INTERVIEW WITH OUR SPONSOR: Robert Galland of Galland Homes
Q: Hello! Thank you so much for sponsoring the Home & Garden Expo and for your support of Relay For Life! Is there a particular reason you chose to sponsor this year?
A: I’ve participated in one form or another in the Home and Garden Expo almost every year since its inception. It’s an event I circle on my calendar and I have helped sponsor before. Most people have been touched by cancer in some form and its a disease we need to conquer.
Q: Have you been involved in other events with Relay For Life of Second Life? Have you been to a real world Relay?
A: I believe so, but because I work in the Home and Garden industry, this one sticks out to me most.
Q: Tell us what you’re bringing to The Expo this year. Especially about the items you created for Relay. Any other exclusive items you’re planning to release at the Expo?
A: You will have to see! 🙂 People can follow my teasers and releases at either https://www.facebook.com/GallandHomes/ or
Q: When did you first arrive in Second Life and what brought you to Second Life?
A: I signed up on October 18, 2006 in response to a Yahoo news story that ran that day. I have heard that date had the highest sign-ups for SL ever, but do not know for sure. I read about the working economy in the game environment and was fascinated I was going to flip land for fun and that evolved quickly into becoming a builder. I was amazed how vast the world seemed.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about how you’ve spent your Second Life, besides building and creating awesome products? Hobbies, interests.. things you’ve learned along the way ?
A: Like many creators, a majority of my time over the last eleven years has been spent on a building platform. Like most people, I socialized more at the beginning and explored. I flew in SL a bit. I did have a period where I co-owned a roleplay venue and found that I enjoyed that hobby in SL. As the years have passed, though, I have returned to my primary love and that is creating architecture.
Q: Tell us about more about your SL business?
A: I started Galland Homes as a venture in late 2006 and opened for business on February 3, 2007. I have always tried to use an interest I had as a child in forming spaces and creating architecture people will enjoy. I was the kid in that had the two-story clubhouse in the woods with a bridge to the treehouse in the apple tree. I’m amazed none of us were killed. 🙂 In fact, as a child I wanted to be an architect, but ultimately went down a different RL career path.
My focus in the earlier years was in creating large and luxurious houses with water effects that were most at home in canal/country club like atmospheres. I had a lot of early Tuscan and Hawaiian renaissance homes for example. I think with all artistic forms, what happens in RL has affected what art has been presented in SL. After the world’s financial troubles in late ‘08 and ‘09, you saw a shift towards people wanting more modest and cozy offerings and people were spending less on virtual land. I think that things are slowly swinging back, but a lot of my offerings now are more traditional craftsman family homes or southeast Atlantic beach style homes you would find in the Carolinas, Georgia, etc. I have felt a real pull to return to my roots and am excited to start developing some Tuscan and Mediterranean homes soon.
I participate in a modest number of events, but will be trying to find a balance this year with creating intermittently for events, but offering more mainstore shopping experiences. I think that customers still like the chance to come and tour a house in a setting that I can present at the Galland Homes in world store. I am enjoying creating and hope that in 11 years, I will still be going and be able to reflect on 22 years of creating houses in Second Life.
Q: Are you looking forward to Second Life’s new generation platform and will you also set up shop there? Do you have long-term goals for your business in Second Life, too?
A: I have had an account in Sansar since being invited. I have not done a great deal there or offered builds for sale yet. I will monitor the world and make offerings when I think the time is right. It really is a different world than SL and not meant to cater to the same person or purpose. I believe that for the time being, the financial incentive exists to focus solely on SL.
Q: Do you want to share a look at your life outside of SL with us? What do you or did you do for a living? Does your family support your SL aspirations?
A: I am fairly open about my real life to those who know me. I have a professional career and my own business in the real world too. My experience in SL made that possible as I did not have to rely on working for others to make ends meet as I transitioned into having my own rl business. My family has known about my business in SL since day one and, while they did not understand it at first, has always been supportive. I am a father of three, two of whom are under four, so I balance a lot and sometimes the SL work has to take a back seat, of course.
Q: Anything else you’d like us to know about you, or a special mentor, friends or someone who has really inspired your business?
A: There are a lot of people who have helped along the
way. Too many to mention and I would not want someone to feel left out. My earliest friends, Montana Laurasia, Zane Kleene and Cesta Bohemia, none of whom have been active for some time, were huge supporters of me early on. Some may remember JJ Lanes, the Caribbean furniture maker. Rory and Kris also were once valued partners in crime, but have since long gone as well. I now enjoy camaraderie with so many talented creators in and out of home and garden.