Employee Profile: Steinhafels Manager By Day, Country Star By Night!

We’re lucky at Steinhafels to be surrounded by wonderful coworkers with cool stories and various interests. When you have more than 800 people working for a company across 18 stores and two states, you’re bound to have some pretty interesting background stories!

While the main purpose of this blog is to share design trends, industry info, and community outreach… we also want to take the time to highlight employees who are making a difference, or have a unique story to tell.

One of those employees is Menomonee Falls-based Sales Manager Joell Powers. I recently learned that Joell lives a “double life” of sorts, and thought it would be cool to chat with her about that, and see how those worlds combine to make her an awesome Sales Manager.

Joell’s Double Life: Sales Manager By Day

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Country Star By Night!

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I always think it’s neat when people have interests outside of work that are vastly different from their work roles. While we spend 8+ hours a day at the office, in the warehouse, or in the store… it’s important to remember that we all have other skills and talents that make us a unique piece of the Steinhafels puzzle.

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Joell has been with Steinhafels for 4 years. She’s a Milwaukee native, and was recently promoted to Sales Manager. When she’s not working, you may see her onstage at a local festival or a local bar venue. She’s a singer for the local band Georgia Overdrive. They’ve already performed a few times at State Fair, and you have ONE MORE CHANCE TO SEE HER LIVE AT THE FAIR on Friday, August 11 at 11 a.m. at the Budweiser Pavilion Stage!!

Joell was kind enough to take a few minutes from her busy schedule to answer a few questions about her “double life.”

First off, briefly describe your role at Steinhafels.

As a sales manager, I focus on hiring new sales associates and coaching/training the staff to continue to reach for their goals. Overall, I help in any way possible to make our team stronger and help Steinhafels keep growing!

When did you begin singing/performing? What’s your vocal “specialty?”

The very first time I sang was actually at the State Fair, and I believe I was about 8 years old. It was at the Double K Ranch on karaoke night! I love to sing all types of music, but my main choice is country music. The band that I am currently with is Georgia Overdrive.

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By day you’re a retail manager, and night a country star! How are the two different? Similar?

Singing with a band is completely different from my job. I get to be silly and dance on stage and watch how people react to our performance. I did notice though that there are some similarities between singing and being a retail manager. My job is to make sure that people enjoy their experience, whether it’s listening to their favorite song, or getting delivery of their beautiful new living room set. As a singer, you are only as good as your band members. You must rely on them, and if we aren’t all on the same page, it will be a bad outcome. It’s the same thing with Steinhafels and working with the staff. We set goals and we work together to achieve them. I would be nothing without my band members or my sales associates!

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What do you like most about performing?

When I perform, I feel like I get to show a different side of me. I get to be a little kid again and just be goofy and dance. I remember dancing in my room singing in the mirror with my brush as my microphone. That’s all I’m really doing now, just with a real audience.

Are people surprised to learn you sing in a band?

So many people have come up to me and said, “I had no idea you could sing!” I laugh because it’s not something that I would ever bring up in conversation. I’m not just going to say, “Hey, did you know I can sing?” If I did, someone would probably say, “Sing something right now!” haha.

Is it cool to sing at State Fair?

Singing at the State Fair means the world to me. First off, it was the first place that I can remember ever singing in front of a crowd. Second, I’ve been going to the fair every year since I was little. My grandpa was part of the sheep shearing contests, and is actually in the Hall of Fame for it. You can see his name posted on a board in the sheep barn. (We are proud of that!) We’ve held family reunions there as well. Some might say that we are obsessed, but I just say we are passionate.

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Why should folks come out and see Georgia Overdrive at State Fair, and other local venues?

People need to come out to the State Fair because there is something there for everyone! You get to support local companies and farmers, eat great food, shop in the Expo Center, listen to all types of music, pet animals, go on rides… the options are endless! It’s a great time for all ages, and the best part is you get the enjoy the beautiful Wisconsin weather while doing all of that. Last thing I would say is to come out on Friday morning to see Georgia Overdrive perform at the Budweiser Pavilion. We’d love to see you, and hopefully get you out on the dance floor!

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I don’t know about you, but this post makes me want to get out of my desk chair and start dancing!

So… if you’re off Friday and looking for something to do, go ahead and get down to the Fair to see Joell let loose on stage. If not, you can check out the band’s future performance dates HERE.

Thanks Joell… for being a rockstar not only onstage, but also as a Steinhafels manager!

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Food Truck Thursday: Pig Tailz Owner Excited For Steinhafels Visit!

Thanks to everyone who has taken part in the food truck events at Steinhafels Corporate so far this Summer!

We’ve gone from BBQ to Burgers… and now, Tacos & Nachos. Pig Tailz MKE will be rolling in this Thursday, August 3 with all sorts of goodies on the go! Their slogan is Street Food by Street Chefs, because they enjoy cooking food that is both delicious and fast. As co-owner Jordan Stewart tells us, “What good is a food truck on the go, if it is not operating with both speed and precision?”  

The truck will be here from 11-1:30pm!!! 

Stewart says he is excited for this opportunity. He explains, “It allows us to connect with a different population of people who have never had the opportunity to taste our food. Pig Tailz may not be the super expensive food truck you are use to seeing, but our cooking skills and passion for food can be appreciated in every bite.  Between the two owners, there are over 30 years of food service experience. After taking a look at our menu, it will become clear that we enjoy creating food that is both delicious and always uniquely different.”

(All pictures courtesy of Facebook)

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Check out our special menu (Warning–Your mouth may start watering!!)

Mexican Steak Pita ($8.00)— Marinated Steak, lettuce, queso fresco cheese and pico served on a warm tortilla and drizzled with a Pig Tailz Chipotle sauce.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos (2 for $5.00)— Buffalo chicken, lettuce, shredded cheese and drizzled with ranch. Served flour on tortillas.

Braised Pork Tacos (2 for $5.00)—Braised Pork, BBQ sauce and southern coleslaw served on flour tortillas.

Steak Tacos (2 for $6.00)— Marinated steak, chimichurri sauce, queso fresco cheese and red onions served on flour tortillas.

D.T.E. Nachos ($7.00)—  Braised Pork, nacho cheese, giardiniera peppers, and a drizzle of BBQ sauce. Served on Tortilla Chips.

Buffalo Chicken Nachos ($7.00)— Buffalo Chicken, nacho cheese, giardiniera peppers, and a drizzle of ranch.  Served on Tortilla Chips.

The Rodeo ($5.00)— Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog topped with braised pork, BBQ sauce and grilled red peppers and onions.

El Chapo ($5.00)— Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog topped with pico, queso fresco cheese and drizzled with sriracha mayo.

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As usual, cash and credit card will be accepted.

A friendly reminder… This is not a company-sponsored event. Please punch in/out as you would normally do for your lunch break. Pig Tailz has been made aware that service needs to be as speedy as possible!

Folks on Facebook are raving about PigTailz! Check out what people are saying:

– “Best steak tacos of my life. First time having them was last night at 2am, might go back today for more!”

– “Yesterday you guys catered a car show my club held and not only was the food great but the service was AMAZING, the people working the tent all had great personalities, were helpful, and knew how to put food together in a way that resembled art. Also, I heard nobody complain about the food, prices, or portions. Keep up the good work!”

– “Outstanding tacos. Flavor explosion. Will definitely eat here again.”

– “Tried the pork, steak and buffalo chicken tacos… so awesome. Will definitely have it again when we come back to the Milwaukee area!!!”

See you outside on Thursday!

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DS Tip Of The Week: Fill That Wall!

Many of us worry about overdoing it when it comes to wall decor. Or we don’t want to bother with mounting a picture or piece of art on the wall.

Well… here’s the problem. Blank walls are BORING!

This week’s #DecoratingSolutions tip comes from one of our newest designers, based in Kenosha. Cecily Gaitan has her Associates Degree in Applied Science of Interior Design, and also have certificates for Fundamentals of Interior Design, History of Design and the Decorative Arts, and Sustainable Design.

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Cecily explains, “Filling a wall with artwork is a great way to bring color into the room, and doesn’t create a busy look. Nothing is worse than having a huge wall with nothing to fill the space.”

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She adds, “If you don’t like artwork or can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, use family pictures blown up in bigger sizes. This also creates a personal design specifically for you and your family.”

We post thoughtful tips like Cecily’s every week!  Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

And if you’d like to work with Cecily, you can email her at cecilyg@steinhafels.com, or ask for her at our Kenosha Superstore!

A Little Friday Pieday Fun… All For a Good Cause!

Who says you can’t let loose a little bit at a Corporate job on a Friday?

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It’s especially awesome when the fun is for a good cause!

Thanks to our Waukesha Sales Associates Katie Wolf-Daniel and Veronica Hilgart for organizing today’s “Pie in the Face” contest.

For $1, employees were entered in a raffle to throw a pie at one of their beloved employees (several of them “higher level” employees ;)).

The victims: John Haas, Maddie Wray, Fred Schweinert, Jimmy Eagle, Lynda Malmberg, Mike Pizzala, and Ben Schroeder.

All of the money will go towards “Miss Cynthia’s Back To School Bash.” This is the Corporate store’s 2nd year taking part in this school supply drive, which helps kids in Milwaukee’s inner city. (The bash is Saturday, August 26 at the 2500 block of N. 38th Street if anyone would like to attend!)

Here’s a few comments from some of the good sports who took part.

John Haas: I felt I’d give the opportunity for one of my staff to get me… and they eagerly participated.

Jimmy Eagle: I did it for a good cause for charity, and most of all to compete with Haas.

Maddie Wray: All for a good laugh on a Friday afternoon… cuz that’s how we roll at Steinhafels!

The pictures say it all…

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Thanks Haas for cleaning up!

Steinhafels Has a Starring Role–At The Rep!

Don’t let this blog’s title deceive you… none of the Steinhafel family members are getting on stage at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater anytime soon (although from watching all of our internal videos I can say they would do a great job)!

No, we’re sticking to what we know best, furniture. Steinhafels recently partnered with the Rep to help furnish the theater’s Donor Lounge. The Donor Lounge is a place where high level donors can relax, enjoy a complimentary beverage, and talk about the show with fellow donors.  

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Marina Krejci is the Rep’s Chief Development Officer. She says the old donor lounge was nice, but it needed a little love and updating. She explains, ”We were very grateful that Steinhafels was willing to partner with us to improve the donor lounge experience. It’s very important to the Rep. We have a lot of partnerships all over the community, and we would much rather work with local businesses than look beyond.”

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Steinhafels was happy to offer the Rep a deep discount so they could refurnish the lounge– including a leather sofa, 2 leather club chairs, several end tables, a couple floor lamps, a cocktail table, a buffet, and 3 lamps!

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As you can see in these pictures, the lounge almost makes donors feel like they are part of the backstage experience, but also has a comfort and sophistication the lounge was lacking before.

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Marina says they have received a lot of compliments on the lounge. She adds, ”I think the furnishings have dramatically improved the ambiance of our donor lounge, and we are seeing a lot more use of the donor lounge, and it’s just become a very inviting place for donors to enjoy the time before a show, intermission, or after the show.”

One of our managers, Terry Urban, even helped by suggesting the framed collages you see on the walls–displaying playbill covers from each of the Rep’s most recent Artistic Directors. There’s one for John Dillon, Joe Hanreddy, and Mark Clements–the Rep’s current AD.

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If you are familiar with the Milwaukee Rep, you know it is truly one of the premier theaters in Southeastern Wisconsin. The new season starts in September, and there’s something for everyone, whether you are the casual theatergoer, or a theater geek all the way!

You can check out the new season schedule HERE… and maybe you’ll even get to have a drink in the lounge sometime.

DS Tip Of The Week: Mixing Leather and Fabric

When it comes to interior design, it’s not just about colors and shapes. Textures are a huge focus for designers as well.

This week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week takes a closer look at why textures are so important, and how you can use your furniture to create a more 3-D, textured look.

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Jenii Kluver is an interior designer at our Oak Creek store.  She explains, “To create a fun look with lots of textures, try mixing leather and fabric furniture pieces. The leather can really show off the style you’re going for, while the fabric pieces can add pops of color and patterns, and create warmth. Choosing a sleek, protected leather can give a contemporary look… while a natural or distressed leather can give a rustic or eclectic look.”

Thanks Jenii–who knew mixing leather and fabric could look so good?! We post a quick and easy decor tip each Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

 

DS Tip Of The Week: Creating Your Bedroom Sanctuary

With all of the hustle and bustle of today’s world, sometimes we just need to take a step back and as Aaron Rodgers once said, R-E-L-A-X!

This week’s Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week focuses on finding serenity… in our own home.

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Beth Kealy is a designer at our Menomonee Falls store.  She has a simple but important tip when it comes to creating a relaxing space. Beth explains, “Bedrooms are often our sanctuary. To make them that way consider adding interest–bright colors, pillows & beautiful bedding, an accented niche, or headboards made from non traditional items.”

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A variety of these elements are pictured, and show very different, yet eye-pleasing results. Be creative and group colors and styles that work with each other, and play off each other to create your perfect haven.

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So take the time to relax, and enjoy your bedroom as a place to relax, not just collapse after a long day! Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

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Show Us Your “La La Land” Contest Winners!

Steinhafels is really excited to see our relationship with the Pabst Theater Group continue to grow and thrive.

In case you missed it, earlier this year one of our designers redesigned the Pabst Theater backstage area. You can check out that project HERE.

In the more recent months, we’ve taken part in various contests with the Pabst, to help promote the art of live entertainment in Milwaukee.

Our most recent contest was “This is our ‘La La Land’ – What’s Yours?!” We used social media to engage customers and theatergoers, asking them to post a picture of their ‘happy place’ on our various social media channels… for the chance to win a pair of tickets to La La Land in Concert featuring the MSO at the Riverside Theater. All they had to do was include the hashtag #steinhafelslalaland.

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Steinhafels feels it’s important for employees to feel engaged in these contests, so we held an identical internal contest as well!

We are happy to announce our two winners.

For the public contest we received some very creative entries, from sunsets to pets. The winner of our random drawing is Joanie Rothe of Menomonee Falls.

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Joanie says, “This picture is my happy place because Lake Michigan is so beautiful and peaceful, and it is a very special place for my husband and I.”
Joanie adds that they just saw the movie La La Land recently and loved it. She adds, “Being able to hear the music being played live will be such a treat.”

Our other winner is our own Kelly Lederhaus, one of the managers at our Greenfield store.
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This picture doesn’t need much explaining! Kelly says, “This is my backyard, one of my favorite places to relax by the fire in the summer. I have not seen the movie, but love musicals and I am very anxious to see it live.”

Thanks so much ladies for taking part. Enjoy the show!!
We’d like to share the rest of our employee entries with you, since they are so fun. It’s always nice to see what makes our coworkers tick. Check them out!
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Steinhafels Excited to Join in the Food Truck Craze

UPDATE:  The Double B’s food truck was a great success, with 100+ orders served in just a little more than 2 hours! The aroma of BBQ has been wafting through the office all afternoon, and employees seemed to really enjoy it. We even talked to a few people in the community who came to check it out. Here’s a few pictures. Thanks to all!

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ORIGINAL BLOG:  It’s no secret–food trucks are HOT right now! You can’t go to an outdoor festival, concert, or gathering without seeing various food trucks selling their wares. Pizza, tacos, grilled cheese, empanadas, pierogis, brunch, burgers, sushi… there’s not much you CAN’T get on a food truck these days.

That’s why Steinhafels is so excited to serve as the site for the Double B’s BBQ Food Truck this Thursday, June 22, from 11-1:30pm. All employees are invited to take part during their lunch period. (Cash and Credit Cards accepted)

Local community members and customers are welcome to stop by as well… the more the merrier! We see this as a great chance to get to know some of our neighbors in Waukesha/Pewaukee.

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Here’s the mouth-watering menu (Warning–don’t read if you haven’t eaten lunch yet!!)

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So don’t worry about packing a lunch on Thursday–let Double B’s do it for you! We hope to serve as the site for future food trucks throughout the summer.

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Thanks. Let’s eat some BBQ!

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DS Tip Of The Week: The Old Saying Is True–LESS is More!

Are you design-illiterate?  Do you feel like any time you try to improve the look of your room, you make it look worse?  You’re not alone!  Most of us don’t have a true eye for decor.  But there are some simple things you can do to make it a little easier on yourself.

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One of the aspects of design where people falter most is trying to do too much. Designer Dawn Adamec says the old saying is true–LESS is MORE! Dawn is part of the Steinhafels Decorating Solutions program, and is based in our Corporate store in Waukesha.  

Dawn explains, “Sometimes things don’t look that big in the store, but then you get them in the room and they are a lot larger than expected. It’s important to check the scale and size of furniture with the actual room dimensions before you make a purchase to avoid mistakes. Mistakes can add more dollars to your purchase with delivery pick up fees and restocking fees. If you do decide to keep it… it will make your room look overstuffed and uncomfortable.”

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We know you might want to fit in just one more piece.. but don’t be afraid to keep it simple! Our talented designers are constantly coming up with quick and easy design tips for you. Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.