When I signed on as a new Design Associate, I was floored by how much information I had to absorb. There was the usual company-specific variety: computer systems, procedures, vendors etc. Then there was the product and design variety. This kind of learning requires a degree of holistic understanding and contextualization that you just can’t get in a few weeks of training. Not coming from a design background, it’s taken me several months of study and practice to build a basic foundation — and I still have so much to learn!
Fortunately, education is ongoing at R&B. We have frequent educational meetings — like 45 minute classes — that cover everything from furniture construction and new product assortment to problem-solving. Vendor visits also enhance our product knowledge. We work closely with domestic aritsans and manufacuturers who occasionally come out to our showrooms, giving us a rare opportunity to actually meet and talk with the people who make our products not to mention, invaluable insights into the subtleties of how our pieces are created. In addition to all the interactive learning we get to engage in here, there’s a comprehensive “library” of information at our fingertips — which we can access and study at any time.
With the roll-out of our new assortment, I’m hitting the books again — but this time I’m well armed. Bring it.