Category Archives: Employee Spotlight

Meet Robin | Denver Lighting Specialist

What is your past work experience / education?
I have worked in lighting for about 6 years here in Denver. I went to The Art Institute of Colorado for Interior Design for a time. I also went to the University of Colorado and have a Spanish and Business degree. I ended up in lighting while at The Art Institute of Colorado and have never looked back!

Where were you raised?
Boulder, CO as well as Denver, CO.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
I think of lighting as functional art. Helping in the creative process to bring amazing lighting design to residential and commercial projects is a huge inspiration. I love how this industry is constantly changing and love working with other creative and design minded people!

What is your most rewarding project and why?
Too many to chose from! I’ve done many new construction custom homes. Those are very fun because you get to be part of the entire creative process with the designer and builder.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what is/are some of your favorite product lines and why?
My favorite line is Hubbardton Forge! I had the opportunity a few years ago to go to Vermont and visit their facility. The crew there are true artisans in how the lighting fixtures are hand forged iron. The quality is top notch and the designs they continue to come out with are beyond stunning.

What is your favorite color?
Turquoise!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have been an avid skier since I was three years old. I also enjoy travel, checking out a new restaurant. My goofier side loves to play pranks on my friends.

If you could travel back in time, where/when would you go and why?
I would probably not travel back in time but rather into the future!

How would you characterize your design style?
Simple elegance.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” – Bob Marley

What is your favorite food?
Sushi!

Robin can be reached in the Denver showroom at robino@caidesigns.net or by phone at (303) 282-8100 x6972

Meet Chris | Denver Showroom Manager

Where were you raised?
Dallas, TX.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
When it comes to design the person I find most inspirational is Paulo Mendes Da Rocha.

What is your favorite color?
Moss Green.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Let us be certain of who we want to be. Let us choose for ourselves our path in life, and let us try to strew that path with flowers.” – Émilie Du Châtelet

What is your favorite food?
Dim Sum.

Chris can be reached in the Denver showroom at chriss@caidesigns.net or by phone at (303) 282-8100 x6971

Meet Cameron | Chicago Furniture Customer Service Representative

What is your past work
experience/education?
I’ve made visual art my whole life, and growing up my parents renovated properties all over the country. Watching homes get gutted and then modernized showed me the practicality of my natural creative tendencies.

Where were you raised?
Roswell, GA.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
My peers, for the most part. I try to surround myself with people different from me, so I’m being constantly challenged with new and rewarding experiences. It also helps me look at the familiar with fresh eyes.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what is/are some of your favorite product lines and why?
Caracole. I love something flashy, something with a bit of drama, something to talk about. They have pieces that flow such that they have a greater sense of space without having more mass. I like that kind of elegance — large enough to seen but agile enough to suggest grace.

How would you characterize your design style?
Brutalist.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Study new typefaces, make pasta, tactile things.

What is your favorite food?
Capri Meatball Sandwich in Steubenville, OH

Cameron can be reached in the Chicago showroom at cameronc@caidesigns.net or by phone at (312) 755-9163 x7006

Meet Deborah | Chicago Furniture Specialist

What is your past work
experience/education?
I most recently assisted in the opening of the Natuzzi Italia showroom in Lincoln Park, Chicago. It was an invaluable study in clean sophisticated design lines with a color palette of Southern Italy with soothing qualities to bring to every home as we work, and gather for the important events of life. With a background in fine art, I approach design in the role of curator!

Where were you raised?
I was born in Washington DC, raised just beyond the Beltway in Maryland.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from my lineage of strong women in my family, every art museum lingered in, outsider art venue experienced plus the heart of the amazing city of Chicago through it’s diverse neighborhoods.

What is your most rewarding project and why?
My most rewarding project was the client who bought the furniture first before he found the home! We worked to create the energy of leathers and fabrics on pieces which provided respite and inspiration for his global profession. You can imagine my elation when the property was purchased and all designs worked!

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what is/are some of your favorite product lines and why?
I am excited to work with Palecek, bringing outdoor ease indoors and to rooftop gatherings! I love the textures and finish detail of each piece. Also, newly landed in the Chicago, C,.A.I. Designs showroom, Verellen. The snuggly Theo swivel, the look of covered dining chair legs brings a hushed elegance to dining. Can’t wait to pair them with sculptural dining tables of Phillip Selva!

How would you characterize your design style?
Transitional, firmly planted but looking forward.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
All things art. I am working with a photo vellum series layered with gold leaf. My children are currently on 3 different continents. We look forward to safe traveling to visit each other.

If you could travel back in time, where/when would you go and why?
Paris in the late 1800’s when it became a city of fashion, architecture and art. The international exposition changed the way we saw everything.

What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is the color of tumbled sea glass. Walking Oak street beach collecting pale greens and blues.

Do you have a favorite quote?
Trinity to Neo in the Matrix: “You’ve been down that road before…” paired with the slow motion frames of the movie where Trinity and Neo are in the back seat of the car as the back door swings open, a long telescoping look down a rain covered, deserted road.

What is your favorite food?
Right now, almost post pandemic, Small Cheval’s vanilla Amaretto shake sharing golden fries, one for me and one for my Dachshund, Will!

What is your favorite TV Series?
I thoroughly enjoyed The Crown!

Anything else you would like to share?
Please stop in and say hello when you are next at the Mart!

Deborah can be reached in the Chicago showroom at deboraha@caidesigns.net or by phone at (312) 755-9163 x7003

Meet Tiffany | Scottsdale Lighting Specialist

What is your past work
experience/education?
I was a licensed Cosmetologist for over 30 years in Michigan before starting in the lighting industry 8 years ago. I was forced to look for other income once the economy took a turn for the worse. I applied for a Lighting Consultant position at a company that offered extensive training in lighting. I was fortunate to train under someone who had been in the business of lighting and design for more than 30 years. I absorbed everything that I could pertaining to lighting and design and developed a genuine love for it.

Where were you raised?
Michigan.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
I find inspiration from training and educating myself as much as I can with the latest trends and lighting designs that are fun and functional.

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 because of the unique styles and the ability to choose any of their beautiful custom finishes with any fixture.

How would you characterize your design style?
Transitional.

What is your favorite color?
Yellow.

Do you have a favorite quote?
Albert Einstein’s definition of Insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

What is your favorite food?
Anything Mexican.

Tiffany can be reached in the Scottsdale showroom at tiffanyw@caidesigns.net or by phone at (480) 565-3775 x6937

Meet Micah | Scottsdale Inventory Specialist

Where were you raised?
Hawai’i.

What is your favorite color?
Black.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to spend time outdoors.

What is your favorite quote?
“Just that you do the right thing, the rest doesn’t matter -Marcus Aurelius

What is your favorite food?
Burgers.

Micah can be reached in the Scottsdale showroom at scottsdaleinventory@caidesigns.net or by phone at (480) 565-3775 x6935

Meet Julie | Chicago Lighting Showroom Sales

What is your past work
experience/education?
I have worked in the lighting industry for over a decade. My first job in high school was actually cashiering at one! I attended Illinois State University with a Business Major. My work experience has brought me through multiple design elements in marketing and sales.

Where were you raised?
La Grange, IL.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Social media and designers sharing their portfolio of completed projects with me. I LOVE seeing the “before and after” photos and the journey of all the hard working coming together.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what are some of your favorite product lines and why?
Currey & Co, Made Goods, Palecek and Visual Comfort. All of these lines provide truly one-of-a-kind products that make a statement in each of their collections. Lighting brings in a “wow” factor no matter how big or small!

How would you characterize your design style?
Transitional.

What is your favorite color?
Black – I like to keep it neutral and then add in pops of color!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Hiking, trying new restaurants throughout Chicagoland, spending time with my family and friends.

What is your favorite TV series?
Chopped on the Food Network.

What is your favorite food?
Cheese – I can’t go a day without it!

Julie can be reached in the Chicago Mart showroom at juliej@caidesigns.net or by phone at (312) 755-9163 x7005

Meet Carrie | Arlington Heights Customer Service

What is your past work
experience/education?
I received my Bachelors of Art degree in Fine Arts at Illinois Institute of Art- Schaumburg. I interned at a design firm then stayed with the firm as a Jr. Designer for 2 years. I then worked at Robert Allen for 8 years and Pindler for 7 years in Sales.
Where were you raised?
Palatine, IL.

What is your most rewarding project, and why?
My most rewarding project is helping designers select materials/fabrics for their presentations to clients. When designers are in the showroom I get to see what they are working on and I like knowing that I’m there to help when needed.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what is/are some of your favorite product lines and why?
Burton James, the furniture selections on the sales floor at our Arlington Heights showroom are wonderful!

How would you characterize your design style?
Traditional.

What is your favorite color?
Blue.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to go boating on Lake Michigan, camp, travel, do any water sport or even just sitting on the beach. I hike, read novels, ride my scooter when weather permits and hang out with family members!

What is your favorite TV series?
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Big Bang Theory and Friends.

Carrie can be reached in the Arlington Heights showroom at carriey@caidesigns.net or by phone at (847) 398-4785 x6763.

Meet Zack | Arlington Heights Inventory Specialist

What is your past work
experience/education?
I’m currently studying at Harper College, but I have worked for C.A.I. during my summers as a part time job to help inventory at the AH location. Working during the summers allowed me to have a good base for the Inventory position and hopefully I can fill the shoes of Ernesto as he’s been such an amazing worker here.

Where were you raised?
Arlington Heights, IL.

What is your most rewarding project, and why?
As a part time hobby I do video game streaming on the platform Twitch and have built a small brand and following in a short amount of time. I have worked my way up to be able to receive revenue from ads and people paying to be a subscriber to my channel.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from professional athletes from any sport due to their drive to always be better than they were the day before. I live by striving to be the best in my field and to never be satisfied.

How would you characterize your design style?
Comfortable, functional and fashionable.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what is/are some of your favorite product lines and why?
My favorite product line is Brownstone because of the sleek modern look of their products.

What is your favorite color?
Red.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Stream video games, hang out with my family, and hang out with my girlfriend at her apartment in the city.

What is your favorite food?
Anything seafood or any Asian dish. When both of those combine for a meal it is perfection.

If you could travel back in time, where/when would you go?
I would travel back to the beginning of the 80’s to experience Rock ‘n Roll at it’s peak.

What is your favorite TV series?
New Girl as it is extremely funny when I wasn’t expecting it to be. Top tier sitcom.

Anything else you would like to share?
I can’t wait to meet everyone working here and hope everyone has a great up and coming 2021.

Zack can be reached in the Arlington Heights showroom at ahinventory@caidesigns.net or by phone at (847) 398-4785 x6764.

Meet Logan | Chicago Sales Assistant

What is your past work
experience/education?
I studied Interior Design at Indiana University and graduated in 2019. I then moved to Chicago where I started working for
Haywoodmade Interiors as a Design Assistant.

Where were you raised?
Indiana.

What is your most rewarding project, and why?
Sourcing all furniture & lighting for a 3-story townhome in Lincoln Park at my last position. It felt especially rewarding because I got to take the lead and it felt more like my own project compared to others.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Observing all things design in my daily life, but also through photography and my favorite social media accounts.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what is/are some of your favorite product lines and why?
Regina Andrew, I love the materials used and the mixture of different elements and styles to make unique pieces.

How would you characterize your design style?
I’m drawn mostly to mid-century modern.

What is your favorite color?
Blue or green colors.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have two dogs that I spend majority of my spare time with. I enjoy studying astrology, refinishing old furniture, painting, and traveling.

What is your favorite food?
Strawberry Mochi.

If you could travel back in time, where/when would you go?
Probably the 60s – I like the clothing and interior styles of that time period.

What is your favorite TV series?
Stranger Things.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Following your heart is always worth the risk.” – Danica Gim

Logan can be reached in the Chicago showroom at chicago.admin@caidesigns.net or by phone at (312) 755-9163 x7007.