Behind the Scenes with Bryan Kustic
Meet Bryan Kustic, a 20-year G|M veteran with a knack for all things service and warranty.
1. Tell me about your background and experience with G|M.
Well, I started here in the late 90s, so I’ve been here for 20 years. This was actually my first job out of high school. I was looking for a part-time summer job and my mom was working on a big project in Colton, Arrowhead Hospital, and they were just looking for some helpers to assist with trash, clean-up, stuff like that. So my first official job here was a “Helper,” but I learned a ton about furniture installation. I thought it was just going to be a summer gig, but they ended up hiring me full time as an installer. From there, I kept growing…became Leadman, then Foreman, then Service Tech, and today I am the Customer Service Manager and soon to be Project Manager.
2. 20 years, Woah, that’s a long time. What keeps you coming back to G|M every day?
I honestly just like it here. It’s comfortable, I feel valued and I genuinely enjoy coming to work every day. I enjoy working alongside our Service Tech, Diego, and it keeps me busy and challenged.
3. What are some of your primary responsibilities as a Customer Service Manager?
I handle service part questions, warranty claims, service parts, and small labor quotes. I also go out on the field sometimes when we need it, and I typically handle all Herman Miller Classic pieces as they require special care.
4. What is your favorite aspect of your job?
I would have to say working with Herman Miller’s classic pieces. I’ve seen some vintage pieces from 40+ years ago and I enjoy servicing and repairing them; its really cool to see older pieces and the history from that era.
5. Sounds like you really love Herman Miller furniture. Are you a collector?
I’d consider myself a collector on a small scale; I have a few pieces. I find used pieces online and sometimes when customers want to get rid of something, they will reach out to me and I will take it and see if I can fix it up. I have a couple of Eames Lounge chairs, a Nelson Bench, two Noguchi tables and a few other pieces. My favorite piece that I own is probably an older Eames Aluminum Lounge Chair Soft Pad with Alexander Girard Fabric from the early 70s.
6. Do you have a favorite Herman Miller piece?
I have so many, but right now, I would probably say the Eames Fiberglass Low Armchair Rod Base that Herman Miller just reintroduced. I really like the look of the Eames Fiberglass shells so I have a few of them at home and just need to get some bases. I keep watching to see when they LAR base becomes available.
7. That’s awesome. Did you get your love of Herman Miller furniture from working at G|M?
Yeah, I did. I remember when I was newer to working with G|M, I had to go out to service a Herman Miller Eames Lounge chair out in Palm Springs. This guy’s house was so cool, it smelled like cigars and he was so passionate and knowledgeable about Eames pieces. He shared a lot about the history of Herman Miller and the furniture that I didn’t know, and I would say that is when I started to take more interest in Herman Miller furniture.
8. Was that your favorite project?
That is one that stands out to be for sure. I’d say my favorite was Arrowhead Hospital, the very first one I ever worked on. Coming straight out of high school to working there at a big hospital with the guys taught me so much. It was cool to be a part of that.
9. Who or what has most shaped who you are?
Personally, my wife. She’s my biggest motivator and I just try to keep up with her. She is superhuman, very dedicated and hardworking. Not just with her career, but in everything she does. She doesn’t have one lazy bone in her body. She is a Civil Litigation Attorney and watching her go through law school and studying for the Bar exam was very inspiring. Professionally, several people at G|M have impacted me as well.
10. How long have you been married? Do you have any kids or pets at home?
We actually just celebrated 15 years! We are high school sweethearts. We also have a 4-year old daughter named Brylee.
11. What do you guys enjoy doing in your free time?
We love camping, and do that as much as we can. We go to Dumont Dunes by Las Vegas a lot and bring our dirt bikes. We also like going out to the snow and snow activities like snowboarding and skiing. We are both pretty active and like being out in nature.
12. If you could describe yourself in one word, which word and why?
Dedicated...I’ve been here for 20 years (laughing). And I’ll stay as long as they let me.
13. Favorite Food?
Beef Tartar! It’s not something I eat all the time, but when I do, it's such a treat.
14. Ok last question…we are all wondering…Why do you change up your look so much?
(Laughing) Actually, my wife’s mom had breast cancer so that is where the hair started. I typically grow my hair out then once it gets to 12-15 inches, I cut it all off and donate it. I’ve donated 7 times now. And the beard…well that is just sheer laziness. I look at it one day and say “yeah, I should probably cut it now.” My wife hates it (laughing).