Category Archives: Employee Spotlight

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.

Meet Linda | Scottsdale Lighting Specialist

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 Kevin | Denver Showroom Manager

kevin branumWhat is your past work experience/education?
Before joining the CAI team, I worked in retail in the Cherry Creek Shopping District. Prior to moving to Denver, I was in product development designing furniture and lighting for several different home decor companies.

Where were you raised?
I grew up in the Delta in Greenville, MS on the banks of the Mississippi River.

What is your most rewarding project, and why?
I would say my most rewarding project was helping a couple with their condo that they had lived in for a year. The husband never felt like it was his home. His wife and I worked for weeks selecting everything for the living room, dining room, and the master bedroom. Once it was all completed and installed, he said “finally, I’m home.” It was an amazing feeling that he felt that way over items we work with every day.

How would you characterize your design style?
My design style started out as leaning more traditional, but throughout my job experiences it has definitely grown to be more transitional and has a timeless look about it.

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 Taracea. The craftsmanship that goes into each unique piece is truly unbelievable. Also, since it is a family-owned company that has several different generations working together to make beautiful product shows how dedicated they are at growing and adapting with changing trends and styles.

What is your favorite color?
Blue.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I usually spend it playing with my three dogs. We have a lab, a collie, and a St. Bernard so they keep us pretty busy.

What is your favorite food?
Mexican food. I never get tired of it. I could eat it every day for every meal.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? Is there anything you do to get inspired when you hit a slump?
I think inspiration can be drawn from anything. You never know what might strike you.

Kevin can be reached at the Denver C.A.I. Designs Showroom at kevinb@caidesigns.net or by phone at (303) 282-8100 x6971

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

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.