Category Archives: Employee Spotlight

Meet Kelly | Scottsdale Lighting Specialist

What is your past work experience/education?
I started my passion for interior design at the early age of thirteen. I always had a fascination for furniture placement and lighting. I started attending I.D.I for my certification in interior design. In 2009, I started working for Olivia’s Interior Design & Accents in Newport Beach, CA as a retail sales associate. As I started learning more about the trade and clientele, I moved up to interior design assistant and led lighting sales associate.

Where were you raised?
I was raised in Irvine, California.

What is your most rewarding project and why?
The most rewarding project I have worked on was a home in Newport Beach where we custom built indoor and outdoor furniture. We worked hand-in-hand with a high end client of ours that had multiple patents for Ford Motor Company. It was very rewarding to see the finished project and to have delivered exactly what our clients were wanting.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what are some of your favorite product lines and why?
Some of my favorite product lines thus far are Visual Comfort, Hudson Valley, Terzani, Lodes, and Hubbardton Forge. These are some of my favorite lines because I love the detailed work they put into their finishes and the quality of their glass. I love how some of these lines are custom to order and uncommon to see.

What is your favorite color?
Cyan.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
My hobbies include movies, baseball, football, and outdoor activities of all kinds.

If you could travel back in time, where/when would you go and why?
I would go back to the 70’s era in the United States. I love everything about that time including the music, clothing, and interior design.

How would you characterize your design style?
My design style is definitely modern and contemporary. I love items that have straight lines and very sleek looks.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Enjoy the little things in life for someday you will realize they were the big things”.

What is your favorite food?
Lamb with a bed of rice and veggies.

What is your favorite TV Series?
Too many to count. My favorites right now are The Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things, Law & Order, and Suits.

Anything else you would like to share?
I have a passion for traveling and love to be out and about as often as I can.

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

Meet L | Scottsdale Customer Service Representative

What is your past work experience / education?
Having an interest in interior design, I took a certification class at the Interior Design Institute in Newport Beach, CA. I also worked at two showrooms in the Stonemill Design Center in Costa Mesa, CA.

Where were you raised?
Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what are some of your favorite product lines and why?
I’m appreciating all of the product lines at C.A.I. Designs because there is a very nice mix of all different styles.

What is your favorite color?
I am drawn to all shades of green.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to bike the canals in AZ, entertain, try new restaurants and travel.

How would you characterize your design style?
Eclectic, I like a mix of old, new, different design styles and a lot of color.

What is your favorite food?
I love Greek food.

What is your favorite TV Series?
Yellowstone.

L can be reached in the Scottsdale showroom at lcowie@caidesigns.net or by phone at (480) 565-3775 x6932.

Meet Heather | Denver Lighting Specialist

Gary Sinise Foundation

What is your past work experience / education?
I started my lighting career about 6 years ago with Savoy Houses’ distribution showrooms. I spent a few years taking homeowner and designer appointments out of 6 different showrooms in North Texas and Greater Atlanta. I moved on to getting my American Lighting Association Certification and transitioned from outside direct to builder/designer sales. I would read electrical plans, assist with whole home selections, bid for large projects/subdivisions, and be on location for install. Because of my field experience, I have become very familiar with the technical side of decorative lighting, lighting code, and the residential building process in general. I was very fortunate to be able to attend the lighting market for the past 6 years in Dallas. I am proud to be able to use my experience to be an asset for C.A.I.’s designers.

Where were you raised?
Southlake, Texas.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from the diversity of lighting I come across in everyday life. I find that everywhere I go I am looking up at the lighting. I am especially excited for my honeymoon to Europe next year. I have always been drawn to the contemporary styles of European lighting designers.

What is your most rewarding project and why?
I am most proud of my work with the Gary Sinise Foundation. Being able to contribute to a smart home for a wounded veteran proved to be a very fulfilling experience. My father is a veteran, so I found this project very personal. I worked very closely with this Veteran and his family to make sure the lighting in his home met all of his needs, while keeping to a very small budget from the foundation. The end result left me in tears!

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what is/are some of your favorite product lines and why?
Hubbardton Forge and Visual Comfort have always had consistently amazing originality and quality. But more recently I have developed appreciation for more independent suppliers like Heirloom Lighting, who manufactures only in the USA, or Terzani, an Italian lighting company.

What is your favorite color?
Pearl Pink.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
What brought me to Colorado is its beauty. I spend my free time skiing, hiking, exploring. I also play piano and guitar and love to sing.

How would you characterize your design style?
I have always been drawn to very contemporary design. With LED integration, lights don’t have to be designed around a light bulb anymore. I am amazed with the innovation we are seeing now that we aren’t constricted to such a bulky light source.

What is your favorite TV Series?
The Office.

Heather can be reached in the Denver showroom at heatherh@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 | Troy 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 Troy showroom at tiffanyw@caidesigns.net or by phone at (248) 822-1300 x2370.

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 Specialist

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 Representative

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.