bids. Second I didn't know the culture, yep crash course. Let's put it this way, I practically moved into the New York City Library, which was one of my favorite places in New York.


I had a professional help me with the bid, and I came up with a plan. On the day of the presentation to the client, all the other (2) firms bidding on the project were on the same day and went in one by one to do their presentations. I of course was the last to go.

I was so nervous, but I did it and I kept repeating to myself, this is a good experience.

And I did my homework!


On my birthday, I get the call. You have won this bid and they would like to meet with you to go over all the details. I nearly fell on the floor. In shock I think, I asked did they say why they picked me? He chuckled a little and said, it was all in the details. Specifically, as I found out later, the toilets picked and presented for certain areas of the building were from the client's culture. The Toilet won the job? Well, not the only thing, but yes one of the main things the client recognized was the time I put in learning the cultural differences between being here and his homeland.


I later went on to become the Assistants, Assistant to the GC. They offered me a contract for all the other projects specific to Interior Design in the Building. I learned so much and stayed on that project for a year and a half.


It's all in the listening to your client and it's all in the details.

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