A Weekend in the Life of a Design Associate: Embracing the BUSY!

I know what you’re thinking: “Eileen, back in November, you gave us a look at a typical weekday in the life of one of your Design Associates. You promised you would follow that up with what the weekends are like for you guys in the Washington, DC, store. So far, no word. What gives?”

The answer is simple: The weekends here are crazy-busy! The couple of times I tried to take notes of my day, I threw in the towel by noon. About 1000 people stream through our doors on any given Saturday or Sunday. (Just picture that in time-lapse photography!) To thrive here, on the weekends, you must not only embrace the Busy, you really need to love it. I do. I like the pace, the buzz, the never-knowing-what’s-around-the-corner energy. One moment you might be handing out swatches and the next, meeting with customers who have shopped the catalog for year and have now driven for 2 hours just to see the furniture in person. We get hordes of parents pushing strollers, people with dogs on leashes (we’re very dog friendly!), families with children tugging at their parents sleeves to please see the kids department on the third floor. We have coloring books and crayons at a small table near the design center to occupy the little ones while their parents make fabric decisions. We try to limit floor-planning and massive projects to the week days, when there’s more room and time to spread out and it’s easier to focus. But sometimes floor planning and design happen on the weekends, too. We find ourselves selling gift cards, offering coffee or bottled water, recovering the showroom, putting in order after order, making exchanges, locating lamps, recovering the showroom, writing up quotations, explaining the construction of sofas, the natural characteristics of wood, recovering the showroom, coordinating fabrics and discussing their fiber content, etc., etc. And finally, when the customers have gone and the music has been turned off in the suddenly quiet showroom, we return every room setting to picture perfect. And then we gather on the first floor to leave together, and go home to our busy, busy lives.