Meet the Kalalou family: Candace Patrick

In this installment of Meet the Kalalou Family, we’re thrilled to feature Candace Patrick. Candace has been with Kalalou for 3 1/2 years and has loved every second of it. As a customer support representative, Candace works directly with the customers that make the job so easy and delightful. She finds joy in problem-solving, alleviating issues, and making every customer pleased with their Kalalou experience. Candace enjoys binge-watching crime shows, spending time with her precious family, or planning the lives of her un-married co-workers.

Tell us about you and your role at Kalalou: Well you know my name Candace Patrick.  I work in customer service because helping people is what I love doing most. I reside in Florence, MS with my husband of 12 years, Justin and our two daughters Jade 11 and Camryn 6.  We love the summer months when we can either do yard work or spend time at the creek with my parents, winter months are mostly spent inside as none of us like the cold weather.  I’ve been with Kalalou 3 1/2 years and as long as the doors are open I don’t plan on going anywhere.    


How did you first hear about Kalalou? Temp agency and I’m so glad I did!

Any office nicknames we should know about? Candyland or Cantdance – since they know I hate is when people spell my name incorrectly.

Where are you originally from? Crystal Springs, MS

Personal Style: Rustic, farmhouse, modern…I like it all really!

What do you like to do in your free time? Spend time with my family and binge watch T.V.

What was your previous work experience before joining the Kalalou team? I worked with finance  instead of products from a Loan Company to a Bank Teller before finding my new home here at Kalalou.

What special skills or traits do you feel you bring to the Kalalou Team? Well if OCD is a skill or a trait then that would be me.

What do you find most fulfilling about your job at Kalalou? I love the work but mostly I love my work family, they make coming to work everyday enjoyable.  I LOVE my job, not many people can say that.

What’s one of your favorite memories at Kalalou? When we had a power outage and got to spend a few hours getting to know each other even better than we already do.

Do you have any favorite style inspiration blogs, Instagram accounts or tv shows? T.V. shows!  I love to binge watch just about any show on HGTV. My most favorite is Fixer Upper of course!


Special thanks from all of the Kalalou family, to Candace, for your helpful spirit, attention to detail, and for always helping to make Kalalou a great company for our employees and our customers alike.


Spring / Summer Catalog


The new Spring/Summer catalog is here!  Don't miss out on the 450 new product entries... including the vintage antique scooter shown on our cover.


Thanks for another record breaking Atlanta show!! Everyone loved our pink flamingos hand-made in Haiti!! Go ahead, you can copy our look in your shop...we are even selling the vintage scooter...all you need to add is the sand!


 kalalou headquarters, jackson, ms

kalalou headquarters, jackson, ms

Do you see it?

Sometimes it’s challenging…. perhaps even obscured at times - by a world overcome with far too many self-serving agendas. But make no mistake, thankfully, it’s there!

In these waning days of 2017, many of us are still stretched pretty thin…. with so many tasks yet left to complete.  

But on this afternoon, fate has stepped in – I’ve slipped off to make good on a promise to a young man (my youngest son, Hayes).  So here we sit, nestled in a beautiful hardwood bottom overlooking the Big Black River in perhaps our favorite corner of rural Mississippi.  The weather is not cooperating, but the scenery, and company, are truly priceless.  As the afternoon slowly fades, and Hayes settles in for a nap – I can’t help but recognize that this was much needed therapy for my soul!  And in the serenity of the moment, I find myself reflecting back on this past year…. something I really wish I did more often. For it’s in this reflection that I’m able to find the balance, better yet, perspective, that far too often escapes me in the frantic pace of this life that we all lead.  And you know what? 

Beyond a needed self-assessment, I find clarity – I SEE it! I see it in every ounce of my mother’s actions – always making sure that everyone around her (even now) is taken care of – with never a “want” for herself. I see it in the relentless commitment of our team here at Kalalou – coming in early and/or staying late, helping the customer or teammate in the capacity needed, and with a cheerful heart.   

I see it in the retailer that puts their own personal needs/schedule aside and returns to the locked door after closing to accommodate a distressed customer. I see it in the many that prior to putting a single gift under their own tree, make it a point to secure a good Christmas for those on the Angel Trees. I see it in former Angel Tree recipients that remember what effect the kindness of others had on their holidays, and are now paying it forward by securing a great holiday for others that are less fortunate.



I see it in the simple sharing of an unexpected, kind word. “It,” simply put, is the unmistakable magic of the season….. it is love! And on behalf of our entire Kalalou family, this holiday season, may you - our valued customers and friends – count your blessings and revel in your own joys! We sincerely thank you for all that you do and wish you all the Peace, Love, Joy, and Prosperity that the season and New Year can bring!



In this installment of Meet the Kalalou Family, we’re thrilled to feature Ian Hanson. Ian has been with Kalalou for 4 years as a product designer and less formally as a pun extraordinaire. Originally from Jackson but having graduated with a design degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Kalalou couldn’t be more happy he is back to calling Jackson, MS home. As a product designer, he directly works with manufacturers to design the products that we produce whether it be via e-mail or flying to one of the locations of our manufacturers all over the world. When he’s not busy designing our next big hit product, he can regularly be found planning an exciting event in the Fondren area of Jackson, MS or trying to convince his girlfriend to bake him some of her amazing pound cake that we always hope he’s kind enough to share.


Tell us about you and your role at Kalalou.
Product Designer, Product Development Manager, Undisputed Champion of the Showroom Vignette

How would you describe your Personal Style?
Rustic Minimalism informed by Wabi Sabi and notes of early Americana

What do you like to do in your free time?
Cook, sample fine bourbons, and hold it down at my art and music venue in Fondren, The Flamingo [Find us on Facebook]

What was your previous work experience before joining the Kalalou team?
I was the Senior Graphic Designer at an advertising agency

What special skills or traits do you feel you bring to the Kalalou Team?
I’m a pretty good designer with an eye for emerging trends and I think most people really appreciate my positivity, candor, and unassailable sunny disposition

What do you find most fulfilling about your job at Kalalou?
Watching a product go from pencils to samples to the catalog is very gratifying. So is the Crack Pie Soft Serve at Milk Bar in Vegas.

What are your favorite places to travel while working for Kalalou?
Honduras is a gorgeous place. I’m also partial to the many fine eateries and sneaker stores of Atlanta, Georgia.

What’s one of your favorite memories at Kalalou?
I work with so many amazing people, I’d like to think we make cherished memories nearly every day. But if I have to pick one, I’ll go with eating in a little open air café in Haiti called the Artists’ Corner with Doug, Susan and Bradley. The sounds of live music from the bar mingled with the scents of grilled seafood as we sipped red wine. And then we were served grilled lobster tails the size of a full grown house cat. It was the stuff of legend.



Being a product designer, what’s one of the products you designed that you are most proud of?
I’d have to say our galvanized serving tray wine toppers, although no less than two of coworkers tried to take credit for the idea.

Favorite Kalalou Product:
Hands down, the ceramic pig bowl – a modern classic. It is to pottery what the Eames shell chair is to furniture.



Favorite style inspiration blogs:
Remodelista, Gardenista, SF Girl by Bay






Special thanks from all of the Kalalou family, to Ian, for all your creativity, hard work, attention to detail,
and always helping to make Kalalou a great company for our employees and our customers alike.







showroom chronicles


It is showroom set up season for Kalalou. After setting up Atlanta, it was supposed to be on to Dallas on a very strict schedule... but, the snow storm created havoc and gridlock in Atlanta. Thanks to Doug and our pilot Matt Couch, we got out... while Delta stayed grounded!


Meanwhile, back at headquarters, the rest of us arrived to this scene on Friday morning.  Snow here in Jackson, MS is kind of a big deal. Although schools and many businesses were closed, the team at Kalalou braved the streets so they could continue to pack and ship on schedule!

Thank you, Kalalou team!


Atlanta Gift & Home Furnishings Market
AmericasMart, Building 2 #1022
JANUARY 8 – 16, 2018

Dallas Home & Gift Market
DMC TradeMart #2050
JANUARY 16 – 23, 2018

Las Vegas Market
Las Vegas Market, Building C #604



Dear Valued Customer: 

Having just  completed the last of the 2017 summer markets that Kalalou will  participate in, we wanted to extend a heartfelt thank you. Your loyalty  and business are appreciated far more than you could ever  know, and on behalf of the entire Kalalou family, we ask that you please know that it is a sincere pleasure serving you!  

This summer’s  markets were among the best on record for Kalalou.  In fact, the Atlanta  and Las Vegas markets were record shows – and that’s covering a 30+  year history!  Just as surely as the excitement grows,  so do the changes within our industry.  And in order to remain not just  viable components of our industry, but impactful leaders, we must meet  these changes, and sometimes challenges, head on.    

One primary issue is  that of the increased shipping costs that our industry has seen over  the last several years, as well as those just recently announced by  FedEx/UPS.  Candidly, Kalalou has been faced with  a real need to adjust our shipping rates. This letter will describe  what changes are being made, give you tips, and inform you why changes  are necessary. With this information you can take advantage of current  rates and plan for future shipments.

Reasoning for and Description of Changes: For  the past 5 years Kalalou has operated from a very simple and easy  shipping rate plan that divided states into 3 zones and charged either  14% (zone 1), 16% (zone 2), or 18% (zone  3) of the wholesale order value for shipping.  As customers, you’ve  never had to worry about weights or dimensions – and we’ve maintained  the same shipping costs for 5 years.  

Moving forward, there will be an adjustment. 

While  shipping charges have NEVER been a profit center for Kalalou, there  comes a point where the losses incurred represent more than an  “acceptable cost of doing business”.  As  a result and in an effort to more closely align our shipping charges  with those of the actual costs we incur, it is required that our  zone/percentage policy be updated. 

In  keeping with the same program concept whereby shipping charges are  determined as a percentage of the wholesale value based upon zone  assignments, the shipping zones featured  below will become EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2017 on all orders placed on or after this date:   


As you can see from above:   

  • Some states experienced no change.
  • Most states will experience a 1% increase in shipping charges – which is the equivalent to a $10 shipping increase on a $1000 order.
  • A few states will experience a 2% increase in shipping charges – which is the equivalent to a $20 shipping increase on a $1000 order.
  • *=Shipping calculated on location of freight forwarder.

In every case, you can rest assured that we have taken every step to fairly appropriate the changes.

Tips to Save Money with Shipping:

Here’s some ways to take advantage of the early notice in shipping rates:

As it relates to Kalalou, take advantage of this notice and place any planned orders that you have prior to the 9/1 effective date.  Remember…you set the actual ship date…and we’ll honor the 14%, 16%, 18% so long as you get your orders in before September 1st!

As for your other vendors, you may find that many do not follow a percentage shipping model like the Kalalou uses.  In fact, many companies may more directly pass the shipping costs along to you.  And with both FedEx and UPS announcing new policies for the 4th Quarter that are guaranteed to increase shipping costs, you would likely be better suited to plan early and be prepared.  Our suggestion would be to get your orders to those vendors before these policies take effect. 

Even with these updates, Kalalou still presents what are considered to be very reasonable and fair shipping rates. These small changes are the first in five years. This fact speaks volumes into the consistency of our company. We hope you take advantage of this advance notice.

And please know that we genuinely look forward to your continued business with us.


Josh McKay
VP of Sales & Marketing

Meet the Kalalou family: Jill Cornette

In this installment of Meet the Kalalou Family we are very happy to feature Jill Cornette. Jill has been with Kalalou for 11 years, spending time in various departments before finally moving to her current position in Accounts Payable. She attended The University of Mississippi and moved to the Jackson, MS area shortly after graduation, where she soon began her tenure with Kalalou.

One thing that sticks out when talking with Jill is how important family is to her. “I am an only child and originally from a little town in North Mississippi about 45 mins south of Memphis.  I moved to Jackson after graduation to be closer to my then boyfriend (now husband).  I have been married to Justin for 10 years.”  Jill and Justin also have two children, a nine year old daughter and a two year old son. Jill says that family outings and projects are how she really enjoys spending her time away from the office.

“My husband has several antique cars he has restored, and in the spring and summer we will go to car shows with the kids. My husband loves antiques, especially antique cars. The kids both love to help him fix his cars in his shop.” Jill says that she enjoys these family road trips as a way to bond and at the same time help introduce her children to the culture of traveling and joys of supporting small businesses. “Whether it is a quick weekend trip to visit family or something farther away...  It’s always fun to explore a new city and check out the local restaurants. My husband and I both love to read up on eateries and shops before traveling somewhere and pick a few local places to eat; the ambiance is so much more fun than at a chain restaurant.”

Of course with all the school events and homework, traveling and arts and crafts, Jill is still just a country girl at heart. The kids love spending time outside and the Cornette family have made a home that suits them perfectly for this lifestyle. “I grew up way out in the country and my parents still live in the same place.  We have an old farm house on some land out in the county here.  I love not having neighbors right on top of us and plenty of space for the kids to run around.” And while she may be a small town country girl, Jill admits that she is not immune to some of life’s more modern indulgences. “I enjoy reading when I have time, usually autobiographies or romance books, but I also enjoy a good Netflix binge here and there.”

In her work at Kalalou, Jill has found another source of satisfaction, both personally and professionally. “I feel that I have learned a lot about the company in the 11 years I have been here.   I started as receptionist and a few months later moved to Customer Service.  I stayed in customer service for several years before I was asked to do Accounts Receivable.  I think doing Customer Service before I started Accounts Receivable helped me to learn the customer base well and know the types of customers we have.”

When asked about what she finds most fulfilling about working for Kalalou she attributes it to the Mom and Pop nature of the Kalalou business model. “It is great to work for two people who followed their dreams and built a company from the ground up over 30 years ago.  Doug and Susan (Williams) show great appreciation and respect for their employees and I think that is reflected in the productivity and atmosphere here.”

We also asked Jill for a pro tip recommendation of her favorite Kalalou product. “I am going to pick a product we have had as long as I have been here and probably longer.  The Glass Cylinders are still my favorite.  You can transform them for any occasion and they make the perfect centerpiece for any table.  I have given these for several gifts over the years and they have always been a huge hit.”


Special thanks from all of the Kalalou family, to Jill, for all your hard work, attention to detail, and always helping to make Kalalou a great company for our employees and our customers alike.


Meet the Kalalou family: Willie Franklin

In this installment of Meet the Kalalou Family we are very proud to introduce you to Willie Franklin. Willie heads up the Kalalou Returns Department, making sure everything is squared away to keep every customer satisfied. He has been married to his wife, Diane, for 26 years and is a father of three (Angela, Deirdre and Wayne) as well as a proud grandfather to eight grandchildren. Prior to joining the Kalalou Family 17 years ago, he worked as a factory employee for US Foods.

Willie likes to spend his downtime fishing, traveling with his family, playing with his grandchildren and working to keep his yard in tip-top shape. He feels the same traits that he brings to fishing, landscaping and family also help him in his job at Kalalou; dedication, hard work and always being on time. Not only is Mr. Willie a committed family man, he also hasn’t called in sick for a day of work in all his 17 years with Kalalou.

In the warehouse at Kalalou HQ, Mr. Willie is sometimes called “Chilly Willy.” He says he got this nickname from minding his own business and always being level headed. “I’m easygoing,” he says. “I know how to get along with everyone. I treat everyone the same, even if they are a stranger.” Perhaps this is why he can often be seen training new employees on safety procedures and proper machinery operation, helping to ensure a safe and productive workplace for his fellow employees. Mr. Willie practices patience and respect with his coworkers, knowing small contributions like that help make a huge difference in morale and efficiency. For him, the most fulfilling part of his job at Kalalou is the appreciation that he feels from the company when employees are rewarded with bonuses for hard work. “I have been working since 1977, and in all those years this is the best company I’ve ever worked for. Doug and Susan (Williams, owners), these are the best people I’ve worked for in my 40 years of experience.”

Mr. Willie will be the first to tell you that, while he is a loving family man and a dedicated employee, the reason he is so successful in those two areas of his life might be a little different than how it appears on the surface. Willie is not shy about his faith or his life experience, openly sharing with those around him that he was not always so fulfilled.

“I was a heavy drinker. I would have probably been an alcoholic if it were not for the Lord.” While traveling back from a concert over Labor Day weekend in 1994, Mr. Willie found himself in a dangerous situation and decided that it was finally time to confront his alcohol abuse. “It’s 2017 and I still have not taken another drink.” He credits this to a strength beyond himself, and encourages other who might be struggling with similar problems to perhaps seek the help of a higher power. “I’ve drunk my share, and for any person who has been going to rehabs, I would ask you to try Jesus.”

Mr. Willie also believes that the Lord deserves the credit for his success as a family man.

“My wife is a minister. Going to church together as a family, taking our children when they were little… But we met at nightclub when she was 20 and I was 24. So it had to be God to make it work.” 26 years and 8 grandchildren later, the gratitude is very clear in Willie’s voice as he shares these stories. When it comes to a happy marriage, he says, “I think it takes the Lord being in it.” Nowadays Mr. Willie likes to give back by working as a security guard at his church, Faith 4 Life Church, and helping anyone he meets who might be seeking a little direction.


Special thanks from all of the Kalalou family, to Mr. Willie, for all your hard work, and for your encouraging spirit, always helping to make Kalalou a great company for our employees and our customers alike.

Orley “the white, shaggy dog”

“You are bringing the dog aren’t you?” I asked Bradley when I called to check how much longer they would be.

“Well, yes…OK.” he said, adding “I wasn’t sure you were serious the other day, but I’m bringing him.”  I had called to see how much longer the design team would be as the sun was beginning to set and the clock was ticking for that perfect light for that perfect shot.

The week before we had found the Pocahontas Trading Company overgrown and vacant for decades.  The front porch would be the cover of our catalog with our products perfectly placed and of course we needed a white shaggy dog. “ Good grief…” I thought to myself. “I’m glad I called.” I couldn’t imagine the shot without Orley “the white, shaggy dog”. 

Everyone showed up and the light was perfect.  Orley behaved like one of those dogs that does commercials after extensive training.  But, Orley has never had any of that…no, he came that way…laid back, sensible and always with a smile on his face. He did whatever was asked of him…posing and holding the pose for as long as we needed.  Trust me the hardest part of this cover shot was deciding what photo to use…there were so many great ones! 

Things went so smooth, it was done and completed before we knew it. “Well, I guess that’s a wrap.” I said. And, with Orley in tow we all wandered over to the cute little diner next door for a beer.  We sat around a table toasting our great success that day with Orley laying under the table. Oh yeah, the diner allowed pets…we wouldn’t have gone otherwise.

— Susan Williams



  1. Loosen wing nuts, open as wide as possible, retighten wing nuts.
  2. Position table legs lying on their sides on the floor.
  3. Use length of table top to position desired spacing of table legs.
  4. Slide table top into opening at top of first table leg.
  5. Continue sliding table top into second leg opening until centered.
  6. Using two people, turn table upright, holding legs and top while turning.
  7. Push table legs outward at bottom until table top is securely seated.
  8. Slide remaining table top into legs on top of lower supports until centered.

       NOTE:  To relocate the assembled table, two people should lift by holding the legs near the bottom.


Holidays – Creating Traditions

 Ah, the holidays….always a special place in my heart! 

There truly is a genuine “feeling” that the season brings….friendlier faces, the incredible excitement of the children (and kids at heart) around us,  and the blessings of time well spent with cherished friends and family.  And while I love the parties, bumping into old friends, and finding that perfect gift for my sweetheart…. the spirit of the season is captured best for me around the dining table of my mother’s home.  It’s where I grew up…. where the décor is traditional…. some might even say, simple.  But the table is always festive, warm, and inviting to all!  To say I look forward to being there each year is a major understatement! And the sight of that dining table, featuring a fun, decorative flair, and the best aroma I’ll encounter all year – well, it reminds me of how hard “mom” has always worked to insure that the holidays were special for us.  It reminds me how much she genuinely loves us…. and how some of the greatest gifts of my life began right here at this table listening, learning, interacting, celebrating…..

Maybe…hopefully, you have a similar and special place like this in your heart for the holidays. 

But if you don’t already have a tradition of sitting down at the dining table – start a new one!  During this holiday season, it’s okay to put the diet down for a short period.  Go on and “gussie up” that dining table with some fun seasonal décor – our creative team has made tablescaping for a traditional holiday a cinch with this latest post!  Have fun with this and treat yourself and your loved ones to the greatest joy of the season – time spent enjoying one another!

—  Josh McKay,  VP of Sales & Marketing


More Tablescaping Ideas!

As was shared in an earlier post, Tablescaping has truly become an art form. But perhaps the truest sense of tablescaping beauty is that we each have the ability to define it, create it, enjoy it, and LIVE it!   

Like many of you I suspect, I one day fancy myself living a simple, slower lifestyle – enjoying sweet time with family and friends on the beach! I don’t know that such a day will ever become reality…but you have to dream it first, right? And in this week’s segment of holiday tablescaping, we went about creating art on our table - with a coastal flair! Who says you have to live at the coast to enjoy it? 

Take a cue from this incredibly light and airy creation, and share the inspiration of the coast with those most important to you!  It’s easy to do, and so adaptable.  Whether setting the scene indoors or out, this is the table you’ll not only enjoy this holiday season…. but the table you’ll come back to all year long! Pay special attention to the components and note how our savvy design team purposefully chose items (outside of Santa) that tell the waterfront story in a way that can be enjoyed well beyond the holiday season. Share this with your customers.  Show them how you are stretching their dollar, while beautifying their home and enhancing the experience of their guests. Your customers are sure to love this!

—  Josh McKay,  VP of Sales & Marketing

Click photos to view enlargement.

Tablescaping: An Artisan Christmas

It's Time To Tablescape!

Tablescaping has truly become an art.   We see it celebrated in grand style with every passing season – almost in a competitive fashion between designers and bloggers.  And many of their creations leave me speechless – as well questioning where we’re going to put the turkey! 

But it need not be a topic that builds anxiety!  Think about it – it’s simply a fun way to further the invitation and feeling of warmth to our cherished guests.  And there are countless ways to tackle this – from casual to classically traditional.  And that’s not just true of our homes – it’s equally as true for our shops!  If you’ve not yet incorporated a dining table (a small table is fine) or a faux mantle/fireplace in your store, give it some thought!  Most of your customers will be hosting family/friends for the upcoming holidays, and now is the perfect time to show them HOW to accent their homes in a fun, festive way.  Everybody wins when you make tablescaping a part of this season’s merchandising!

And to help….our talented design team has created a wonderful, whimsical look for your holiday table. The young and young at heart will delight in taking their special seat at Kalalou's fun, vintage, free-spirited Christmas tablescape. Your customers are sure to love this!

—  Josh McKay,  VP of Sales & Marketing

— Click photo to view enlargement —


Hello, everyone!

The leaves are just beginning to change colors and there is an unmistakable feeling in the air! It’s finally FALL — a wonderful time of the year filled with anticipation and promise! And for the Gifts and Accessories Industry, it’s the official kickoff to the holiday season!  Embrace all of the promise that the season has to offer by having an Open House! It’s not nearly as difficult as you’re probably thinking. In fact, we are confident that a Fall Open House event will become a crucial element to your 4th quarter business.  The idea is to create another period that mimics the increased traffic and sales volume of Black Friday.

We’ve helped a number of our customers hold successful Open House events — and we want to help you too! Seize this opportunity to capture some early holiday sales. Position your business as the exciting go-to store in town that is sure to bring consumers in before and throughout the holiday season.  You might just find that your Open House date represents your biggest sales dollars of the year.  So let’s get started!

—  Josh McKay,  VP of Sales & Marketing

Step 1 —  Set The Date

Picking out a winning date is key.  Check the calendar of events in your area and select a Saturday where the population in your area is likely to be at its highest. Consider the schedules of your state’s football teams and other national and local events that might impact your event (positively or negatively) and plan accordingly. If you are in a football town, take advantage of that increased traffic, but time the event carefully.

Step 2 — Plan Promotions / Giveaways

Generate excitement with well-considered promotions. Don't think of it as Giving Away The Store. Instead, view it as making a small investment to create an exciting environment that people will want to flock to.  Incentives create eager customers!

Be sure to work with your vendors who may have dollars budgeted to help with events. They may have deeply-discounted merchandise that you can purchase for the purpose of giveaways.

Promotion possibilities:
• Store-wide discounts
• Hourly drawings for gifts or gift cards
• Free gift with every purchase
• Enter email to win grand prize

Step 3 — Get the word out

Make it known that you've got a cool gig happening that no one will want to miss!  Create an email blast to invite all to your special event. If you don’t collect your customers' emails – START!

If you have a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account – use it (with imagery from the store) to spread the word about your event. Or go traditional and "snail mail" an invitation to your customer address list.  

Don't forget advertising in the local newspaper.  In many towns, the local paper still commands an audience.  Your presence in the paper not only serves as an invitation to your open house, but says that you are invested in the community. You will find that the most successful and coolest store in town is always one that is engaged and visible in the community.  Combined, these efforts will drive customers to your storefront!

If any of these marketing tasks are unfamiliar to you, ask your rep for help getting started.  After all, not only do they have experience in this, they’re here to help you!  And they can provide valuable feedback when you are planning an event.

Marketing options:
• Email marketing
• Social media
• Print
• Mailers

Step 4 — Create the experience

An Open House is like a party, so make sure your store has the party atmosphere!  You need to create an experience that appeals to all of the senses.  Along with well-merchandised, eye-catching, idea-inspiring displays, reach the customer with an inviting aroma and cheerful music. First impressions are everything!

Candles are fine, but the mouth-watering smell of fresh baked cookies is hard to ignore!   Make sure to have a nice display of appetizing treats and refreshing drinks for your party guests (aka shoppers). And for music…. try a playlist of light jazz tunes, but nothing overpowering.
Think about those places where you love to shop. What is it about them? It's probably because their service and attention makes you feel special and you can count on having a pleasant experience. That is the feeling you want to create in the hearts and minds of your customers!  

Event checklist:
• Create a festive atmosphere
• Provide refreshing drinks and tasty treats
• Offer attentive, friendly service
• Be prepared with extra help

Enter our contest:

To reward you beyond the incredible sales that you’re sure to gain, Kalalou would like to receive images, videos and stories capturing your open house event! One lucky winner will be awarded a $1000 shopping spree!  Submit your entry to sales@kalalou.  Good luck and have fun!

This Way To Success

Kalalou is celebrating our 30th Anniversary — "The Road Was Long And Oh So Sweet!"  In our Kalalou Tutorial Series, we want to share some ideas and tips we have learned along the way.  We're here to help.  Give your rep a call today!  And cheers to a successful pre-holiday and holiday selling season!

[Shop items seen on this page] 
[Contact our sales team]

A Postcard From Honduras

It's so good to be back in Honduras. We recently enjoyed a week of living and working in the small village of Sabana Grande at friend Holland's beautiful workshop. Being surrounded by its gorgeous sunsets and luscious foliage, it's hard to imagine why it's been so long since our last visit to Central America. The Kalalou Spring/Summer 2016 catalog saw a newly revamped collection of Made In Honduras accessories and you can expect even more offerings for Fall/Winter 2016. We love the earthy look of our naturally crafted river stone products and are excited to introduce a plethora of new clay pots and plant stands to keep up with the ever-growing house plant movement! Scroll through a few photos from our latest trip to Honduras as well as a few of our favorite selections from the SS2016 line.

The Life of A Kalalou Product


Have you ever been curious about the story behind a Kalalou product? If so, you're not alone. Our customers are always asking about our original designs and how we come up with them. With this blog series, we'll be shedding a little light on our creative process with step by step breakdowns of our product development.  It's a collaborative process where each member of the design team uses their specific talents to create some of our unique accessories. Join us as we take a peek inside the Kalalou think tank and catch a glimpse of how one of our original designs comes to life!


As with any creative process, inspiration is the first step. In this case, Ian, one of our full-time product developers decided to mock up a slight alteration to one of Kalalou's preexisting wall storage pieces, adding a metal shelf for mail.


Once the idea is there, then it's time for some visual brainstorming. Sometimes we'll go through several sketches and revisions of a design before we decide on the final look. In the sketches above, you can see a few different forms the design took on until Ian decided on the perfect form.


After the design is set, we scan in our drawing and color them in Photoshop so that our manufacturer can better visualize the product and its materials. It's at this point where dimensions and other specs are added. This is, of course, a key step. There's nothing worse than ending up with a 24 foot shelf when you ordered a 24 inch one!



Soon after that, there will be some communication with the manufacturer. Then, after a few tweaks to the design, they will send us a sample. This is the pass or fail moment for a product. Once we get to see the sample in person, our design team will discuss its merits and decide whether or not to include it in our next catalog.


Once the item is chosen to be in the line, our photography team takes over. We go through weeks of photography as we style and shoot each of our new introductions. It's at this moment that the product really takes on a life of its own!

Click here to shop the Metal and Recycled Wood Coat Rack with Organizer from the post!

MARKET TRENDS: Spring / Summer 2016

After a busy month of traveling to Kalalou showrooms in Atlanta, Dallas, and Las Vegas, our team likes to take some time to study market sales numbers. We're always striving to better cater to our customers, and looking at what was successful in the showrooms can reveal trends that help guide us when selecting the next big thing for Kalalou. Here are a few of our observations after looking over our top sellers from the three shows...

With our Oyster Shells, Military Canisters, and Bam Jam at the top of every "best-seller" list, it seems that natural and recycled products reign supreme for Spring/Summer 2016! Our new line of Oyster shell products was a huge hit. Customers love the unique look these nautical accessories provide, so definitely look forward to new variations on that line in the coming year. Our best-selling line of Recycled Military canisters are still ever-popular and the new smaller-sized bucket is quickly becoming a new Kalalou favorite. "Gifty" items always do well with our customer and this market season has shown that our Ceramic Gold Brick Bank and Bam Jam are still at the top of everyone's Kalalou gift list. Lastly, our cast iron wall hooks continue to be huge sellers, with our new Flying Bird and Cactus designs being the most successful (we just can't get enough cactus designs!).

Hopefully this list gives you a little insight into our process and serves as an indicator for where home accessory trends are moving in 2016. Contact your sales rep for a more extensive Market Top Sellers list.

Thanks to everyone who helped make our Atlanta, Dallas, and Vegas shows such a success. See you in High Point!

Spring/Summer 2016 Market Wrap Up

That's a wrap on our Spring/Summer 2016 market season! What a crazy three weeks it has been. After traveling to Atlanta then Dallas and finally Las Vegas, we are in awe of the customer response to our new collection. It was a blast kicking everything off in Atlanta with our 30th Birthday party and we'd like to say a special thanks to everyone who came by to celebrate with us. It was a heck of a party! As always, traveling to Dallas and Las Vegas is a special treat. We love the opportunity to meet our western and centrally located customers to get a better feel for how they use the Kalalou line. After a month of travel, it's so nice to be back home, but not for long! We're already gearing up for High Point Market (April 16-20). So if you haven't made it out to any of our showrooms this year, there's still one more chance to see the SS2016 line and meet the Kalalou crew! Thanks again for your continued support and here's to 30 more years!

Stay tuned to the Kalalou blog for our breakdown of best sellers from SS2016 market...

Celebrate 30 years of kalalou in atlanta!

The Atlanta Gift & Home Furnishings Market starts tomorrow! Join us in Americasmart Building 2 showroom #1022 as we celebrate 30 years of adventure with Kalalou. In addition to our usual market specials and giveaways, we'll be hosting a 30th Kalalou birthday party on Friday night. With free cupcakes and champagne for everyone, you won't want to miss it! And that's not all, we'll also be unavailing a new line of nearly 500 brand new products for the Spring / Summer 2016 season. See y'all there!

Where to Eat in the atl

One of the greatest perks of working for Kalalou is the travel. With each city we visit we always try to branch out and try new restaurants, hoping to find our next favorite. Atlanta market starts next week, so we decided to share a few of Kalalou's top eating spots in the ATL. We hope you get the chance to explore some of the city while attending market and if you have any can't miss eateries in Atlanta, leave us a comment!

Raku Ramen
810 Marietta Street

Located near the Georgia Tech campus, Raku is a quick taxi or Uber ride from downtown. If you like authentic Japanese style ramen, this quaint little hole-in-the-wall style noodle shop can’t be missed. Their prices are good and the Spicy Tonkatsu Ramen is some of the best I’ve had.


Park Bar
150 Walton Street NW

Park Bar is an easy walk from downtown hotels, located on the edge of Olympic Centennial Park, steps away from the ferris wheel. If there’s a game you can’t miss while you’re on the road or you just want a good burger, a cold beer and friendly service, check out this casual, reasonably priced spot.

Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall
684 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue NE

Located in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, Ladybird is a convenient drive from downtown or midtown Atlanta. With a large front patio and a respectable craft cocktail program, the self described mess hall is the perfect place to enjoy a meal or drink with a view of Atlanta’s new beltline - a well manicured green way for pedestrians and bicycles. While the food at Ladybird is on the pricier side, they offer dishes in an array of portion sizes and all of the ingredients are top quality.  The hanger stake in particular was quite delicious. And if you’re an interior design geek like we are, the minimal rustic chic of this space is about as cool as it gets. Ladybird doesn’t take reservations, so if it’s a weekend evening or a great weather day, go early or plan for a wait.

Side Note: Just around the corner from Ladybird is the Krog Street Market. The market features a collection of eateries and bars from many of Atlanta’s best known chefs as well as cuisines from Tex-Mex to Japanese.

N, 299 North Highland Avenue Northeast

BeetleCat is Ford Fry’s latest restaurant located in Inman Park and we are dying to try it out. Be looking for a variety of oyster offerings and shareable small plates with a nod to the sea. Casual environment and moderately priced.

Bar Taco
969 Marietta St

Bar Taco is another favorite of ours. This West Midtown establishment has a fresh and airy, latin vibe serving an array of creative tacos and small plates. And if you think Kalalou serves a great margarita, wait til you try the one from Bartaco.

White Oak

Conveniently located on Peachtree st in the heart of downtown, White Oak features an excellent selection of craft cocktails and a menu specially designed for enjoying multiple courses. Try the Lamb Meatballs or their unique take on Brussell Sprouts made with black pepper pork belly, before indulging in the Lobster Mac n’ Cheese or the Pork Chop. The White Oak features a beautifully designed interior, with an upscale, yet casual atmosphere. While you’re there make sure to check out the dessert menu, or ask one of their highly skilled bartenders to recommend a delightful digestif.


Bon Appetit!