Maker Monday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Alex Geriner

Each piece of furniture that comes from Doorman is carefully conceptualized and handcrafted by founder, owner, and creative director, Alex Geriner and his talented team of woodworkers. Located in New Orleans, the team at Doorman use salvage from Hurricane Katrina and other materials found throughout the Gulf South, making each piece extremely special and sustainable. Starting by making his own headboard, Alex has now created furniture for homes that can be found all over the world including China, Australia, and New York City. Introducing this week’s Maker Monday, Alex Geriner.

The Upholstered Walnut Crescent Bar stools are made from American walnut and have gorgeous teal velvet padding, which can be customized.

Andrew Joseph: What’s the best thing that happened to you this month?
Alex Geriner: Well….a lot of bad stuff happened to me and millions of others this month, so I’ll focus on the positive. My team and I are still working and building at the Doorman shop. No one’s been laid off and we’re incredibly lucky to have amazing designers and customers who are still willing to purchase our work given such uncertainty.

Andrew: First job you ever had?
Alex: Growing up I spent my summers in Pensacola, FL and I started my own boat washing business at age 13! Get this, wait for it…Reel Man Boat Washing. I’d wash charter boats after they came in from fishing and passed out flyers to advertise. My phone number was 723-REEL. There were lots of other kids vying to wash boats, and my dad would drive me to the marina hours before the boats would arrive back to the docks so I was the first one there when they pulled up. On a good day, I’d wash 5-6 boats and work until 2am getting everyone prepped for the next day’s trip.

Featured here is the popular Amelia dining table. It takes inspiration from handmade pottery.

Andrew: If you weren’t a designer/maker, you’d be a….?
Alex: A meteorologist! I love weather, the science behind it, and how weather shapes cultures around the globe. It’s all so fascinating. I’d love to be on TV explaining it to the masses. Make Weather Fun Again!

Andrew: What are you most proud of.
Alex: I’m a pretty modest person, but I’ll brag for a second. I’m proud of myself for trusting my crazy ideas. I started building furniture out of old doors that I salvaged from Hurricane Katrina flooded homes in New Orleans. Everyone thought I was silly and that I’d eventually move on to something else. Ten years later, my amazing team and I have built an online furniture company that spans the globe, with work on every continent, and furniture in 49 US states. I’m glad I stayed the course.

This is the Josephine Canopy Bed that is in a black metal. This bed was originally designed for The Henry Howard Hotel in New Orleans and carries both modern and classic French styles.

Andrew: What’s your favorite cocktail?
Alex: I call it a Britney Spears martini. Let me explain. It’s a dirty gin martini, on the rocks. Sometimes it’s hard to convey to bartenders how “dirty” you want it. So I use layers of Britney Spears to convey. Circa 2006, Toxic just came out, and we can all tell that something’s up with our Louisiana darling. It’s before she shaved her head, and attacked that poor car with an umbrella, but she’s been spotted barefoot in truck stops, slurping down bright blue slushies.

About The Maker | Alex Geriner is the founder, owner, and creative director of Doorman. Born and raised in southern Louisiana by a mother in the furniture industry and a father with a sharp mind for engineering. Alex had a penchant for building from a young age. After graduation from college in Mississippi, Alex returned to his home state and moved to New Orleans. With a limited post-graduate budget for furnishing his 1800s era apartment, Alex took matters into his own hands and decided to create his own. His first piece was an antique headboard, which he crafted from a five-panel door (hence Doorman) salvaged from a home flooded by Hurricane Katrina, inlaying the old growth cypress panels with ornate, 19th-century tin. Word spread and Alex began building and selling more beds, slowly growing his operation and expanding offerings to include a wide range of hand-crafted products, including, lighting, tables, chairs, and more. Realizing his unique position in being able to offer quality, stylish pieces that embodied the charm and grit of the Crescent City, Alex officially launched Doorman Designs in January 2013. Originally coined Doorman Designs, the brand is now just simply “Doorman”. Over five years later, encompassing a lifestyle and appreciation for American-made design, along with the various, emerging collaborations and custom projects Alex has in the works.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.