Our History

Where does Bernini start? A small Southern California garden company has to have  come from somewhere like sculpting or landscaping. The reality is that neither of those professions gave rise to the brand. As a family of inventors strode into the fountain business in pursuit of curiosity. Founded by fifth generation inventor John Yeiser, the family history stretches back to the advent of the safety pin in the 1800s by George O. Yeiser. As part of this long tradition John similarly has brought innovation with him to Bernini and fountains as a whole.

Looking back, the heart of Bernini has always been in the garden, before it was even conceived. One of John’s earliest ideas was the Tom Green Thumb, a plant tender meant to do the tedious watering that can easily be forgotten. The careful attention that most plants require can be easily forgotten, especially by those that lack the mythical ‘green thumb’. For those that struggle to keep their plants alive, this was a great way to lighten the burden and make plant ownership easier. This green thumb grew more than just flowers as it sparked the passion for innovation within John. Seeing an idea through and making a dream into reality, quickly became the motivating force for Bernini.

Furthering the garden category another step, John and his team looked to the stagnant state of garden hoses. Rigid, heavy, and tangled most rubber hoses are plagued with a litany of these issues. When looking for ways to improve, the answer was found in a different world where lives are on the line. The fireman’s hose, their durable fabric lining and high water pressure inspired the original fabric flat garden hose. Then, just to make garden life and work easier, the automatic hose reel would do the tedious job of winding up the hose at the push of a button.

Originally, John and his team only began to explore fountains because no one else had made them work with rechargeable batteries. Garden fountains were typically a corded affair, limited to where they could go in the garden by how close they were to an outlet. On top of that, without careful landscaping an electrical cord would be seen slithering through the flower beds. With a rechargeable battery pack however, Bernini was born. Hand drawn, from the fingertips of lead designer Rick Henderson, the style was a mix of contemporary and classical. The success led to more questions of how to improve, as just having a first generation battery pack was only the first step.

With a proven concept, Bernini needed ways to move forward. Improving upon what was, the battery for better life, the material to be more durable, and the finish to make better faux stone. These were good, but they were not enough, this led to the team thinking bigger than before. Using new fountain tips to create water effects on the water spout was always a hit, but how do you make that bigger. Inspired by fountain shows like the Bellagio and others, Bernini brought fantastic water jets that shot more water streams than any other garden fountain. With 10 different configurations, it was the most diverse fountain design the company had ever come up with.

Bernini and its team didn’t stop however and they came up with an ingenious way to get more out of a single structure than just a single fountain. By using the individual locking parts, making each of those products multi-sided and ambidextrous. All of a sudden a single tier or tower can turn into two different styles. One side is classical with splashing spouts, while the other side generates a soothing trickle with a modern infinity pool. The 2-in-1 fountain is continually improved upon to this day by Bernini as the multifunctional nature gives their owner more creative options than any other fountain. Big and small, multi-use, and even solar powered, the Bernini fountains began to use solar charging to drastically increase the run time for every battery charge. At the core of all of these changes though is the wish of the customer, which drives the most crucial improvements. Bernini strives to create a product that feels made to order, we listen because we want to make your fountain.

Bernini continues to innovate the garden category even outside of fountains as just a few years ago John’s daughter had a light bulb moment. Fabric hoses always had an achilles heel, they could get punctured by sharp or abrasive edges. A simple response, “Why don’t we just make a hose out of metal?” With her idea in hand they got to work bringing the first Metal Garden Hose® to the world. Sturdy enough to last beyond any fabric hose, while still being lighter and more maneuverable than any rubber hose. This simple revolution has been incredibly useful, and the hose has only gotten better as more improvements get made. Like the flex-end watering wand, a semi-rigid extended hose nozzle that adds a degree of independence to the hose category. The bendable wand is flexible enough to be everything from a sprinkler to a gutter cleaner.

Elsewhere in the garden, Bernini’s team saw one of the most common tools the world over and saw room for improvement. Shovels, in many ways, have not changed since the bronze age and that is where the innovators at Bernini saw an opportunity. Using an ingenious slide action, they were able to generate an exponentially greater amount of force through the head of the shovel. This made difficult jobs like rooting, edging, and digging dense soil far easier than before.  With a snow variant, that takes advantage of a chisel to break away built up ice. Combined with a compact design and a sturdy finish the Mighty Power Shovel in all its variants is the latest innovation out of Bernini.

Joined by his daughter and his son the sixth generation of Yeisers are quickly bringing their own spirits of innovation to Bernini. As this family and team continues to grow and bring more creative ideas to all new ventures. The future may be just as bright as the illustrious history of Bernini.

Submitted By: Jack Yeiser - Marketing/Sales

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