Category Archives: Employee spotlight

Meet Linda | Scottsdale Lighting

Linda Peterson ALAWhat is your past work experience/education?
I fell into a job as a visual merchandiser at a lighting store when I was 19 years old. I have since spent over 20 years in the retail lighting industry, and am an ALA certified Lighting Specialist. I truly love lighting and interior design.

Where were you raised?
I grew up in sunny San Diego, CA and moved to sunnier Phoenix, AZ 26 years ago.

What is your most rewarding project, and why?
I think the first time I did a lighting plan from top to bottom was the most rewarding project that I worked on. It was amazing to see something I dreamed up become a reality.

How would you characterize your design style?
My design style is casual, organic, and whimsical.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what is/are some of your favorite product lines and why?
I love Hubbardton Forge’s contemporary chandeliers and am drawn to many of the fixtures from Curry and Company as well.

What is your favorite color?
Green, any shade!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to watch movies, read, listen to music, play tennis and jump out of airplanes. Okay, not the last one.

What is your favorite food?
Pizza. And ice cream. And birthday cake.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? Is there anything you do to get inspired when you hit a slump?
I am inspired by my beautiful surroundings here in the CAI Scottsdale showroom! When I hit a slump, I take a moment to be grateful for where I am and attack the project with renewed energy.

Any last words for us you’d like to share? 
I am thrilled to be part of the CAI family. I have never felt so welcomed in my life! I look forward to learning the business and pulling my weight as a team player.

Linda can be reached at the Scottsdale C.A.I. Designs Showroom at or by phone at (480) 565-3775 x6931

Meet Donna Fedor | Scottsdale Customer Service

donna fedorTell us about your past work experience:
When I was little, I would draw floor plans of my house and I asked my parents for a subscription to Architectural Digest magazine for my 12th birthday. When I was 13, I bought a leather recliner for my room with the money from my birthday. I wanted to go to school for architecture but ended up getting accepted into the engineering school at Boston University. I graduated with a BSEE and worked in the tech industry including healthcare and medical device strategy for a $16 billion design and manufacturing company. More recently, I ran the digital health practice at a boutique investment bank and ran corporate development for a healthcare IT start-up. When I moved to Arizona last year, I finally decided to go back to my true love of design. I’ve been taking a 12 month online interior design course. I met Dana at an ASID event and he offered me an internship. I’ve been working at CAI since last April as an intern 2 days a week and decided to take the CSR role part-time to learn more about the industry.

Where were you raised?
I grew up in New York in a town called Stony Point about 30 miles north of Manhattan, right on the Hudson River.

What is/was your most rewarding project and why?
I am starting my design career so I don’t have many projects yet. My first design project is a complete renovation of the second floor of a condo in the Bay Area. It’s been a fantastic ride so far. I love figuring out the style of my clients when they don’t know what it is themselves. I love when their eyes light up and they smile when I describe their style back to them.

How would you characterize your design style?
My personal design style is a mixture of modern with concrete, steel, and glass materials warmed organically by dark woods, textures, linens, hide, leathers, art and sculpture.

In your experience working at C.A.I. Designs thus far, what is/are some of your favorite product lines and why?
I love helping Dana and Claudia work with designers to find the right piece to bring their ideas to life. We have so many beautiful lines, it is hard to choose. I love Cisco Brothers for their elegant, relaxed look and beautiful linens; Interlude for their gorgeous acrylic benches; Palecek for their textures and petrified drink tables; Caracole for the simple beauty of their chairs and dressers; and Eastern Accents for their sumptuous bedding. But ask me tomorrow and I will have new loves!

What is your favorite color?

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Swim, hike, go to the gym, read, write, pet my kitties, relax with friends and my husband. My husband and I are writing a children’s book as well.

What is your favorite food?
Sourdough toast. Every time I went on long trips across the world, I would crave sourdough toast.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? Is there anything you do to get you inspired when you hit a slump?
I draw inspiration from my clients’ personalities, how they live and love, what is special to them from childhood and from special times in their lives. I love drawing inspiration from public places including hotels and gorgeous architecture. The world is a much smaller place and I enjoy looking at designs from around the world.

Anything else you would like to share?
It is never too late to follow your passions. Learn all you can from where ever you can. I look forward to helping our designer clients deliver beautiful pieces from our amazing vendors to beautify the world.

Donna can be reached by email at
or (480) 565-3775 x6932

Meet Claudia Clouse – Scottsdale Showroom Sales

Claudia ClauseWhat is your past  work experience/education?:
I was a dancer in Brazil and had always been drawn to Fashion, Arts & Design. My father became a carpenter later in life and he inspired me to appreciate artisans and the beauty of being a craftsman. I also like to travel and I am amazed how rich and diverse other cultures are.
I became involved in the field by “accident”- One of my neighbors was a manager for a furniture showroom in the suburbs of Chicago and invited me to take a part-time position. From that point on my appreciation and interest grew. I went back to school part-time after my son was born and have been working ever since.

Where were you raised?
I was born and raised in Brazil and lived in Sao Paulo until I was 21. The energy of a fast moving city still excites me!

What was your most rewarding project and why?
I just love to start a project with an heirloom piece, something that has been passed around. It’s inspiring to be able to build and collaborate with your client, to envision their dream home and to make that come to fruition.

How would you characterize your design style?
Definitely eclectic. Mixing Old World colors, shapes and fabrics with a new piece. I also love Mid Century Design.

In your experience working at C.A.I. Designs thus far, what is/are some of your favorite product lines and why?
I have just started to learn about our lines, but so far I love Interlude Home, Maria Yee, and Taracea. They are clean, chic and timeless. The craftsmanship is an art form and the sustainable materials are crucial for the well being of our planet!

What is your favorite color?
Colors from nature. Greens, orange/rust, eggplant…

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to spend time with my family, friends and my dog. Good wine, listen to Brazilian and Classical music and to read. Yoga, meditation, and Zumba.

What is your favorite food?
Anything vegetarian with different herbs and spices. I cook rice, lentils, and vegetables with lots of garlic and onions. I do love Japanese food too!

Where do you draw your inspiration from? Is there anything you do to get you inspired when you hit a slump?
My inspiration comes from the lines and the architecture from Turkey, Egypt, France, and Brazil. I look into nature if I hit a slump. Colors and forms from the mountains and the ocean. Or going to a concert/ballet/museum works too. I just watched Loving Vincent, it was amazing.

Claudia can be reached in person at our showroom in the Scottsdale Design District, by email at or by phone at 480-565-3775 x6933

Meet Dana Bryant… C.A.I. Designs Scottsdale, Showroom Manager

Dana IMG_0513

How did you get into interior design?

Being a self taught weaver and lover off all things art and textile, I had the blessed luck of meeting a most talented artist who had just returned from being educated in Paris. We created, wove, sold and shipped beautiful upholstery fabrics to interior designers across the United States, Canada and Mexico for over 15 years. I have continued to love the world of design ever since.


What was your most rewarding project and why?

That is really a very easy question to answer. All of them! Seriously, I get the same satisfaction in helping designers and their clients find the pieces that ultimately combine to create their perfect spaces no matter how big or small the project. Their happiness is my happiness!


Where do you see the interior design market going in the future?

Humans naturally want to be surrounded by beauty and furnishings that make them happy. Decorated cave dwellings and the stories of Josephine decorating Napoleon’s tents during long battles tells us this human desire has been around before man was even civilized, so it’s not going anywhere. Like most professions there is an art and an education to being an interior designer. The educated general public knows that an interior designer will ultimately save them money and create those beautiful environments we all desire but most cannot accomplish themselves. The direction the industry will go would require the purchase of a crystal ball.


Are their any insights or helpful hints you can share with designers when they are working with their clients on projects?

 Yes, two actually. The first rule of sales is to listen to your clients.

Secondly, manage client expectations. Giving clients realistic expectations of the products and process will eliminate a lot of misunderstandings and unrealistic demands.


What is your favorite color?

 I love White! White goes with everything; it is the presence of all colors.

Then secondly I love most all colors.