Alex Geriner is a self-taught woodworker, furniture guru and the mastermind behind Doorman, an online company specializing in handcrafted custom furniture with Southern style, built with sustainable techniques. Geriner began his career by converting a hurricane-wrecked wooden door into a headboard for his first “big boy apartment” in New Orleans, back in 2008 — a project that he eventually grew into his local furniture business. Doorman now designs and builds artisanal wood pieces for homes, hotels and restaurants from here to Australia, giving new life to wood rescued from throughout the Gulf South.
Bon Vivant: How are you navigating the COVID-19 crisis (in business or personally)?
Alex Geriner: Both in business and personal life, I’m doing great. My family and employees are all safe, so I’m not complaining. I’m staying thankful for that. We have a great customer base that is keeping us busy.
BV: What creative methods are you discovering in order to continue to serve clients?
Geriner: My company Doorman is an online furniture company, so we’ve been creative with how to sell furniture remotely since day one. A few months before the pandemic, we rebuilt the Doorman website, released our new collection and shot all new photography. That’s been helpful in selling furniture online. We’re also very quick to respond to clients. Being clear and descriptive when we talk about our work is important, too. We send lots of photos, samples and videos to help better explain.
BV: Who or what is inspiring you right now and why?
Geriner: I’ve been taking lots of walks and long runs around town. I always notice something new, innovative and inspiring. Even in the midst of a pandemic, New Orleans looks stunning. With all the down time, listening to podcasts has been great. I’m enjoying the new ‘Chairish’ podcast with Michael Boodro and ‘Business of Home’ podcast with Dennis Scully.
BV: What is the most helpful piece of career or life advice you’ve ever received, where did it come from and why was it so impactful for you?
Geriner: The phrase ‘fail fast’ comes to mind, but I don’t know where I first heard it. It’s impactful because it reminds my team and me that we’re not perfect, and while we try to be experts at our craft, perfection is a long road with a lot of blunders along the way. We make mistakes, we learn, we reevaluate, and we move on. We don’t harp on a failure or let it get us down. We fail fast and try something else.
BV: Guilty pleasure?
Geriner: Always get that second scoop of ice cream!
BV: If readers did only one thing to enhance their interior, what would you suggest?
Geriner: Buy stylish furniture, of course! I’m kidding (sort of). I think rearranging the room is a creative way to change up the look of your space or investing in new or creative lighting.