Let's take the Wayback Machine to a time when Bill Clinton won his second term, Charles and Di went their separate ways, Jerry Maguire had us at "Hello", and The Grammys overdosed on Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill.
A scrawny kid named Tiger Woods played his first PGA event-- and the Sands and Hacienda hotels were blown-up to make way for the Venetian and Mandalay Bay.
Motorola introduced Star Tac— the first flip phone, while two fledgling e-commerce sites— Ebay and Amazon were launched— and a struggling Apple bought Steve Jobs NeXT computer.
A couple of Stanford grad students worked on a platform that would eventually morph into something called Google— and, though social media was still years away, 12 year old Mark Zuckerberg was wondering about the internet on his parents computer.
The year was 1996. Either recent history or a lifetime ago— depending on your POV.
It was that year two people— Craig Fuller and Beth Callender-- started a company called Greenhaus.
The idea was to combine two ideas— “ Green" represents nature, cultivating, flourishing. And “Haus" not only means home in German, but refers to the Bauhaus— a catalyst for modern design during the 20th century.
Our first office was the antithesis of our name— a windowless suite of rooms in a tilt up building at an anonymous-looking industrial park. An affordable— if less than auspicious-- start.
In short order, Beth Callender and I were joined by a handful of staff as our client list grew from one to a handful.
Though we had worked across different categories before launching Greenhaus, we found ourselves gravitating toward places of one kind or another— beginning with homebuilders and community development.
Why the attraction?
Our interest in all kinds of design, for one thing— including urban planning, architecture, landscape, amenities and interior design.
And, because of the enormous impact homes, communities and destinations have on people's lives.
We were interested in the marketing part, of course, tied to a demanding, complex purchase process, but also the entire place-making enterprise-- from the initial vision, forward.
Not surprisingly, as time went by, we found ourselves working on different communities, resorts, and urban projects in a variety of different states— along with cultural and civic projects, as well. By the time we were a few years old, we had a new light-filled mid-century modern address within walking distance of Peet's Coffee, a French bakery and cool restaurants— working for clients as far away as Massachusetts.
We had arrived at the beginning of our next chapter, and were crafting a reputation for place-focused branding and marketing across the US.