Behind the Scenes with Genie Caballero
Meet Genie Caballero, a Designer based in G|M's Riverside office with a love for all things furniture and space planning. We go behind the scenes as she shares her motivations and what makes good workplace design.
1. Tell me a little bit about your experience with G|M.
I started with G|M back in 2005 as an Account Manager Administrator and today, I am a Designer. I first heard about G|M when I was still in school for Interior Design. I had a friend who worked at G|M so she told me about the company and role, and I was hired on as an AMA like her. Over time, I evolved to working on E-Portfolio, which is our proprietary database that populates furniture options for customers. I helped to get it up and running before it is what it is today. I learned so much from it, I was like a little walking furniture catalog. Then, over time, they started the Furniture Planning Department and I started doing design and space planning. That grew to become our IQ studio team, so I’ve dabbled in a little bit of everything.
2. Can you expand on e-portfolio, for anyone reading this who might now know?
Sure. It is a database filled with up-to-date furniture options that can be filtered to suit the customer’s needs. So, for example, a customer comes to us and wants some task chair and lounge chair options at a specific price point and lead time, we can search our database with our 200+ manufacturers and pull together a few different options for them. It’s a really great and helpful tool!
3. What is your favorite aspect of your job?
I love workplace transformations. It’s really fun when customers go through programming and surveys, looking at the before photos and visualizing what their spaces could be. I also like the fact that we can make a difference in somebody’s day. Work is many peoples’ home away from home and oftentimes, people spend more time there than they do at their real home with their families. Furniture isn’t cheap, so I take my job seriously. When I have the opportunity to enhance someone’s workspace, I really want them to have a great experience and love their space.
4. How has it been working from home?
For me, it's been challenging. I have three kids – a 4-year-old daughter named Isla, a 9-year-old son named Dylan, and a 14-year-old named Brandon. My daughter has autism and one of my sons has ADHD so they both need a lot out of me and it can be very challenging and distracting. They don’t quite get the whole home-school thing either, so it’s difficult to get them to focus. My mom helps out a lot which I’m grateful for, I really don’t know what I’d do without her help.
6. That sounds tough. How do you manage to get work done under these circumstances?
I LOVE making lists. For myself and the things I want to get done personally and professionally, to-do lists for my mom and my kids. It helps us all stay on track and know what needs to get done next. I also have to be realistic when I’m setting my day and do my best to stick to it.
7. What is your favorite piece of Herman Miller furniture?
I love Eames wire chairs. I’d love to get my hands on one.
8. Do you have any favorite furniture pieces at home? Any Herman Miller pieces?
I have an Eames rocker that was gifted to me when I had my son Dylan (that is my favorite that I own). I have an Eames desk, a Setu chair, and a few other non-Herman Miller pieces.
9. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
It’s a little random, but my boyfriend and I LOVE going to estate sales and yard sales. We are literally obsessed. I have an app on my phone that has a map and we go to them when we can. We like going even if we don’t buy anything. The people are just so cool, they had the coolest taste in everything. Its like some of the houses are out of the modern classic era and you see furniture that you see in magazines. We’ve bought some pieces and fixed them up, reupholstered them. It's our favorite thing to do, we both have a passion for furniture. In addition to this, my kids are very into soccer so you could say I’m a “soccer mom”. We also like going on hikes.
10. What is something about you that might surprise people?
I’m a homebody. I just really enjoy being at home with my family. I’m an introvert and would rather be at home than at large social gatherings.
11. Who or what has shaped who you are?
Professionally, working alongside Meagan Boen and seeing her work ethic has been very inspiring. And personally, my daughter. She was born premature at just 1 pound. Experiencing that and the first 4 months of her life being in the NICU, learning how serious life can be, truly changed my perspective on life and who I am in many ways.
12. Do you have a most treasured possession?
Yes, I do. My grandma’s ring, it’s just a gold band. I was really close to her growing up and I just remember her always having it on. When she would cook, things would get stuck on it, I have lots of little memories like that, it just carries so much weight for me. I wore it around my neck when my daughter was in the hospital.
13. Ok, last question...coffee or tea?
Coffee! Black. I could drink it all day.