Wayde King and Brett Raymer always enjoyed thinking outside the box for their wild aquarium creations — they just never imagined they’d be famous for it.
“Now, with the (television) show … we actually get to see our clients when we deliver the tanks, and see how excited (the final product) gets them,” says Raymer, who stars alongside King in Animal Planet’s hit reality show “Tanked.” “So it adds a whole new dimension to our work.”
“I love the animals, I love the people’s reactions, I love the challenges of building the aquariums,” King says. “They (the customer) want something … and when I can create that in a back factory and give them something they never thought they would have, it’s amazing.”
King and Raymer will appear both Saturday and Sunday as celebrity guests at the 14th Annual New Jersey Home & Garden Show, returning to the Atlantic City Convention Center on Friday, March 7, through Sunday, March 9. The three-day-long event features dozens of home and garden vendors, gourmet food and wine, free seminars and celebrity tips for do-it-yourselfers.
The Home & Garden Show features the latest trends in home design, including landscapes and outdoor living, pools and spas, home security and solar energy. Highlights this year include free seminars on a variety of home improvement topics, cooking seminars, complimentary wine tasting and an expanded art, gift and gourmet area.
The “Kid’s Zone” also returns this year, with special children’s workshops courtesy of Home Depot.
“Tanked” follows the antics of the two brothers-in-law at the helm of the largest aquarium manufacturing company in the nation, Acrylic Tank Manufacturing. Their 13,000 sq. ft. facility located in Las Vegas is known for producing larger-than-life and one-of-a-kind tanks, and the sagas behind the creations have made for a hit television show.
King and Raymer are scheduled to appear at noon and 3 p.m. both days, and will discuss their work, their design inspirations and how their show comes together. Both men will also be signing autographs and posing for photos throughout both days, they say.
“On the show, fans know that in the beginning, Brett is a little lazy and everybody kind of sees that,” King says. “So I’ll say, ‘I’m going to put Brett to work today.’ And he goes into how we got the show … and goes down (into the crowd) like a talk-show host, answering questions. (The crowd) asks about (characters like) redneck Heather, the general, and the prices of the tanks.”
“He goofs on me, I goof on him, we banter back and forth,” King says. “We want everybody in the audience happy, and we want to help the show out as much as possible.”
Megan Walker, show manager for the New Jersey Home & Garden Show, says this year’s show offers more variety than ever. In addition to adding the “Tanked” stars to the weekend lineup, the show now includes a small bike path to test out rides, courtesy of Tuckahoe Bike Shop.
“There are a lot more builders there — more than ever in the past,” Walker says. “That may be because people are rebuilding in the area after Sandy.”
Food and wine has also expanded this year, Walker says, with more offerings and cash-and-carry items attendees can take home, like gourmet dips and salsas. Seminars will include everything from water quality, courtesy of South Jersey Water Conditioning, to tips for lowering utility bills and skincare pointers.
Walker hopes the season’s wicked winter will help bring out more attendees than usual, anxious to get tips on everything deck maintenance to outdoor kitchens and barbecues.
“Honestly, I think people are just hoping for spring,” Walker says.