February 4, 2024

☀️ CleanTech Coatings Hits Walmart's Shelves! ☀️


Meet Becca Berger, the Silicon Valley-based CleanTech coatings inventor who is literally using solar power,  AI, and Apple Vision Pro to shake up the wood stain market!☀️ 


“I intend to get the coatings world off petroleum,” She says as she slides protective goggles over her green eyes and hands me a pair of safety glasses. She pushes her hands into a pair of rubber gloves and finishes by tying off her white chemist apron, “ok, let’s get to work!” 


By oil-based, do you mean Minwax and Varathane?

“Yes! The problem I had with oil-based wood stain is that I couldn’t get the colors that I wanted because I’m not a professional finisher. I didn’t understand how to wipe on, wipe off, and layer color tones the way professional applicators do. Plus, the products were stinky, and, worst of all, they off-let carbon and harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC’s.) That’s bad for applicators and bad for homeowners. Ugh… don’t even get me started on the dry times. Anyways, I solved these problems by inventing my own wood stain. I also wanted to save the clients money by reducing labor and material costs. To do that, I ended up creating a new market for reactive stains. And getting the clean tech product on a shelf where inexperienced finishers could get a high end Restoration Hardware look, at a Walmart price. I love solving this problem. It’s my passion.”



A combination of events inspired her. First was a quote from Tim Cook in the “Elysis” project press release. The second was an artisan friend who had a stroke right in front of her.


“As a passionate artist, I knew I could help Apple’s green initiative, but more directly, the applicators. I used my blog to explore groups of DIYers, specifically, the ones that shared my pain. I started with a survey. I learned that the same problems I was experiencing, my readers were experiencing. I focused on water-based wood stain because very little innovation has occurred in the coatings category in the last hundred years, and that seemed like a good place to exploit. So I used that as my beachhead. The product found a market fit and I got sales immediately. Check out my Instagram account: @WeatherWash.


So the stain was your minimum viable product, did your customers want more than a wood stain?  


“Yes! That’s exactly what happened, my Instagram blew up with an enthusiastic group of customers demanding water-based wood stain, but leaving with so much more. Let’s see, I was able to extrapolate that they basically wanted me to make VOC free wall paint. And then furniture paint. And also topcoats. Pretty soon, their demands shaped the whole product line. I call it ‘CleanTech Coatings.’ We have very strong relationships with our clients and I hope that the margin costs fall so I can get to profit-market fit,” Becca explains as she uses an air compressor to mix raw ingredients in a 330-gallon tote. 

Wood stain is a commodity, so the lifetime value of the customer is good, but how do you plan to cross what Geoffrey Moore calls the “Chasm,” and establish customer life time value? 



My strategy is to use price parity with Minwax on the shelf, Apple Vision Pro to catch innovators and visionaries, and iterative in-market testing to put those data nuggets to use when I replicate Sherwin’s distribution model for the early/late majority. From there, we launch products and use instructional QR codes so the majorities will have a smooth path to adoption. Our QR codes are right on the quart. Customers can scan and watch a video that explains how to apply the product, but most importantly, the instructor refers clients to the next product in the line. As the data continues to come in, I’ll keep testing it and improving the product fit, just like my UX Software Engineer friend does at Apple. I know it’s just a hypothesis, but I’ve generated $1.26M since 2022. The goal is to increase retail sales to $5M by 2026 and just keep growing.  


If you look at the majority DIY market, you can see that it is estimated to be $60B. Although wood stain caps at $7B, paint, furniture paint, and topcoats (paint & coatings market = $179B), but the total attainable market is more like $246B. 
These markets are serviced by eight-thousand retail stores and have 294M US consumers in foot traffic per week. That’s why I want retailers with the highest foot traffic, because my whole product offering is a coatings quadrant that gets the service addressable market to $150M within ten years. The unquantifiable variable is e-commerce. But I’m combating the unknown with passion and data. Howard Stevenson says, ‘entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled,’  so let the good times roll.”


Who is your target customer?


Our target DIY client is referred to as LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability.) They talk to me through Instagram. It’s a great place to A/B test them because IG is a high density network where LOHAS will recommend products through word of mouth. LOHAS feels what I felt. Simply put, they want products that do 80% of the work for the end user, while they do 20% of the application. They want fast cure times with one application, not several. They resist using products with strong chemical odors, and they want clean coatings to provide the same protections as oil-based products, but with fewer steps. LOHAS tends to make purchasing decisions based off their values rather than price. They’re educated and intelligent. They want the RH colors, but they want to save money by doing it themselves. They want a community to do projects with and share projects with on social media. In 2020, LOHAS represented one-third of home purchases. The majority of Home Depot ($157B) clients are DIY consumers who are fixing up homes to sell or repairing homes they’ve just bought. I see a lot of LOHAS crossover between the world’s two largest retailers, Walmart and Home Depot, and I believe tech can help expedite. The LOHAS market is much bigger than just coatings. These are the clients responsible for Lululemon’s success. The LOHAS market represents $472.5B in revenue as of 2022.
 

              

You’re ambitious! What is your endgame vision? 


“AI! #AppleVisionPro could be used with AI avatars to create a visually rich virtual reality experience for DIY’ers. Imagine Bob Villa walking LOHAS DIY’ers through step-by-step instructions, but in real time. 
That kind of forward moving program would go beyond anything they’re using now and give LOHAS the community they want. Clients could cycle color samples and dial in their custom look with a live audience like “twitch”. Imagine a  place where smart creatives can learn, record instructional videos, discuss their problems, explore solutions, develop 
their projects together #UNIX style, share their projects, and make repeat purchases. That kind of integrated Development Environment could have a heavy viral coefficient. I’m talking… escape velocity.” πŸš€


Do you have an economic model?

The forward looking model with retailers is (number of skus) x (number of stores) x (number of shelves) x (inventory turns) = Revenue. But we think our coatings offering could be a fast moving consumer good (FMCG). E-commerce is trickier. I don’t have a reliable algorithm for that yet, but I’m working on it. The retail customer acquisition costs divided by the number of new customers, plus unit costs, which are less than the lifetime value of my customers. Increasing customer lifetime value would hinge on fulfillment and getting LOHAS onto their next project. I have a healthy profit margin, but the key lever for growth is expanding into big box retail stores, unless we do what Wayfair did with distribution centers. 


What is your biggest hurdle? 


“Distribution! For the last hundred years, my competitors have held a strangle-hold. They’re using price, operations, and ubiquitous shelf availability to hold marketshare and increase sales a steady 2% per year. Price is one of my biggest hurdles because I haven’t crossed that chasm to the eight-thousand retailers that my competitors have, so I don’t have that experience yet.”

Becca attributes her success to lessons she learned in her MBA operations class. She has capitalized off of continuous flow manufacturing (CFM) and just-in-time delivery (JIT) processes she learned from an IBM case study. What are some constraints you’re experiencing as you scale? 



“Warehouse capacity and price parity to start. When we first launched in gallon milk jugs on my apartment deck, space was an obvious issue and costs were high. Now that we’ve grown into multiple 330-gallon totes, our next increase will put us in 15,000-gallon stainless steel vats. The biggest constraint of any CleanTech product is going to be on price parity

Right now my price on the shelf is $19.97. My competitors are around $15.97. The end consumer is paying a CleanTech premium of $4 when they buy WeatherWash, which is 25% higher than my competitors’ prices. In truth you only have to use one of my quarts, compared to the multiple coats you have to match with Minwax. But, with more orders, my total manufacturing output will increase, and labor efficiencies will improve. I’ll pass those decreases on to the end consumer and get my price in line with my competitors’. I might even land at $14.97 on the shelf, once the  COVID supply chains untangle. I’ve learned a few lessons as time has passed. Technology-driven learning, product efficiency, and shared experience will reduce costs per unit as the total volume of production increases. At least that’s what the classic experience curve says. The more you know, the better you can do, and the good news is that the product is profitable. #Profitable!” 

The coatings market is international, how would you grow globally? 

“I would focus on the users and build excellent platforms with accessible, higher quality services and products. I think Apple Vision Pro is going to change a lot of things. Could you imagine if I was in your living room showing you how to do the project just like Bob Ross? I think model could be used to democratize the global DIY movement. 

As states have begun to regulate paint and stain emissions, do you see any opportunities to capture those laggard markets?


“States could accelerate the inevitable switch from oil to water through regulation. California has already started regulating the coatings industry in a way that forced many manufacturers to leave California. I think a better solution would be for lawmakers to use tax incentives and subsidies to shape consumer behavior. It would be nice if state and federal governments would give CleanTech coatings the same incentives they give solar and wind. Could you imagine the impact regulation would make if lawmakers required 25% of paint and stain to be carbon-free? The same way they require 25% of grid energy to be renewable? The reduction targets two primary points of emission. Reduced carbon from plant manufacturing and reduced carbon/VOC off-letting from product application. Between high foot traffic and government regulation, I believe the opportunities will be there.” 

How is your product innovative?


“My product is innovative because it is tannin reactive. Once the stain is applied, a natural reaction occurs inside the wood, and the wood chooses the color. The color is very similar to how the sun bleaches driftwood over decades. My secret sauce is that I know how to stop the reaction so that it doesn’t continue to age over time. The whole process takes just twenty minutes, with application and including dry time. Once I stop the reaction, I seal it with a special topcoat I created to hold almost the exact same color as driftwood. Consumers can’t tell the difference between real driftwood and the wood I stain, which is great because my stain gives them an unlimited supply. Our paint has the same standards. Innovation is easy to spot when you’re reducing labor costs and reducing material costs.”

How can you improve upon the inventions of nineteenth-century industrial giants?


“My manufacturing process is innovative because I have built it on solar. While I was researching base formulas, I learned that Edison, Tesla, Ford, Dupont, and Sherwin-Williams harnessed their economic opportunities through oil-based industrial manufacturing operations. On scale, these 19th century industrial operations account for one-fifth of global energy use and are responsible for roughly fifteen billion tons of carbon off-letting annually. As the oil supply decreases, prices will continue to increase. Eventually, the oil demand will be higher than the oil supply. When that happens, I expect that low-carbon and carbon-free manufacturing processes, like mine, will disrupt old-school oil-based manufacturers with low prices, and those products will naturally discontinue using harmful formulas.” Becca tosses what appears to be herbs into a tote. She pinches a little of this, and a little of that, and mixes it with a wooden oar. 



What are some benefits of using water-based coatings rather than oil-based? 


 “My formulas for paint and stain harness naturally grown renewable raw materials and utilize renewable energy sources. I used a ratio of total gallons produced / energy use and learned that my manufacturing carbon emission is practically zero — and the product itself has no carbon or VOC emissions. It’s beyond carbon, it’s #netzero, which is my vision for coatings.” 

Circling back to the stain, your product is truly magic in a quart, but your operation is next level. You said you use the power of the sun to make the product. Can you tell me how you do that? 


“Sure! When I learned that Apple used solar panels to power its manufacturing plant and work facilities, I asked myself, ‘what else can photovoltaic cells do?’ Apparently PV cells can only capture a maximum of 22% solar power. The scientific question I asked was what percentage of the sun’s rays could cook a batch of wood stain? Turns out, wood stain can capture up to 80% of the sun’s rays and that is more than enough energy to cook the batch. Once we acquire machinery to automate the line, we will install solar panels and use the suns energy to manufacture paint. Also, my operation will generate power for the grid. #Negawatts! I think this is the future of netzero American manufacturing! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ ” 


How do efficiencies play a role in CleanTech? 


“Efficiencies are the key to real CleanTech results! The built environment is responsible for 29% of the 52 billion tons of annual carbon emissions. I have five main efficiencies that can reduce that percentage. Raw materials, workspace, energy, labor, and plant power. I have one goal in mind when manufacturing: my energy efficiencies must maximize outputs and minimize inputs. I would say my operation is 78% efficient right now. When we scale to our goal of eight thousand retailers, I expect my efficiencies will go down at first, but once we get past the experience curve, I think they will be closer to 92%.” 

If you had one wish, what would it be? 


“I wish that Tim Cook would retire, join my company, and help me take over the total attainable market. Is that too ambitious? Seriously though, with the Apple Vision Pro, we could make such a huge dent in the DIY market. A bonus benefit would be the lifetime carbon reduction of CleanTech Coatings.” 

What would you give up? 


“Take a look around you. Everything I have here is for sale, including things you can’t see like equity. Hang tight, it looks like my staff is overflowing a tote. I gotta go. Are we done here?” 


*****

When I wrap the interview, I’m surprised Becca can even hear me over the noisy air compressors, shouting, and continuous lid hammering. She is laser-focused on “the batch” and somehow manages to answer all my questions even though we are interrupted a dozen times by managers and employees. 

Here are some key takeaways: I personally have a new appreciation and a new perspective for renewables. I believe renewable energy operations will be revolutionary! Why? Because renewable energies are REPLENISHABLE, whereas crude oil might not be. If renewable energy products can perform as well as oil-based products and cost just as much, or less, why wouldn’t we switch? CleanTech products may be able to sell at even lower prices once the machinery is paid off because the cost of generating energy is practically nothing. 

Operationally, Becca has arrived at a manufacturing crossroads where renewable raws and alternative energy sources intersect. The result is a breakthrough technology that needs no electricity and no fossil fuels to manufacture. Her process may even be cheaper than oil-based wood stains and this visionary entrepreneur has decarbonized the product and the manufacturing operation. She has lit a path for industrial manufacturers inside and outside the coatings industry. The possibility for a transition from oil-based formulas to carbon-free water-based formulas now exists. 

How will the big switch from oil to renewable energy happen? 
Inventors and innovators like Becca will harness renewable energy the way she did with the sun’s power to make wood stain. Inventors are inventing products that may have a ripple effect, as products are dropped into the market. Light bulbs, alternating current, and gas-powered vehicles were all products that were like a pebble in the pond. Some ripples will be big, like electric wind, solar, and electric vehicles. Some inventions will be small, like biofuels and wood stain. Either way, from big to small, the wave of change is coming and AI combined with Apple Vision Pro could accelerate that change. 

When will it happen?
It’s already happening! In the summer of 2020, Germany successfully powered their power grid with 56% solar power. If you want to see the switch happening within the built environment, specifically wood stain, go to your local Walmart store or go online to Walmart.comHomeDepot.com, Amazon.com, or Becca’s website, WeatherwashCoatings.com. Just search for WeatherWash and don’t forget to leave a review! 😊 

Some serious questions, as the big switch begins are: How will innovators get 52 billion carbon tons to zero in these categories: transportation, agriculture, electric power grids, industry, and the built environment? How much is the big switch going to cost? How many fossil fuel jobs will be lost? How many carbon-zero jobs will be created? 

Pundits believe 2050 is the cutoff before the 1.6 trillion tons of carbon emission heat the earth up one or two degrees and bring irreversible global damage. Think superstorms, extreme weather, droughts, food shortages, and energy grid collapse. Don’t be afraid of what may come. The big switch shines rays of hope through the darkest carbon cloud, and it’s happening one rippling innovation at a time. 

Thank you for reading, and may each and every one of us find the ability within our consuming capacity to make the BIG SWITCH

October 11, 2023

Peter Facinelli aka Doctor Carlisle Cullen


“Paging Doctor Cullen, you have an interview with Zack and Becca, writers for the blog From Gardners 2 Bergers. Report to Forever Twilight in Forks (FTF), Washington, STAT!” 

“I’m on it!” Peter Facinelli says, as he takes his seat under a pine gazebo at the Pacific Inn Motel, in Forks, Washington. 


Peter is here signing books and taking pictures at the Forever Twilight in Forks Festival. He's incredibly genuine. Friendly and easily approachable. To the west, the sun is setting and the colors are breath taking. To the east, the clouds have lost their place in the gray sky. They settle into the towering evergreens that crowd the rolling hills behind Peter and add an eerie effect. We are literally sitting down with a Vampire in his home town. He is wearing an Aviator Nation sweatshirt. He pulls his hoody over his head and asks, “so what do you do?” 

Zack: “My wife invented a wood stain that turns raw wood into barnwood.” I expect Peter to show zero interest. 

Peter: “Really? You take raw wood and it kind of ages it?” Peter asks with way more interest than I expected. 

Becca: “It’s an all-natural process, you just apply the stain to raw wood and you can see one hundred percent of the wood grain,” Becca says as she’s said in hundreds of interviews. 

P: “What’s the name of the company?” Peter asks. 

B: “Weatherwash.” Becca answers. 

The interview has taken an unexpected turn. Peter is interviewing us, instead of us interviewing Peter. What’s going on here? 

P: “How long does it take to get that old look?” Peter wonders. 

B: “Takes about ten minutes and it’s ready for a topcoat. Your whole project can be done in under an hour. It’s a tannin-based reactive stain, earth-friendly and VOC free!” Becca beams, super proud of her creation. 


P: “I love doing woodworking. I grew up doing carpentry with my Uncle. I did that during the summers. I could build anything out of wood. I could build this gazebo. Recently, I did a birdcage with a sliding door,” Peter leans forward. He’s holding the birdcage between his empty hands, somehow, we can all see it. As he goes on, we learn that he’s quite the woodworker and a knowledgeable finisher. “You know this is a billion-dollar idea right?” 

Bec smiles and nods, “We did just get into Walmart!” 

Z: “You know Peter, you’re an extraordinary guy who seems remarkably ordinary,” I say, as we settle into our woodworking comfort zone. 

P: “That’s great! It’s good to be ordinary.” He says as he scrolls through our portfolio, he friend-requests Rebecca. 

She accepts. They’re "fast" friends. 
 
Z: “Ok, so you’re going to be our celebrity endorser?” I ask. 
 
P: “Maybe!” Peter smiles and winks. 
 
Z: “Great! So you’re a finisher in real life, a vampire doctor, a human doctor, a special forces operator, a Sheriff in the old west, and many other things in the make-believe world of Hollywood.” 

Peter nods. 
 
Z: “What does nine-to-five look like for you?” 
 
P: “Constant change. Lots of preparation. Tons of research.” 

Z: “So you’re from Queens, NYC.” 
 
P: “Yes!” 
 
Z: “You have three siblings. Where do you rank?” 
 
P: “I'm last.” 



Z: “Three older sisters? That's more Barbies than G.I. Joe's. #Roughbro. Your parents are from Italy?” 

P: “Yep.” 

Z: “Your mother is from, Spormaggiore, how do you pronounce that?” 

Peter annunciates the town without missing a beat. Even though I speak Italian, I butcher it. Curse that double ‘g.’ 


Z: “Your father is from Trentino?” 

P: “Yeah.” 


Z: “It’s pretty cool that they were so close to fair Verona when they fell in love.” 

Peter nods, “I never thought about that. But yeah, both of their towns are right there in Val Di Non Valley, Northern Italy.” 

B: “We visited Verona, so we got to see what the countryside looks like.” 

P: “It’s a beautiful country.” 
 
Z: “Take us back to high school at Saint Francis Preparatory, what was your best moment in high school.

Peter shuffles. His face wrinkles as though he’s just licked a lemon, “high school wasn’t a good time for me. I was incredibly shy and I didn’t want to eat lunch with the other kids. So, I found a quite place where a woman sold pretzels and orange juice and that was my, uhm… my lunch every day for three years.” 

‘Peter shy? Are you kidding me?’ I think. 


Z: “Did you play a sport?” 

P: “Baseball.” 

Z: “That’s ironic.” I’m thinking back to the Twilight baseball game. 

P: “There was this one game, I quit the high school team because the coach was a jerk and so I played for another team. There was this one play where the bases were loaded, there was only a few minutes left on the clock in the last inning and I hit a home run. We were tied up and that home run won the game. The old coach saw the play and realized his mistake.” Peter smiles. 

B: “We saw a game with the Rangers and Red Sox just like that. It was nail-biting.” 

Z: “Who is your favorite sports team?” 

P: “Yankees.” 



Z: “Who is your favorite player?” 

P: “Babe Ruth. He would point where he was going to hit the ball and then hit it there. That was incredible.” 


Z: “So you’re in high school, headed to college at New York University. At what point did you decide to become an actor?” 

P: “For me it was much sooner. It was when I was thirteen, the topic of career came up with my family and I told my parents I wanted to be an actor. They didn’t discourage me, in fact, they encouraged me.” 

Bec and I look at each other, completely shocked. Why? When I told my Mom I wanted to be an actor she said, “go to college first and act on the side.” 

P: “I never had a back up plan because I was taught that if you have a back up plan, that becomes the plan.” 

Peter is right, Momma! I ended up using my degree and not acting >:-/ 


Z: “When Bec and I lived in Italy, all these Italian fathers had interesting sayings for their sons. One that we liked the most was, ‘better to buy a suit than a glass of water.’ Does your Dad have any cool sayings?” 

P: “No. Not really.” 

B: “Your parents must be incredibly proud of you.” 

P: “Actually, that’s the funny thing, my Dad and I are on this plane with all these actors that have lesser roles than me at the time and he’s like, ‘do you think Peter will make it?’ My parents are immigrants, so they just don’t get how far I’ve come. In fact, my Dad was like, ‘Peter, if you don’t make it in Hollywood, that’s okay. I love you and I will always have a room for you in my home.’” 

Bec and I look at each other. We’ve never met this man, but we love him! 

Z: “Well there you go Peter. You’re Dad’s Italian saying is, ‘There’s a room for you in my house, son.” 


B: “So you studied acting in college. Was there one specific method that you preferred over another?” 
 
Peter has a lot to say about this. If any of you thought acting was just memorizing lines and shooting ten second scenes, think again. There’s voice training. Stage acting. Camera acting. And the two are not the same. Peter lists a dozen books and several methods that contribute to his “craft”. Clearly his education at NYU has paid off. His performance takes audiences to a different world. A world where admittance is belief. He’s so passionate about his craft, he spends forty minutes talking about it. By the end of his answer Bec and I are blown away with how much mechanical aptitude it takes to create a convincing character. 

B: “So I recently watched ‘The Vanished,’ how did you come up with that idea?” 

P: “A couple of years ago, I got into RV-ing. I took my family across America and we stopped in all these really cool little towns. One of the towns we stopped in, this guy at the counter let me know that the prison nearby had a convict escape and a manhunt was under way. For a brief moment, I lost track of one of my kids, and found them, but I thought, ‘what if this man had found my daughter and kidnapped her? That would be terrifying.’ I didn’t get much sleep that night because of the fear I felt and I couldn’t shake the feeling so I caught it on film.” 


 Z: “You had a lot of success with that. How many people viewed it on Netflix?” 

 P: “Two hundred million.” 

 B: “TWO HUNDRED MILLION? That’s two thirds of the nation’s population. What was the budget?”
 
 P: “One and a half million.” 

 Z: “You got two hundred million people to watch a film you wrote, directed, and acted in on a one and a half million-dollar budget?” 

 P: “Yeah. Pretty cool, huh?” 

 Z: “Yeah! I’d imagine you’re a hot item in Hollywood. Directors like you are like snow leopards.” 

 P: “What do you mean?” 

Z: “Snow Leopards are rarely seen, but they exist. Well look at Spielberg for example. He almost didn’t have a career because he kept going over budget. If it wasn’t for George Lucas bringing him on for Indiana Jones, Spielberg’s career might have died early. So, a guy that can generate that kind of viewership with a small budget must be rare, but exist.” 

 P: “We’ll see. It’s all kind of fresh still,” he says relaxed and un-phased. Like I said, an extraordinary man that seems abnormally ordinary. 


 B: “Can we talk about Twilight now?” 

 P: “Of course!” 

 B: “How did you get the part?” 

 P: “That is a funny story. I auditioned and so did this other guy, Henry Cavill, and it looked like he got the part of Carlisle Cullen. As I was doing my research, I stumbled on a book titled, “History of the Vampire.” Since I didn’t get the part, I thought I could help Catherine Hardwick out and maybe network for the future. I wrote a quick note in the book and sent it to her. When the part didn’t work out with the other guy, she got my note and called me. So I got the part because I gave Catherine a $29.99 book.” 


Z: “Cool! Can you do that with my book?” 

P: “Maybe, what’s your book?” 

Z: “Harvest Moon.” I hand him a copy. 

P: “I’ll see what I can do.” 

Bec and I high-five. 

B: “How did you prepare for the role of Doctor Carlisle Cullen?” 

P: “I did a lot of research. I even kept these journals and that’s all part of the craft right? When I prepare for a role, I want to know as much about the character as I can. Learning about what doctors do wasn’t so hard, but what required a little more intense research was what a doctor might wear throughout the years. As I was doing my research, I kind of felt like Carlisle would have had an interest in scarves. I traced the fashion of scarves back to his era and incorporated those scarves into my character. I was using it as a thread through time to tie in the history of his life together through out the film.” 



B: “Can we shop Doctor Cullen Scarves?” 

P: “That’s an interesting idea, I’ll have to think about it.” 

Z: "You should post the journals online. I know a lot of fans in the Facebook groups would love that." 

P: "I'll look into that. It would be nice for them to experience Carlisle Cullen's view of 'Twilight' right?"

B: “Are you still in touch with the cast?” 

P: “Yes! Definitely! We all keep in contact with each other. Nikki and I just worked on a project together, and we all text each other often. We kind of grew up together in Hollywood, you know.” 

B: “What’s your favorite story about your son, Edward?” 

P: “When I first met Rob, he had all these hair extensions. For some reason, they wanted him to have long hair. And I noticed he was kind of pulling on them. The next day, he had pulled all of his hair extensions out and he was like, ‘I’m not doing it, okay! I’m using my natural hair.'” 

B: OMG, this reminds me of when Anna Kendrick called him "the hair," in Breaking Dawn Part 1. 

Z: “In your own words, how would you describe Twilight?” 

P: “It’s the modern Romeo and Juliet, right?” 

Z: In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, 'if only we could rewind the clock to Juliet’s house which is actually in “fair” Verona, Italy, not far from Peter's parents home towns. I’m wondering if Peter's ancestors knew he was in a modern Romeo and Juliet love story, what would they think?' By the way 'Trivial Pursuit' readers, Capulet was a real family name! (Below you can see some pictures of her balcony that we took in 2019.) 



P: (Continued) Twilight is a great love story that incorporates forbidden love between a vampire and a young girl that every girl wants to be. But the best part of this story is that it brings fans together from all across the world. They form these relationships that they otherwise wouldn’t have and it was such a great experience to be a part of it.”

B: I’m not sure if Peter has seen the map in the Fork's Visitor Center, but people from across the world have placed a pin on the map and you can see below just how many people have been affected by "Twilight". Keep in mind, they traveled from these states and countries to physically place their pin. 



Z: “If you had an unlimited budget, what movie would you make? Who would direct it? Who would star in it?” 

P: “Oh that’s easy, I’d do a gangster movie. Something like Scarface. I would star in it. I would direct it.”
 
B: “Are you excited about fashion?” 

P: “I’m not a snob or anything. I like form and function. Comfort is ideal."

Z: “Do you have a favorite artist?” 

P: Rene Magritte. 



B: “Do you have any cool Dad sayings for your kids?” 

P: “Believe in yourself and follow your dreams!” 

Z: “You’ve been to Italy and across America, do you have a favorite architect?” 

P: “I like Spanish style. I like how architecture changes across the country. Even the brick color changes. I like Modern, too. I like Frank Lloyd Wright. I really like Frank Gehry, he did the Disney Concert Hall in L.A. I love what he does.” 



Z: “Halloween is fast approaching. What scary movies are you watching and what are you dressing up as?” 

P: “I don’t watch scary movies. They give me nightmares. The costume is a hard one for me. I feel like I have ideas of what I’m going to dress up like and then Halloween comes and I never know what I’m going to wear. Can I get back to you on that one?” 

Z: “Wanna do a scary picture together?” 

P: “Sure!” 

Z: “Let's do wolf claws! Roooaaarrr!” 




Z: “Peter! Bec and I did wolf claws, what are you doing?” 

P: “Smoldering wolf claws.” 

B: “Do you have a favorite movie that you’ve been in?” 

P: “I have really enjoyed all the films I’ve worked in. I love them all. I can’t really pick one over the other.” 
 
Z: “What’s your favorite app?”

P: “I like Instagram. I have a love hate relationship with TikTok. It’s so entertaining, people do the stupidest things on there, I just can’t stop watching it. There are such quick little segments you could just scroll forever.”

 


Z: “What’s your favorite video game?”

P: “I don’t play video games. I grew up on Atari. But Oculus goggles in VR is pretty cool. You feel like you’re there.”




Z: “What’s your favorite tech?”

P: “Crypto.” 

Z: “What do you do for a workout?”

P: “Honestly, I do P90X. It requires very little space and they mix the work outs up so you don’t get bored. I love the Kenpo Karate. Now I work with a trainer though.”

Z: “Your arms are looking pretty big bro, got any tips on beefing up biceps?”

P: “Ha! Ha! No, I actually have to tell my trainer to tone it down. Honestly, it’s all genetics. I have 'guido' arms. I have those Italian American arms and like, I have to be careful not to work out my biceps too much because if I wear a button up shirt they puff up and fill out the shirt. It’s just genetics, I don’t have to work them out.” He shrugs nonchalantly.


B: “Who is your celeb look alike?” Now this cracks both of us up. Peter literally buries his face in his hands, and for the first time during this interview, I see the shy kid he was talking about in high school. When he looks up, he’s literally blushing and so flustered he can’t speak. 

P: “I don’t know man, I used to get Tom Cruise. Who do you think?”

Z: “Ethan Hawk.”

P: “I’ll take it.”

Z: “What do you think, Becca?”

B: “I don’t think you look like anyone. I think you have a very unique look.”

P: “I like that better!” 


With that, the interview is over. The weather has shifted and true to its reputation, Forks is the wettest place in America. The temperature drops. Cold rain dumps on us. Two hours of friendly conversation has made us all cold ones and fast friends. Bec and I jump in the car, crank the heater, and wonder how exactly three Italians ended up on the farthest western point of North America. But that’s the beauty of Twilight. 


To Peter’s point Twilight brings people together from all parts of the world and they make connections they otherwise wouldn’t have. This happens in book lines. Movie lines. FTF lines. It’s the spirit of Twilight that Peter helped build. And twelve years later the bonds are still being forged. Even with fans and actors. Thanks, Peter, for the interview and thanks to Stephenie Meyer for an awesome love story!
Ciao!! 
Zachary & Becca

Us talking with fans in line at FTF. 

July 11, 2023

Short Film: St. Agatha, Martyr


“I will not sacrifice,” are the words a 22-year-old Christian girl used, to defy ancient Rome.   When Agatha refused to sacrifice to Rome’s pagan gods and prove her loyalty to the empire, she was raped, tortured, and killed for her new faith. This is Agatha of Sicily A noble woman whose legacy lives on today. 
I first learned about Saint Agatha on a tour of a live volcano, Mount Etna, situated one hour north of Catania, Sicily. The tour guide stopped at a tiny chapel to explain how lava flow once threatened a nearby town. A priest brought Agatha’s shawl to the lava and plead with heaven to stop the lava flow. It worked, and as a result, the town built this chapel to honor their protector, Saint Agatha. 


    A few years later, a new eruption threatened the church. The Priest promised people that nothing would happen to the village. They were under Saint Agatha’s protection. The lava literally pressed up against the wall of the little church, cracked it, but did not go any further. The Priest’s words held true. 
I couldn’t help but ask myself, “who was Saint Agatha? What was her story? What does it mean to be a Saint?” What I learned shocked and inspired me. So, I shot a short in Italy. This is her story: St Agatha #Martyr.


Zachary Lovelady

April 15, 2023

RH Cerused Driftwood Gray Table



For this week's project, we're back to my roots! Which means we're creating knock off Restoration Hardware colors today! This project is easy peasy, just apply to wood and watch the magic happen! You're going to love this tutorial to easily achieve the Reclaimed Gray Oak look.

Materials



Directions


Here's the "before" of this typical, out dated oak table. There's a million of these babies floating around from the 80's and 90's. It shouldn't be too hard to get your hands on one, and at a good price. 

If you're using a brand new, or raw wood table, please skip down to step #5. Thanks!

1.] STRIP
First you'll want to apply a thick layer of Citristrip to the table. Citristrip has a tendency to dry out before it can eat away at all the layers of stain and lacquer. So covering the wet stripper with a garbage bag helps keep the moisture in while it works.
2.] SCRAPE
When the stripper turns white, it's ready to be scraper off. Remove the bags and scrape as much of the mixture off, as you can. You'll want to try and get down ti the raw wood if you can. But being careful not to scrape or damage the wood itself. 
3.] CLEAN
You will want to wipe the table down with mineral spirits and a rag to remove any existing residue. This should remove any sticky residue from the tabletop. 
4.] SAND
Here's the labor portion. You want to use a palm sander and 80 grit sandpaper to make sure the wood is completely down to raw. You can see in this video what I mean.
5.] STAIN
Weatherwood released a new stain that can turn oak into a beautiful driftwood gray, called Light Oaking. This product can work on any wood, so it's incredibly easy to use.


6.] LIGHTEN
If you want to lighten the look, you can add a coat of White Maintenance Oil. It adds the look of patina and is just generally gorgeous. Simply brush or wipe onto wood, allow to sit 3-7 minutes. Then wipe off with a clean cloth. Or you can watch the video above. 
See how pretty and soft the white maintenance oil is? It's much more subtle than a paint product and really just makes the wood look sun-kissed.


For additional project looking to achieve the Restoration Hardware look, you can search our archives for tons of inpiration or check out this popular post below!


http://www.fromgardners2bergers.com/2017/02/diy-rh-reclaimed-gray-oak-table.html

I've also got a paint update for you guys! We are selecting our final shades for our The Furniture Paint launch, so keep your fingers crossed for me! xoxo

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