By: Mary Vance
When I was asked what I like most about working at Doerr furniture, the answer was easy - I get to help people find or create the home they want. Before I started working at Doerr, I worked for an international shipping company for 35 years. It was a great career but my only contact with our customers was by telephone. I would have to say that what I love about my job now is that I really enjoy working with people.
When I started working as a Design Consultant, at first I was overwhelmed by how much there was to learn about all the different furniture designs and the details about how each was constructed. I thought how will I be able to remember all of this information and help people find what they want?
I will never forget one of my first customers, an elderly lady who came in to our showroom to shop for a sleeper sofa. She was on a fixed income but wanted a sofa bed so that when her son came to visit her, he could spend the night. After explaining the difference in sleeper sofas, she decided to go with a Flexsteel sofa because found it to be the most comfortable and liked the fact that she could chose the fabric and pillows. But I remember vividly the dreaded look on her face when I asked her which color she would like it in. Once we chose a neutral color for her sofa, we began to look at fabric for the sofa pillows. As I started to lay out different colors and patterns, I saw she was intimidated by it all. But when I smiled at her and said, "Don't worry I will help you narrow this down,” her attitude immediately changed. In that moment, she actually started enjoying herself. When we moved from the solid, more muted colors to the bright reds and oranges, I could see she was having fun!
For the next two hours, we went through a range of possible colors and patterns for her pillows and had a wonderful conversation about spirituality. When I completed the order, I could tell how excited she was to be able to design and customize what she really wanted. It was a very special experience for me because not only did I feel I did my job, I also made a friend.
The other thing I love about working for Doerr is that every piece of furniture is different and there is something unique and special about it. Take my favorite, Theodore Alexander, every piece; from the brilliant collection of campaign desks that bring old world style into your home to the unique accessories, the detail is fascinating.
I can understand why there are so many collectors, who come to Doerr and get excited about the newest Theodore Alexander on display. I just purchased my first collector item, a pollard burl bowl with brass frog handles. The detail was so wonderful that my cat thought the frog was real. You know it is a work of art when you are proud to display it in your home.