Category Archives: Employee spotlight

Meet Randy| Denver Lighting Specialist

What is your past work experience/education?
I started my career in financial services and insurance. After my partner graduated Design School he started his design business and we were hired by a furniture store owner to do window coverings in his home. He liked us so much that he offered me a job in his store. My love of design helped me to do well and I was recruited by clients to join their new boutique furniture store. One day I asked, “What kind of lights do people use with this great contemporary furniture?” As a result, we went to Market and opened a few lines of lighting, which led to us abandoning furniture altogether. As a result, in 2001, I started selling lighting learning the industry from the ground up.

Where were you raised?
I grew up in Ft. Collins, Colorado and we moved to the Denver area when I went into Middle School.

What is your most rewarding project, and why?
In my capacity at YLighting, I worked with the Set Decorator of  Fifty Shades of Grey, among other film projects, who asked me for fixture suggestions, all of which made it into the films. Seeing my ideas brought to fruition was a great experience for me.

How would you characterize your design style?
My great love is Mid-Century Modern design. Using those clean lines as a base, I take the minimalist cold aspect of the style and warm it up with color, texture and restrained embellishment. Still clean and crisp yet warm and inviting.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what is/are some of your favorite product lines and why?
Obviously Visual Comfort is a favorite, not only of mine but also of our design clientele. Hubbardton Forge and Hammerton are always great because of their custom capabilities. Modern Forms and Tech Lighting are favorites for pushing the boundaries while making LED lighting that can work well in residential settings.  In furniture, Thayer Coggin is a huge favorite having sold them previously and always looking up to their iconic style.

What is your favorite color?
Blue of any hue

What do you like to do in your spare time?
My partner and I have a standing Pizza/Movie date for Friday nights and we are both avid music lovers. In my spare time I curate playlists on Spotify which have thousands of followers.

What is your favorite food?
Mexican food is my weakness. I was nearly 12 the first time I tried it and the memory is as fresh as if it was yesterday. Love at first bite, definitely.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? Is there anything you do to get inspired when you hit a slump?
My partner inspires me in many ways. Not only is his impeccable design style a source of inspiration, the fact that he NEVER complains no matter what’s going on has also taught me a valuable lesson. If I hit a slump, I remember to be grateful first of all.  Next, being Danish, I go back and look at works by my favorite Danish design stars like Louis Poulsen and Verner Panton to get my creative mojo working.

Any last words for us you’d like to share? 
Follow me on Instagram @LuxuryHomesStaging

Randy can be reached at the Denver C.A.I. Designs Showroom at randyj@caidesigns.net or by phone at (303) 282-8100 x6972

Meet Trevor | Denver Sales

What is your past work experience/education?
Both my mother and grandmother were interior designers turned entrepreneurs who started their own furniture showrooms. I grew up a child laborer taking out the trash and moving furniture during floor flips. I graduated from Catawba College which is just south of High Point. During college, I became familiar with going to the High Point market to assist buying for my mom’s showroom.

Where were you raised?
I grew up in Austin Texas so I’ve got a mix of city and ranch life in me.

What is your most rewarding project, and why?
Back in Austin, I had a designer who was chosen by Make-A-Wish to redesign a kiddo’s bedroom to be fit for a superhero. The child had been through several rounds of chemo and all he wanted was a bedroom filled with Marvel superheroes. The entire project was an ego check for me and the designer. We all have our own issues , but furniture is still furniture.

How would you characterize your design style?
I enjoy loads of bohemian color schemes surrounded by pieces that tell a story. I like the feeling of digging through an old crusty antique store for a conversation piece and knowing its going to live in a bright wallpaper-filled space.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what is/are some of your favorite product lines and why?
I love the versatility and customizing capabilities of Burton James and Taracea. Both are great lines managed by great people.

What is your favorite color?
Green.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
If I have a week off I like to backpack and travel. If I have a day or weekend off, I’ll spend time mountain biking, snowboarding, or hiking.

What is your favorite food?
Chicken Wings. Ribs is a close second.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? Is there anything you do to get inspired when you hit a slump?
When I hit a slump I like to talk with my close friends and family. They usually put my head back on straight.

Any last words for us you’d like to share? 
I had the opportunity to meet the extended C.A.I family at our sales meeting in Chicago. It made me appreciate how close this company is with their employees.

Trevor can be reached at the Denver C.A.I. Designs Showroom at trevors@caidesigns.net or by phone at (303) 282-8100 x6976

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 lindap@caidesigns.net 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?
Cream.

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 donnaf@caidesigns.net
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 claudiac@caidesigns.net or by phone at 480-565-3775 x6933