Q&A with Genevieve Trousdale of Circaphiles

With life finally getting back to normal, things are speeding up again and B. Viz has a lot of news and travel in the near future!

We are hosting an exciting event Thursday July 22nd (12 to 5p) introducing Los Angeles designer Genevieve Trousdale, the innovator behind the design community’s Circaphiles program.

After years of extensive global sourcing for A List designers and her own firm, Genevieve has put together a reliable, definitive platform that provides indispensable and vetted sources as well as templates for organization and procedures, etc. We are thrilled to be one of her vetted artisans and want to share her vision with our friends in the New Orleans area.

Genevieve Trousdale of Circaphiles and Circa Genevieve serves cocktails in a bright magenta gown  in front of a gorgeous emerald green tiled bar.

Rebecca sits down with Genevieve to talk design, experience and how to improve efficiencies in the biz..

RV: What is your background in the design business?

GT: As my first professional design experience under the respected helm of Gerrie Bremermann in New Orleans, she opened my eyes to an elevated and layered sense of design. Fun fact: I first laid eyes on B. Viz Design exquisite pillows while working at Gerrie’s shop. Being the gracious mentor she was, Gerrie introduced me to Suzanne Rheinstein in Los Angeles, where I interned for a summer and showed me how to manage the big city as a Southerner.  

After graduating from the design program at UGA, I moved back to Los Angeles determined to pick up on the level where I left off. Over the course of the next 10 years, I grew from a green design assistant/project manager at Michael Berman’s firm to a senior designer for Timothy Corrigan leading his design teams on complex projects across the globe.  

In 2016, I opened the doors to my own design studio with a very refined, worldly aesthetic with notes of my Southern roots. Sitting on a monument of knowledge, I finally had the eureka moment to create a platform to share it, so in 2020 I launched Circaphiles with a resounding “thank you” from the design industry.

A light and airy bedroom in shades of peach and cream as decorated by Genevieve Trousdale of Circaphiles and Circa Genevieve.

How did you get the idea to start Circaphiles?

Residential projects throughout my career required me to travel outside of California borders as well as outside of US borders. With this foreign territory and remote element thrown into layered and massive scopes of work, I quickly learned I needed to surround myself with reliable systems to survive and start building a database of trades in order to perform, deliver... and impress clients.

All of the travel was incredibly inspiring, but the biggest take-away was the development of essential systems and protocols from concepting projects, highly-detailed budgets the meet the strictest of business managers' standards, putting together presentations (which needed to fit into a certain amount of luggage and with weight restrictions!), designing and executing custom furnishings, billing and expediting, figuring the best way to ship items from all over the world, producing and maintaining timelines - not to mention the grand orchestra performances on installations. Can I get an AMEN?!

Circaphiles is a manifestation of all of these valuable experiences. It is a pro-active resource-sharing community for interior designers (and students) to find thousands of vendors globally for their projects, virtually network and continue their education.

“Circa” stems from my design firm, Circa Genevieve ID, and translates to being defined by a date or era. “Philes” translates to lovers of something in particular, or, in our case, our members and community. Together, “when you love something”.
- Genevieve Trousdale
A bright emerald tiled bar with a grand piano as designed by Genevieve Trousdale of Circa Genevieve and Circaphiles.

Why should designers join Circaphiles?

So. Many. Reasons. Most designers are artists first, which often means the organization and structures for carrying out their brilliant designs fall behind or are delegated to others in an unstructured way. Circaphiles’ goal is to get designers to stop reinventing the wheel and seeing other designers as competition.

If you are a solopreneur, you should join Circaphiles to have a community of like-minded designers to rely on and initially set up your systems for vetting clients, placing orders, budgeting, etc. You also need a way to keep your resources fresh for “wheelhouse” projects and out of your client’s google searches. The moment you get an exciting new project outside of your home base or your normal genre of design, you know exactly where to turn to get the resources and ask advice to knock the project out of the park!

If you are a seasoned designer with a staff, how are new hires supposed to know what trades to use for projects or how you would like your orders placed? Your staff can refer to the directory to pull products and assign trades for projects, ask other design firms how to handle challenges or if they have a recommendation for a specific vendor beyond the directory, as well as pull workflow templates on how to run all of your projects.

If you are a student in a design program, Circaphiles offers a special membership for you to bridge the gap between the classroom and your first job!

A beautiful vignette of a master bedroom as decorated by Genevieve Trousdale of Circaphiles and Circa Genevieve.

How do you vet your sources?

The (almost 6,000) resources Circaphiles already has in its directory have either been referred to me over my 16 year career or I have directly worked with them. For new resources, I personally have a call, in-person or Zoom conversation with the owners. We go through how they founded their company, their values, what they do when an order goes wrong (because we are all human), how they position customer service and how the process of making their products or, as a service provider, doing business with designers works. Circaphiles also takes steps to avoid listing companies that have filed for bankruptcy or have liens against their business. We do our best to make sure these aspects meet (and exceed) my standards upon which I’ve historically worked.


Photos courtesy of Amy Barnard Photography.

Interested in learning more? Head over to Circaphiles website or come by our New Orleans Atelier on Thursday July 22, 2021 to meet Genevieve.

Circaphiles logo, by Genevieve Trousdale.
Rebecca Vizard