When I was starting my event design business in New York, the caterer Susan Holland asked me if I fully gave every design element I outlined in my proposals. I told her of course, that and probably above and beyond what was written and promised.
I felt there had to be trust on her part. I had done work for her before, but this was a really big job, and I thought maybe she was just nervous.
But then she explained telling me about a well known designer who hit the skids. He took to spending the 50% deposit the client gave upon signing a contract, always counting on another client's deposit to pay for the event at hand.
It was dangerous, and of course one day it back fired, and the designer did not have the money to produce the event.
The event was a huge corporate Christmas party at the huge ballroom Roseland in New York City. The theme was "An International Christmas", and the decorations promised were supposed to be over scale and spectacular and as expensive looking as the budget given to the designer.
The designer was running very late for the set up. In fact he showed up only a couple of hours before the start time, armed with a couple of crumpled shopping bags. Susan was having a fit demanding to know where his usual large crew was, where were the props, the Christmas trees, the centerpieces?
He didn't say a word, but calmly started placing little things in the center of each 72 inch round table. There was a little pair of wooden shoes for the Dutch table; a small sombrero for the table representing Mexico, and so on. The final straw was when he pulled out a Mezuzah for the table representing Israel.
Susan started laughing, and then mobilzed all her waiters. She sent them out to every Korean market in the neighborhood (where they sell plants and flowers), and they returned with dozens of Christmas plants and greenery, and dressed the tables beautifully.
She got the lighting director from Roseland to do some magic, and the room actually looked decorated, and the client was pretty satisfied. Of course she would not let the client pay the balance owed to the designer, and soon after no one ever saw him again.
So Susan told me: "Darling I just don't want the Mezuzah syndrome again."
I took this to mean she didn't want a surprise of something smaller than what was expected.
Take a look at the cool Eames rocker again. Though not experts on Mid Century design, my coworkers and I know enough to have used many Mid Century pieces personally and for clients.
We ordered this rocker for a client for her new nursery. She wanted a hip looking rocker.
It arrived today, and we all were shocked, and then we had to laugh, and I said oh no it's the mezuzah syndrome!
I ordered it, a very well priced reproduction. I mentally noted the dimensions and it seemed fine.
When I saw it I thought I had made a mistake by ordering it at such a low price, that somehow because it was so inexpensive they had skimped on the size.
I went to several sites at many price points, and the dimensions were the same as the one we got.
I went to 1stdibs to see if the real thing was the same size (costing $3200), and it was.
I went to the official Eames web site to read about the original design, and the size is exactly as it is on the reproduction!
And more confusing, I read a couple of parenting blogs gushing about how great this rocker is for the nursery!
The rocker looks almost child size, and Caroline who you see sitting in it, is also a new mother herself. She laughed at the idea of rocking a baby or feeding a baby in this rocking chair.
What do you guys think? Do any of you have this rocking chair?
We really learned something new today about Mid Century design that we didn't know!
Stay tuned - we called the client today to come in, and to let her see the rocking chair. We of course want to order a larger chair, but we can't resist seeing the look on her face. Caroline is going to keep the rocker for her toddler son.
We all sat in it, and actually though low to the ground, it's pretty comfy. It just looks so odd with other normal size furniture.