STEP Ahead Award Received by CMG Member Angel Kraemer
“Do you know how rare you are as a CMG member? If only 5% of people can see the shifts in color the way I can, am I being too picky in my job? Then it hit me. No, I am not being too picky, it just verified, that I am exactly where I need to be.” — Angel Kraemer
Angel Kraemer has been a member of CMG for 4 ½ years and is the Lead Product Designer in Domestic Casegoods at Ashley Furniture Industries. As a designer, she reviews colors daily and is responsible for selecting materials and colors of wood grains, fabrics, metal finishes, and solid colors applied to the furniture. Her role has extended into merchandising all product categories of furniture and accessories, and Color Marketing Group has helped her coordinate and foresee colors and trends for both of her positions.
We caught up with her recently to congratulate her and her colleague, Edna Robinson, both from Ashley, for being honored at the STEP Ahead Awards in Washington last month.
The STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Production) Ahead Awards recognize women in manufacturing who exemplify leadership within their companies. This national honor identifies the best of the best women in the manufacturing industry, and further encourages women to mentor and support the next generation of female talent to pursue manufacturing careers.
CMG is a forum for the exchange of all things color, how does this color information empower your work?
Being a furniture designer limits my use of color slightly, due to the materials leaning toward a neutral color palette. The empowerment CMG’s forum has provided me with is the sharing of “how or why” the colors are emerging. This enables me to predict trends in all categories like home furnishings, home décor, fashion, accessories, textiles…etc. And, helps us design product for these fashion trends and align our furniture with the items consumer are searching for.
Share with us a color design project that you worked on where the right color made all the difference and why.
A project example where color made all the difference, is working with a gray wood grain. Grays can vary from a cool gray to a warm gray. While developing a bedroom collection, we worked with our material supplier and had them manipulate that color of the gray finish to be warmer. The reason for this was to capture a gray that complimented a cool gray color scheme and a warm brown color scheme.
By enabling the gray to work with both hues of warm and cool, it made the finish work with an array of accessories and that broadened the consumer’s perspective of the product. It is now in our top 5 sellers of bedroom product at Ashley.
Tell us about your favorite memorable fun color story or fact.
My most memorable story about color relates to my position here at Ashley. I spent time reviewing a color from our production lines with an engineer from our department. I ended up rejecting the color because it varied from our standard. He was a bit upset with me because he physically could not see the difference. He went back to his desk and researched color and how people see it.
This was great that someone that doesn’t make decisions on color daily was investigating this. He came back to me later and said “I researched color and how people see it after you did not accept the part from the assembly line. Did you know only 5% of people are able to distinguish colors the way you do?” That got me thinking. Do you know how rare you are as a CMG member? If only 5% of people can see the shifts in color the way I can, am I being too picky about my job? Then it hit me. No, I am not being too picky, it just verified, that I am exactly where I need to be.
Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.