Tell us about your past work experience | education:
Prior to C.A.I. Designs I worked at the Arizona School of Real Estate & Business as the Faculty Coordinator and Scheduler for 800 monthly classes and over 125 teachers among 4 campuses.
Before the school, I worked for local designers as Office Manager while I studied Interior Design at Scottsdale Community College.
For 10 years prior, I was in various administrative positions such as Office Manager, and Executive Assistant. However, I always had an interest in design which is when I took the leap into this industry.
I have also been a bartender for over 15 years. The industry has come a long way with craft cocktails and craft beer. It is a fun way to entertain guests or spice up a party.
Where were you raised?
Originally from Dallas, Texas; I moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1992. The weather was so nice and the town was very quaint so I finished high school and made it my home.
When the summer is too hot we just jump on a plane to the California beach for the weekend, or take a drive up north to the mountains.
In your opinion, what is “good customer service”?
All business is based on relationships with people. Helping people find what they need, or a remedy for a problem. Most people want to feel acknowledged and understood. In my experience, working together to solve the issue is what makes a great relationship prosper. People like to do business with those that make them feel important and that they have trust in. Efficient communication is how you build trust in new relationships.
How would you characterize your design style?
My style is very eclectic. It has changed a lot over the years. When I was younger I enjoyed contemporary, modern clean lines and simple design. More recently I have enjoyed the refinement of luxurious fabrics and incorporating Gothic, Tuscan, and Spanish influences; especially, with rustic woods. I appreciate every style for it’s unique qualities that give it a personality. I have a difficult time choosing one style because I love the feeling they evoke and the mood it sets.
What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is orange. It can be the color of flowers, the gorgeous sunset, or even a metallic copper. It is a vibrant, happy, warm color that compliments my personality.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to play golf. It has been a passion of mine for over 20 years. We have such great weather in Arizona that we can play year round. I enjoy being outside, and playing a mental sport that challenges me at every new course. I even got a hole in one within the first few years of playing which makes me want to get another.
I frequently travel, and enjoy the change of scenery as well as learning about new people and cultures. I have been to over 40 states, Canada and Mexico. My next adventures will be Hawaii, the Caribbean, and then Europe where I have family and friends.
What is your favorite food?
I love all food! I enjoy cooking and using my home grown vegetables. If i had to choose a favorite it would be Italian. In addition to being comfort food, it is very versatile and perfect to share with friends. You can easily accommodate a variety of diets and customize recipes to make everyone happy. I recently taught myself how to make pasta and pizza from scratch. What a difference it makes when it’s fresh!
What methods do you use to turn negative circumstances into positive ones?
Initially, when an issue arises there may be some tension to relieve. I try to listen to the person, and acknowledge their concerns. I reassure them that I am going to do everything in my power to resolve the situation to the best of my ability and that I am fully capable of handling it. If not, I am more than happy to involve my manager to escalate and have it resolved. I always recap the conversation so the client trusts that I understand all the facts, and follow up with a detailed email letting them know a status update when possible.
Anything else you would like to share?
I am thrilled to be working at the newest C.A.I. Designs showroom in Scottsdale. It is by far the most beautiful office I have ever had the pleasure to work in. It is very hard to have a bad day when you are surrounded by such gorgeous products.
If you are at the Scottsdale Design District, be sure to stop in C.A.I. Designs and say Hello! Contact Cara at (480) 565-3775 x6932 or firstname.lastname@example.org