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.    

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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!

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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.

 

MEET THE KALALOU TEAM: Ian Hanson

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.

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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.

GALVANIZED DOUBLE BOTTLE SERVING TOPPER

GALVANIZED DOUBLE BOTTLE SERVING TOPPER

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.

CERAMIC PIG BOWLS

CERAMIC PIG BOWLS

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.”

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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.

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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

Meet The Kalalou Family: Morgan Stringer

Tell us about out your family.
I am the daughter of Chuck and Tammie Stringer of Jackson, MS. I am the only girl in between two brothers (which definitely works out in my favor sometimes :). Last year, I gained a sister-in-law and this May we will have the first baby of the family. I say she is the first baby, however, I got my little baby (my puppy) for Christmas this year from my boyfriend, James. He's a beagle, his name is Walker, and he has quickly become my favorite thing in this world!

Personal Style:
I would say my personal style is shabby chic with a Southern feel.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to be outdoors. In the summer, I enjoy spending time on the lake on the ski boat, jet skiing, swimming, bass fishing, you name it! In the Winter, I like camping and tailgating. I graduated from Mississippi State University and I love spending the fall tailgating and traveling to games.

I also really enjoy a good concert. My friends and I never pass up a chance to see someone we like live! I can't count the number of weekend trips we take to New Orleans or Nashville or where ever to see our favorite bands play.

What was your previous work experience before joining the Kalalou team?
Actually, Kalalou is the first full time position I have taken. I am the youngest sales rep on the team and came straight to Kalalou after I graduated. I did, however, work at C Spire Wireless as an Intern for a year during school. I learned so much from working in the telecommunications business and am grateful for the experience I gained.

What special skills or traits do you feel you bring to the Kalalou Team?
I feel that I bring motivation to the team. I am always very driven to succeed and I think that it brings a sort of determination with it.

What do you find most fulfilling about your job at Kalalou?
The relationships built with customers. I feel most fulfilled at Kalalou when I can help a person find that perfect piece to complete a look or that one gift that they've been searching for.

Favorite Kalalou Product:
The tilted pitchers. I love them for parties, showers, cookouts, etc. but also used as a vase for fresh flowers.

FAVORITE STYLE BLOGS:

Sincerely Jules & The Fashion Guitar



Happy 20 years, Dave!

Happy 20 years, Dave!

Today on the Kalalou blog, we celebrate Warehouse Supervisor, David Dixon! This coming September will mark his 20th year with our company and we couldn't be happier to have such a good-natured and hard-working guy as part of the Kalalou family. Dave gave us a little insight into his 20 years with the company as well as his thoughts on the future of Kalalou. We hope you enjoy getting to know this Kalalou All Star while also getting a closer look into what goes on behind-the-scenes here at Kalalou!

"To all my friends and family at Kalalou, current and past employees, I hope your journey has been as joyful and entertaining as mine. I look forward to the next stage in my Kalalou journey!"
-David Dixon
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Meet the Kalalou family : Kristy Moore

It takes a family of hard workers to run a company like Kalalou and we couldn't be prouder of the group  we've assembled. That's why we've decided to periodically feature a Q&A with one of our many awesome team members here on the Kalalou blog. This week, we're thrilled to introduce one of Kalalou's young stars, Kristy Moore. She's one of our full-time Regional Sales Managers with a sharp wit and heart of gold. We hope you'll enjoy getting to know a little bit more about Kristy and look forward to meeting the rest of the Kalalou crew!

Quote to live by: “Quitting doesn't enter my mind.” - Jimmy Buffett

What's the Kristy Moore story?  My journey started off in the 80’s in the great state of Alaska. I was born into a military family that spent a lot of time traveling the world. My biggest move was to Lubbock, TX where I became a proud alumnus of Texas Tech University! Wreck’em Tech! 

What was your previous work experience before joining the Kalalou team?  I worked at The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TASA) serving has the campus outreach coordinator developing a campaign for their program Sexual Assault Legal Services & Assistance (SALSA). I coordinated various community events and media outlets to promote their legal line.       

What special skills or traits do you feel you bring to the Kalalou Team?  Honesty, I’m not one to beat around the bush.

What do you like to do in your free time?  Giving back to the community is extremely important to me. Over the past couple of years I have worked with various Habitat for Humanity chapters building low-income housing. I have helped 14 families completely build their homes from the ground up.  

Do you have a nickname?  Krispy- like "Krispy Kreme"… my fellow Kalalou co-workers gave me this name!

How would you describe your personal style?  To understand my personal décor style you have to think "I Love Lucy" meets "The Big Bang Theory."

What do you find most fulfilling about your job at Kalalou?  It always makes my day a little brighter when I get a call from one of my customers with a great success story. I enjoy developing relationships with my customers and helping you guys grow your businesses to new heights. 

Favorite Movie: It’s impossible to have just one favorite movie! A few I like are: Norbit, The Help, Waynes World, Bridesmaids

What is your favorite Kalalou product and why?  The red butterfly chair is a personal favorite of mine! I use my butterfly chair has an accent piece in my living room paired with a cloth ottoman to soften it up. The pop of red really stands out next to my grey sofa.

antique gold pendant lamp with gems hand-stiched pillow - wolf with glasses antique gold pendant lamp with gems Iron Butterfly Chair / antique red tall recycled champagne flute Read Kristy's Interview

Meet the Kalalou Family: Meghan Newman

One of the most rewarding aspects of working for a company like Kalalou is the friendships that are built while collaborating with others. A company our size can often feel like a family, with each member doing their part as we work together to acheive a common goal. So, we thought it'd be nice to give you a "behind-the-scenes" look at Kalalou and introduce a few of our team members that help make all of this possible. We hope you'll enjoy getting to know us a little better!  

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Meghan Newman is one of our full time Regional Sales Managers. She is dedicated to working closely with customers, over the phone and at market, in order to find the right products that'll help take your business to the next level. We did a quick Q&A with Meghan and got to know a little more about her family life outside of Kalalou.

Quote To Live By: “God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow or sun without rain but God did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way”

Tell us about your family. I'm married to Matt Newman. We have our son, Cash Newman, who is 8. We live in Brandon, MS, where I grew up.

What do you like to do in your free time? Weekdays/Weekends consist of Cash playing in Baseball tourneys, playing soccer and football in the fall. When big events come up, such as birthdays or big football games, we enjoy entertaining family and friends at our house.

What was your previous work experience before joining the Kalalou team? Before Kalalou, I sold advertising for 6 radio stations in the Jackson/Metro area for 4 years. That's how I ended up meeting my husband Matt.

What special skills or traits do you feel you bring to the Kalalou Team? I enjoy encouraging the group with ideas.

How would you describe your personal style? I would say traditional with a twist of modern.

What do you find most fulfilling about your job at Kalalou? I enjoy decorating and love finding new ways to help our customers use our products. It's always great to see pictures, hear ideas, and share those ideas with others.

What’s a fun fact about you? My husband plays drums in a band (on the weekends) so I’ll go with friends to enjoy the live music.

Favorite TV Show: Wellll... I watch a lot of Bravo! Sooo as my husband calls it “all those women yelling channel”

Favorite Kalalou Product: One of our signature items, our glass cylinders, they truly are a stand alone product with so many styling possibilities. It's a beautiful piece and it was the the very first item I purchased when I started working at Kalalou almost 5 years ago!