Behind the Box with Gaston Dominguez

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Ever wonder what's "behind the box" that holds your favorite new armchair or table lamp? Our Behind the Box series lets you meet the leaders at Wayfair making Home possible.

As we get ready to open the doors to our first-ever large format Wayfair store on May 23 in Wilmette, IL, we want to introduce you to the Wayfairan who will be overseeing the store’s operations: Gaston Dominguez, Senior General Manager. Gaston, the Senior General Manager of the Wayfair store, is ready to put his best foot forward, bring energy to his team and ensure the best customer experience possible. Learn more about his leadership style and what he will bring to the table in Wilmette, IL in the Q&A below.

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Can you tell us about your background and why you came to Wayfair? 
Over the past nine years, I’ve held various store leadership positions at Target, where I most recently led two store assignments as a Store Director for two high-volume locations in the north shore suburbs of Chicago. With previous experience in Customer Experience, Human Resources, Logistics and Operations and Store Remodels, I am thrilled to be a part of this project!

Being a native of Chicago, I absolutely love the city and all it has to offer – especially the food scene! After graduating from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, I made it a priority to move downtown amongst the skyscrapers with my dog, Scotch.

Wayfair is such an exciting brand, so when I heard about Wayfair’s desire to start their first physical retail location here in Illinois, I knew I had to be a part of it. I thrive on being both a creator, people developer and process operator, and it was natural for me to see this opportunity as the perfect fit. I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity!

As Senior General Manager for our first large-format Wayfair store, what are you most excited about? 
There’s so much to be excited about regarding this store! It would be difficult to cut the list short. However, the two things that excite me most are:

  1. Giving Wayfair the physical retail platform that will allow our customers to engage with the brand and see the innovations and experiences that set Wayfair as a top destination for all things home.
  2. The impact that our position will have for the Wilmette community, who have been so welcoming and wonderful. Creating a space for people to come together and support both each other and the community is a huge part of what it means to be a part of the Wayborhood: I’m excited to see that come to life!

It’s always so thrilling to be a part of the “first” of anything, and this is no exception with the excitement and visibility this store will provide across so many areas.


What do you enjoy most about your job and why?
I’ve always loved the people I work with when it comes to leadership roles. To have the opportunity to build a team, mentor/coach/develop them to thrive in this unique experience, and to see them celebrate all of their successes thus far, it’s truly a special thing to be part of. It doesn’t hurt to have an amazing employee discount, either.

Can you tell us about the store team and what makes them unique? 
The store team has been carefully selected to represent Wayfair and our People Principles that make this team unique. I couldn’t be more proud and excited for our team to interact with all our customers when we open our doors – they’re all truly passionate about advocating for each and every customer and engaged in making Wayfair’s first physical retail store as special as possible.

What leadership skills and/or qualities are essential in running a Wayfair store?
The principles of great leadership stay very much the same in my experience. You have to be a strong communicator, adaptable, hold high-expectations for yourself and team and maintain a consistent level of patience, empathy and relatability. Wayfair’s People Principles coincide with these qualities, and together, Wayfair has the opportunity to really set itself apart for developing and having some of the best leaders in retail! To run a project of this size, you have to embrace and continuously elevate yourself with these skill sets.

Do you have a tip or message for other leaders embarking on an endeavor similar to yours?
Give yourself grace and time to absorb information and process. As leaders in the same capacity, there’s a level of “perfectionism” that exists within all of us, not to mention a desire to have input with everything you think is the right thing to do. But when you are put in a position to be a blend of a creator and a people operator, you have to be okay understanding you won’t always have the right answers–and that’s totally okay! You’ll be learning as time flows and pivot more than you’re accustomed to, and you can be vulnerable with your needs. Wayfair is truly beginning something extraordinary, but it takes time and the answers to what the best processes are won’t come overnight.


Anything you want the local community to know as we get closer to our store opening?
Of course – the city of Wilmette has been so welcoming and wonderful in sharing their excitement with us joining their neighborhood! To all the folks in Wilmette and surrounding suburbs, know that we are so appreciative of your warm welcome and we share the same level of excitement you have in calling Wilmette home for our Wayfair store. We couldn’t have asked for a better neighborhood to have as a part of our history!

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I’m actually pretty introverted and love alone-time outside of work! At work, I get levels of energy that are unique to my position as a leader - I thrive on the energy of the team and I’m sure my team will tell you that I “come in hot” sometimes with humor, loudness and direction! However, when I leave work, nothing gets me more excited than kicking back with some good food, a good movie and my little white fluffy pup at my side.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? 
I have to have creative outlets, so I love playing guitar and making music/performing. As a kid, I had a passion for writing, so I’d love to get back into that - I love cooking up a good story! Maybe you’ll see me publish a novel in a few years–you never know! I also love traveling to new countries every year, and am an avid gym-goer.

What is your favorite Wayfair purchase?
I just purchased this new “smart bed” with built-in charging ports and lights and it’s a game changer! For someone who loves spending time before bed reading, reviewing news or watching TV, it’s been awesome to have the bed serve as a centralized location for storage, charging and visibility. The lights look really cool in a dark room as well for an extra stylish upgrade – check it out here!