Family: Cook’s Doors & Windows – Interfanatic Customer Spotlight

Cook's Doors & Windows - for our Customer Spotlight on Family, an Interfanatic Quality

Everyone needs a house to live in, but a supportive family is what builds a home.”

Anthony Liccione

According to the descendants of George & Charles Merriam and Noah Webster, a quality is an inherent feature. By that definition, the inherent feature we celebrate this week at Interfanatic is that of family. As such, family is definitely an inherent feature of this collective business, with our associates and clientele.

Family is a bond. Family is a way of doing things.

“Okay, sure,” you say. But a lot of companies blather on about how they treat their customers “like family.”

But do a lot of companies, before they begin work in earnest, spend two hours, or twelve hours, getting to know their customers?

Interfanatic does.

Family: An Interfanatic Quality

Whether our customer is a $100/mo customer or a $150,000 project customer, we spend tremendous getting to know them. Understanding their business. Understanding what they love about it, and how we can best help them accomplish their long-term and short-term goals.

And yes, we spend at least two hours, but sometimes as long as twelve or more hours getting to know our customers, their tastes, and their business.

And that’s a turn off for some people. They see us as problem solvers. We’re here to quickly and efficiently solve their problems.

But we feel that without knowing our clients properly, we can’t make the best decisions for their long-term interest. We’re in this for decades-long relationships, not a week-long or a month-long one. We take your business and our part in it very seriously.

Which may be why we have customer relationships that span a decade or two. They’re our favorite customers because they give us the privilege to make them that way.

Cook’s Doors & Windows: A Business Built on Family

We really enjoyed our time working with Cook’s Doors and Windows, in Lawndale, CA on Hawthorne Boulevard.

Cook Lumber started out as a family business in 1923. It evolved when sons Bob and Jim Cook took their portion of the business and turned into one that sold doors and windows to Southern California.

“We’re in this for decades-long relationships… [w]e take your business and our part in it very seriously.”

– Interfanatic Digital Marketing with Web Site Maintenance & Design

We got to work with Jim and Bob Cook over ten years ago. And though we’ve parted ways, the website we built for them worked well for their business until just this month.

We’re grateful for the opportunity and to play a part in this company’s storied history.

Interfanatic Web Site Management: We’re the Long-term, Trustworthy Resource

For businesses that recognize that their website and digital marketing are integral to their operations, we are the excellent resource. So many companies that do what we do last a few months, or a year, and disappear into the ether.

I can’t tell you how many times a business owner will come to us and say, “I can’t get a hold of our web guy anymore, he just won’t answer the phone”, or, “well, our web girl got a job with a big company and doesn’t have time for us anymore.”

Our business was designed around providing excellent service over the long-term. We keep our people around as long as we can. And our customers don’t have to deal with a revolving door – they deal with one person – for a very, very long time.

Our website management services have always been value-packed. But the truth is, to people who have been through the rigamaroles we’re talking about here, us just being around consistently and doing our job IS our greatest value proposition.

Interfanatic & Family

And all of that is to say that, yes, indeed: we treat our customers like family. Because they are.


This week’s image:
Interfanatic‘s founder, Ryan Delane, takes or creates every image you see in our social feed.

Ha! I took this one years ago. We were out for a sail on a friend’s boat when we stumbled upon this clan orh-ing it up in Redondo Beach’s King Harbor. It reminds my of my own father, who does an excellent vocal impression and would fit right in on this buoy if he so chose.

Love: Laguna Seca Raceway – Interfanatic Customer Spotlight

Laguna Seca Raceway, Customer Spotlight on Love, an Interfanatic Quality

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”

Aristotle

A single soul inhabiting two bodies. A beautiful thought… It reminds of marriage vows… and of racing a motor car.

You probably have a different thought when you think of racing a motor car than I do. But doing it well is especially reflective of a beautiful love affair.

When you’re racing a car, when you’re in the zone, you feel the cars tires as an extension of your own body. The two of you become one and glide fluidly through space, without drama. Everything else disappears and the lap times fall, relentlessly.

At first, it’s just you, and your car. Then, the car becomes you, and it’s just you. It all just happens.

So it is with Laguna Seca Raceway. I think they call it WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca these days. But when we designed and built an incredibly high-tech, forward thinking website for them fifteen years ago, it was Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The track, at the time, was run by SCRAMP: love for motorsport and the cherished circuit inhabiting many bodies. Now, there will always be protagonists and antagonists, but the fact remains: everyone does it because they love racing.

Love: An Interfanatic Quality

We designed and built an incredible website for them. It was incredibly high-tech and advanced for its time. Some thought too advanced. Perhaps a little before its time. But we created Laguna Seca’s site with love.

Interfanatic created Laguna Seca’s site with love.”

If you don’t know Laguna Seca, let me try to explain it to you.

In the middle of an Army ordinance range, some crazy folks decided to create a racetrack. They ran a ribbon of gray asphalt around a small brown mountain. Then they hurled their bright red, blue, orange, yellow, and silver sporty cars around that ribbon of asphalt. And it became racing. And it was good.

Laguna Seca has a character all its own. If you know what I’m talking about, skip ahead. There are only so many descriptions of the corkscrew a real racer can take. But if you don’t…

After coaxing your beast up the back of the hill, it reaches the top, breathless. It’s time to dig your heel hard into the binders and dance your hands and feet into second gear. A hard left and the world disappears beneath you as you lift off the brakes and accelerate. Your steed searches for footing, you gently coax her right and catch third in the air. When she settles in, you’re heading to a fast left with all hell screaming behind you.

When Phil Hill first hit that fast left in the Chapparel 2J, everyone held their collective breaths. There was NO WAY he could make it through Turn 9 at that mach number. But he did. And Jim Hall was right, and ground effect in motorsport was borne.

It’s a track filled with history. Young James Dean passed on driving his Porsche to Laguna Seca. Mark Donahue hustled the mighty “if you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower” 917/30 there. And Alex Zanardi gadzooked Bryan Herta, turning his IndyCar into a rally machine to make a nutty pass stick for the win.

It’s a place I kinda grew up.

Laguna Seca Raceway: A Project We Cannot Forget

So when Laguna Seca approached Interfanatic (nee Web Site Maintenance & Design) after hearing Carroll Smith crow about our site, it was a thrilling moment.

We love doing cutting edge. We love doing what can’t be done. And we, like the people behind Laguna Seca, love racing.

This week’s image:
Interfanatic‘s founder, Ryan Delane, takes or creates every image you see in our social feed.

To make up for last week’s screenshot, this week we have a real photograph. An image of love. I took this slide with love; love for my father, love for motor racing, and love for photography. This, for me, has everything. I took this photograph at a dinky little throwback track called Moroso. It was phenomenal. I remember there wasn’t much in the way of safety back then. As I recall there were gators in a culvert at one of the turn exits. You didn’t want to get upside-down there (not that you would want to get shiny-side down anywhere). But apparently some guy got himself eaten after tipping over there the month before. But the lack of guardrails and corner-workers who gave a damned what I did allowed me to do this. To get the image I wanted. And, for me, it remains glorious.

Industry: M A Trading – Interfanatic Customer Spotlight

M A Trading: Interfanatic Customer Spotlight on Industry

“Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all things easy.”

Benjamin Franklin

Well now, hold your horses there Ben. Excuse me, poor Richard! It doesn’t make things easy, but industry certainly makes things easier…

Industry – doing things regularly and efficiently – does make things easier. But it doesn’t get any easier than sloth. Of course, nothing gets done with sloth, and everything gets done better with industry. But doing nothing will always be easier than getting things done.

That’s why we have vacation.

Industry: This Week’s Interfanatic Virtue

Keeping at it. Grinding away. Keeping your head down. These are the recipe of industry and, when focused on useful work, a primary element required to get things done.

At Interfanatic, we’re all about the unglamourous side of things – the industry of getting work done with positive long-term and short-term results. It’s not sexy. It’s not exciting. But we’re results-driven.

Industry in Action: M A Trading

When MA Trading came to us a few years ago requesting that we put their various catalogs on-line, they immediately impressed us with their industry. They’ve found a way to take artisans from all over the world and help them reliably and predictably create beautiful, hand-made home decor. It’s industry at scale, and it’s beautiful.

It was our pleasure to bring their websites into the modern era. They had, like so many of our clients, tried to get away with doing things the cheap way, and it blew up in their face. We got the right people on the job and created something both useful and beautiful for them and their customers. It was great working with them.

We love working with companies all over the world. And, as in this case, local companies, too. Their offices are just up the street from ours, in southern Redondo Beach, in the south part of Los Angeles, California. We’re on Skype calls at all hours of the day and night dealing with fabulous clients, so there’s something warming about getting to drive (or even walk) up the street to shake hands with a good customer you’ve gotten to know so well.

Walking up the street is not always industrious, but it is pleasant. And that’s what makes life worth living. At Interfanatic, we do the industry so we can afford the pleasant company of our great customers. Like M A Trading.

Family: Raffaello Ristorante – Interfanatic Customer Spotlight

Ristorante Raffaello - Customer Spotlight: Family

Family is a life jacket in the stormy sea of life.“⁠

J.K. Rowling

We can always depend on family. Rowling knows this – in the years she kept getting rejection for the Harry Potter novels, she indubitably had to rely on family more than once.

Family is always there for you – it’s always an embrace to keep you warm when things aren’t going the way you want.

And family is how we treat our customers. We bring them in and take care of them. When things get tough, we stand by and help them get through the issues.

Which brings me to Ráffaello Rístoranté.

You walk inside, and you are greeted with a smile and the smell of delicious Italian food. It’s not the fanciest of places, but it is the best of places. And a lot of that has to do with the way they treat you. They bring you into their family.

The restaurant business in LA is an even tougher one than most places. So for the Cutri family to last over 30 years feeding San Pedro – that’s impressive.

They’ve done it by providing exceptional food at an exceptional value. They always go a little further. They always do a little more.

And they treat you like family.

Next time you want the warm embrace of delicious italian, check out old San Pedro and Ráffaello Rístoranté. And you’ll find a whole new part of your family you didn’t know was there.

Attention to Detail: Fowler & Moore Interior Design – Interfanatic Customer Spotlight

Attention to Details: Fowler & Moore - Interfanatic Customer Spotlight

Simple ingredients can be used to make elegant dishes with just a little extra attention to detail.

– Marcus Samuelsson

Focus on the fundamentals. Bring out the basics by getting them right – doing the details better. That’s what we’re about.

Now, just like Samuelsson no doubt loves to play with exotic ingredients, we here at Interfanatic love trying something new.

But the bread and butter of every business is getting the basics right. So it is for most of our projects.

Of course, we think of the design geniuses at Fowler & Moore Interior Design, just up the street from us here in Redondo Beach. They know how to balance a room with just the right details – just the right colors and accents – to completely transform it into something fresh and uniquely beautiful.

We’ve been working with Fowler & Moore for a long time. In fact, it’s time for their website to get another refresh. They’ve moved locations a few times, but their fundamentals are what drive their business. Great interior design. Serving their customers, and making their homes more beautiful.

Details & Fundamentals Win the Day

It’s all about details, it’s all about fundamentals. Perfection is the enemy of good, of progress. But when you have qualified professionals, whose fundamentals are sound and strong, paying attention to the details comes naturally.

Respect: The Landmark Sports Agency – Interfanatic Customer Spotlight

Respect: The Landmark Sports Agency - Interfanatic Customer Spotlight

People don’t have to give you anything, so appreciate what people give you.

Aretha Franklin

I remember a high-profile project for then-Kobe Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka. Mr. Pelinka is now the Lakers’ General Manager (don’t call me looking for tickets – good luck with that!)

But I often think of the respect Pelinka gave us when we took on his agency’s website. I always felt we did a beautiful job on the site, and it outshone two or three websites that followed it. (After us, he gave it to his nephew to take over.) One of the signature pieces of the site we created for him was a phenomenal sound logo our friend and Hollywood composer Aaron Goldstein produced for us. It had just the right pop. That was a great website.

But he didn’t have to give it to us. He had, of course, his choice of agencies. My friend Eric Marentette recommended us, and he respected Eric’s recommendation. Then, Pelinka respected us, he trusted us, and we delivered.

We treat all of our customers, large and small, with immense respect. Some are striking out on their own for the first time. Others are institutions – small businesses that have worked to fill a need in their communities for generations. Either way, they deserve our respect, and we give it to them. We’re grateful for our partners all over. And we respect them immensely.

Shortly after we took over Landmark’s website, Kobe delivered another Championship to the Los Angeles Lakers. It went well for everyone.

Ingenuity: Rockwell Medical Supply – Interfanatic Customer Spotlight

Rockwell Medical Supply - Interfanatic Customer Spotlight: Ingenuity

Emenike says it: success comes from a combination of things. One of those primary ingredients is ingenuity. Unless you’re the only gig in town, it’s hard to be successful without a unique and compelling proposition.

Thinking about all of this immediately triggered a memory of Rockwell Medical Supply. What a great company! Lean and mean, and an ingenious method of selling. They outsmarted their competitors.

Rockwell has since been sold and merged into another company, accomplishing a dream of the founders.

Rockwell Medical Supply: A Great American Success Story of Ingenuity

Rockwell knew that their customers cared about certain products, and less about others. They also knew that in an extremely competitive field, they were hard-pressed to beat the competition with such tight margins. So they focused on their customers first, giving them what they needed at the price they wanted, and made up for tight margins in other ways.

It was ingenious, and it worked.

We designed and built an attractive, functional Magento-based website for Rockwell many years ago, long before ownership sold. Crucially, it was functional in the complicated way that it handled each customer. It wasn’t easy, but we all made it work. And work it did.

It wasn’t easy, but we all made it work. And work it did.

We love coming up with novel solutions for problems.

That’s one of the reasons we refuse to get stuck in a niche – you learn something new from every customer – when you listen.

And we listen.

We’ve already congratulated the Rockwell Team on their incredible success, but what they hey, we’ll do it again. Congrats on your fantastic achievement, Rockwell Medical Supply! And congratulations more on giving your customer exactly what they wanted – in an ingenious way nobody else could.

Honesty: Aero-Vac Alloys & Forge – Interfanatic Customer Spotlight

Aero-Vac Alloys & Forge - Interfanatic Customer Spotlight

Mother Teresa’s quote pairs with an image I got to take of my Uncle flying. He was not Mother Teresa.

But my Uncle was honest and transparent.

Honest and transparent is the best way to do business.

Aero-Vac Alloys & Forge are plainly honest and transparent, with their partners, with their customers, an in everything they do.

Insert quote about Scotty talking about transparent aluminum.

We did AVAF’s original website years ago, and it’s still extremely productive. It’s fantastic to be working with a great group involved in aerospace production. As we’re all a little nerdy here, we’d love to do more of that!

Aero-Vac Alloys & Forge supplies rare and difficult to produce alloys of aerospace grade to its industrial customers. They moved from California up to Washington recently, and they’re really thriving. As I’m a native Washingtonian, I understand the allure of the Pacific Northwest – especially for business.

It’s a great company, lead by diversity, driven by success and superiority of product. They have to be honest or their products would lead to major failures. Their products succeed.

So if you’re ever in the market for stainless steel, corrosion resistant nickel alloys, or some other obscure metal for your project, go to Aero-Vac Alloys & Forge.

Kindness: Greater Hope Foundation for Children – Interfanatic Customer Spotlight

Greater Hope Foundation for Children - Interfanatic Customer Spotlight

This week, we’re talking about kindness.

And it’s harder to imagine even kinder people than those at the Greater Hope Foundation for Children.

This is a serious Not-For-Profit dedicated to helping the foster care system. And it’s phenomenal, arduous work. The foster care system doesn’t always work well. A lot of good children are failed by it.

A lot of good children need a healthy, regular dose of kindness.

And that’s what they get from the Greater Hope Foundation. A few years ago, before government bureaucracy intervened, shutting down this dream, the Greater Hope Foundation branched into education: Greater Hope Prep. It was a phenomenal model, and it worked.

Unfortunately, the State of California couldn’t keep good on its promises, but the dream is alive with Greater Hope Foundation.

We’ve had the pleasure of designing and building a few websites for GHFFC. One of our favorite logos ever was that of the Greater Hope Prep.

In our quote this week, the Dalai Lama reminds us that we must be kind whenever possible. And with a toothy grin and that adorable, loving cackle, he commands us, “It is always possible.”

We wish the wind be ever at the backs of the Greater Hope Foundation, a group filled with their own brand of Dalai Lamas, all spreading kindness, joy, and hope to children here in California.

It’s always a good idea to donate to Greater Hope Foundation.

It’s easy to be consumed and to forget. We get caught up in our own constructs, our own perceptions, our own smallness. But when there is kindness, it’s easier to see that there is one greater, universal truth:

It is always possible.

Appreciation: The Living Christmas Company – Interfanatic Customer Spotlight

The Living Christmas Company - Customer Spotlight

The Living Christmas Company appreciates life.

Have you ever thought about the fact that we celebrate Christmas with a dying Christmas tree? It’s such an odd thing, when you think about it.

But then again, so is the notion of renting a Christmas Tree.

Just odd enough that it might work.

At least, that’s what investor Mark Cuban thought after hearing founder Scott Martin’s pitch on Shark Tank.

We helped TLCCo digitize its brand identity long before Cuban came along. We were enthralled with the charismatic Martin, aka “Scotty Claus” and the beauty and simplicity of his idea. He’s an energetic, grateful person of fantastic energy. The kind of person that everyone wants to be around. The kind of person that lights up the room when they walk in.

Scott’s a good dude.

We got him off to the right start, we helped him source caricatures at Downtown Disney for his founder-member portraits that we then got up on the website. We took his sketch and turned it into a beautiful, lively logo. We took his website and we brought it to life. It was thrilling.

We didn’t do the technical part of the site that handled deliveries and pick-ups, but we helped Scott with that hand-off. That project, we only worked on the fun stuff.

And that’s exactly what being part of this movement was – thrilling. We gave Christmas – many of our favorite Holidays – even more life, bringing living trees into our homes and helping them remain green for next year, and next year. Children grew up with their Christmas trees, which are stored for the off-season and cared for.

The trees are appreciated as a living thing, a living member of our Christmas family. It’s awesome, and we’re proud of the part we played getting TLCCo going.

So think about that next Christmas season. If you want to celebrate life, and living, and green, and all the things that are joyful about Christmas, think about getting one of The Living Christmas Company‘s living Christmas trees.