developed by local entrepreneur bruce baker and now sold everywhere, the lime green-handled tools make digging in our clay soil as much fun as cutting into a piece of lemon poppy seed cake. after a couple weeks of planting season, i usually have blisters in my palms from my wooden or rubber-handled trowels, but not this year. it took a couple flats worth of flowers to get used to the new position of my wrist–a neutral position–but now i’m hooked. or i suppose you’d say, i’m cultivated.
in the spirit of toys out of the cereal box, i want to collect them all.
in bruce baker’s profile linked above, the ann arbor business review asks him about his insights, judgment calls, confessions, and treasures. here are my answers, as i can’t pass up a list of Q&A without putting in my two cents. highlight, copy, & paste if you like–i’d love to hear your favorite movie if nothing else…
Guiding principle: be genuine.
Best way to keep competitive edge: sweep like you mean it.
Yardstick of success: client referrals
How do you motivate people: enthusiasm & laughter
Goal yet to be achieved: publish a book
Best advice you ever got: why not now?
Best advice for others: be punctual, follow up & follow through, take responsibility, be polite, & smile.
Best business decision: starting bella fiore gardening in petoskey in 2001, and pot & box in 2006
Worst business decision: not believing i could do it
Biggest missed opportunity: i like to think i followed all the good leads to get me to exactly where i am
Biggest management myth: responsibility means doing everything yourself
Most-respected competitor: my clients doing their own gardening
Word that best describes you: some sort of hyphenated-squawk or two-part squeak
What keeps you up at night: during planting season, nothing.
Pet peeve: extraneous noises
Guilty pleasure: caffeine
Person most interested in meeting: marlon brando, nina simone
Three greatest passions: little moments of visual or auditory happiness, curiosity in everyday life, and remembering to be thankful
First choice for a new career: author
Favorite quote: anything obvious or absurd, especially the ones from maggie hall & voltaire
Favorite cause: local business
Most influential book: the tattooed potato, ellen raskin
Favorite movie: rushmore, hands-down. right up there: anything else that wes anderson does, the big chill, last tango in paris, the piano, the big lebowski, the science of sleep, and juno was pretty cute. a good soundtrack can make a movie.
Favorite restaurants: anything new, or the old standards.
Favorite vacation spot: nyc
Favorite way to spend free time: gardening!?!
What you drive: honda element–the perfect car for me, really