DS Tip Of The Week: Getting Creative With Open Shelving

Last week we looked at filling an open wall space with large artwork. Today, let’s explore open shelving!

This week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week comes from Interior Designer Jenii Kluver. Jenii works at our Oak Creek store, and helps customers in the area create the homes of their dreams.  

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We love how creative Jenii is with her designs! She suggests, “If you have a larger wall that you are unsure how to fill up, use open shelving. I love to use this with my clients because it gives them an option to display more items at a time, while also giving them the freedom to switch it up much more often with seasons and holidays. Plus if they get sick of something displayed, they can take it off the shelf and replace it with something else they love!”

Our designers are hard at work on many more insightful tips for you.  Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

Meet Our New Guest Bloggers!

Here at Steinhafels, we love being a part of the blogosphere–sharing various design tips, furniture stories, and other fun and interesting posts with our readers.  We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy posting them!

However, we know it’s nice to hear a different voice sometimes.  We recently decided to join forces with some local design bloggers–to build new partnerships, and reach new readers who aren’t as familiar with us yet.

Meet “Mommy in Milwaukee” (aka Keila) and “Green With Decor” (aka Meg)!  You may already follow their blogs and social media posts.  Both women are very active in the Blogosphere, and we are so excited to be working with each of them.

Keila is a mother of three, with a background in the medical field.  You may have caught her first blog with us around the holidays.  You can read it HERE.

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Keila is passionate about fashion for the busy momma, family, raising bilingual babies, and design.  Keila came to our Corporate store in December with all three children in tow, and did an awesome job picking a bench and some accessories to go along with her holiday table setting.  We can’t wait to work more with Keila, and see those cute kiddos in the store again!

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Meg has a background in Public Relations, and started her blog in 2015.  She and her husband have already completed two major home renovations–one in Cincinnati, and in Milwaukee, where they live now.  Meg loves the color green, and wanted to somehow include “green” in her blog name.  Her husband came up with “Green With Decor,” and the rest is history!  Meg came to our store just last week and picked up a couple nightstands for her blog, which is fresh off the presses right HERE.  We love how Meg tries to incorporate the color green in all of her posts!

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We wanted to ask each woman a little bit about why she blogs, and why she’s excited to work with Steinhafels.  Here’s what they each had to say:

-Why do you like to blog, and what got you started?

Keila:  I enjoy blogging because it’s a fun way to stay creative! I also believe it’s a great way to share our voices for advocacy for support for our local community and beyond. I started blogging after I decided to stay at home with our oldest son, Gabriel. It quickly became a creative outlet for me and I’m so glad I started!

Meg:  I’ve always loved writing and interior design, and blogging is the perfect mix of the two. Even as a kid, I enjoyed going to open houses to see the layouts of different spaces and how others decorated. My husband Kalen and I have renovated two houses, and after discovering that others were blogging about their home projects, I decided to start a blog of my own. It’s been such a fun journey so far!

-What’s the number one key to creating posts that readers will care about?

Keila:  I think the number one key is to be yourself. I know it’s something we hear about often but I truly believe that being genuine makes a difference.

Meg:  I love to share decorating ideas and DIY projects that inspire readers to take on their own project. Whether it’s how to renovate a space to use it better, tips for picking out flooring or furniture pieces, or how to turn an old thrift store frame into something pretty, it’s fun to share ideas that readers can use to transform their home. Pretty pictures of our finished projects are always key, too!

-Why are you excited for this new partnership with Steinhafels?

Keila:  I love being able to partner with amazing companies like Steinhafels, that not only carry great products, but are also at the forefront of community outreach.

Meg:  I grew up with my parents buying pieces from Steinhafels and have always liked the wide variety of furniture Steinhafels offers. It’s fun for me to partner with brands I believe in and would share with my readers anyway, even more so when the brand is local. I’m excited to partner with Steinhafels to share gorgeous furniture options with my readers and inspire them to keep decorating their homes.

We are so excited to see what Keila and Meg come up with in the months ahead!  We will continue to explore practical ways that everyone–young professionals, first-time homeowners, renters, moms, dads, etc. can apply design tips to their own homes.

Be sure to follow this blog, along with our Steinhafels’ Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for links to all of our latest blogs and design tips.  Thanks for reading!

Behind the Scenes: Salvation Army’s “Toy Shop”

Steinhafels has been partnering with the Salvation Army for years to help collect donations for the organization’s annual “Toy Shop” holiday toy distribution event.  CBS 58 has also come onboard, and it’s been a great way for all of our organizations to band together to help kids in Milwaukee’s inner city have new toys for the holidays.

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We got the chance to actually walk through the Toy Shop at the Salvation Army’s Distribution Center on N. 60th Street in Milwaukee.  We got a behind the scenes look at what it’s like for local parents to walk through and pick out some truly awesome toys!

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The toy shop is a well-oiled machine:  “Sorters” organize the toys that come in, “Stockers” man the toy stations and keep them overflowing with items throughout the event, and personal “Shoppers” actually walk around with the parents and help them pick the best toys for their kids.

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The event runs three days:  Friday 12/16, Monday 12/19, and Tuesday 12/20.  Over the course of three days, about 3,000 families will walk through, getting toys for about 9,000 kids!!  Of course, this doesn’t happen without a massive staff of dedicated volunteers.  About 1,100 volunteers will work the event.  If you are interested, they are still seeking volunteers for the Tuesday morning shift.  You can find more information ONLINE.

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This was Berenice Aguayo’s first time at the Toy Shop.  She has three kids ages 6, 5, and 2.  She couldn’t believe the great selection at the Shop.  A little something for all kids.  She said, “My kids like everything.  My boy likes mathematics, and my little girl likes anything with bright colors.”

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Linda Chaplin was Berenice’s personal shopper.  This was her first time volunteering at the Shop.  The local mom explains, “I think it’s always good to step out of your comfort zone and help others.  The more you step out of your comfort zone and help others, the smaller your problems seem.”

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And the shopping experience wouldn’t be complete without dedicated Stockers like Ann Michaels.  This is her second year working the Toy Shop.  She learned about it through work, and says she’ll definitely do it again next year.  “It is fun.  It’s really great to see the faces of everybody, and the toys they get for their children.”

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Isn’t that truly what the holidays are all about?  While it’s great to receive gifts–it’s the smiles on kids’ faces and people giving of their time to help others that exemplifies the reason for the season.  Thank you so much to all of our Steinhafels shoppers who have donated toys and coats over the past few weeks, and all of our employees who make sure these various outreach projects go smoothly.

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Happy Holidays from our Steinhafels Family to Yours!

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Fun fact:  This is the 81st year for “Toy Shop.”  The Salvation Army has been doing a toy distribution since 1935!!

The Day Things Got a Little “Ugly” at Work….

Here at Steinhafels we have some of the hardest workers in the business.  It’s nice every now and then to let loose, get out the old scissors and garland, ornaments and lights… and let the creativity flow!

As you can see, the results got pretty ugly during our Corporate Office Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest.  This year was the 2nd go-around for the now annual event.  The first year saw 16 participants–more than double that number took part this year.

We asked organizer and Accent Furniture Buyer Jenny Kordus a few questions about this new office tradition.

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Why do you love ugly sweaters?

I love Ugly Sweater parties in particular because people get really creative, or pull out sweaters from the 80’s & 90’s.  Or borrow clothes from their moms.  So there’s usually a fun story behind everyone’s outfit.

How did this tradition begin?

My office decided last year to throw the Ugly Sweater Party at the last minute.  We had such a good turnout that we decided to make it an annual thing.  We love everything about Christmas – the decorations, the food, etc….but especially spending time with family and friends – in this case our work family!

How does something like this help build a spirit of teamwork?

Steinhafels is still a great “small” company, even though we are getting bigger and bigger.  A party like this brings people from different parts of the company together.  You can get to know someone you haven’t met yet, you can “razz” your friends, and it puts everyone (even Scrooges) in the holiday mood!  Even if you don’t want to wear a sweater, you can come and vote and enjoy the treats.  It’s an easy way to put a smile on everyone’s face for the day.

2016 Winners

Brightest: Anne Barforth

Best Homemade: Amy Swenson

Ugliest Overall: Amy Swenson

Now–start planning for next year–Jenny already has a list of categories!

Happy Holidays everyone.

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 HOLIDAY SWEATERS TAKE 2!

Our awesome Corporate Store Sales Team also had a holiday sweater party– complete with a potluck of yummy snacks.  We love to promote a professional, yet festive environment at our stores!!

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BLOG REWIND! Coats For Kids & Paying it Forward This Holiday Season

As Steinhafels and Fox 6 get ready for a new era of ‘Coats For Kids’… we look back on one of our most inspiring stories from last year.

We all love Vince Condella, but now that he’s retired, Meteorologist Tom Wachs is taking over!!  Tom and some dedicated volunteers will be at our Corporate Store in Waukesha on Wednesday, December 7, collecting your donations from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The first 200 people to come through the drive-thru donation line, and donate at least four (4) coats, will get one (1) pair of ticket vouchers to see the Harlem Globetrotters on New Year’s Eve (while supplies last).

No need to park or get out of your car – just drive on up.  It’s quick and easy, and most importantly, you’ll be helping kids right here in southeastern Wisconsin.

Now, let’s take a look back on our Coats for Kids Blog from last year… about a woman who truly took her donation to the next level!!

Yvonne’s Story (First Published 12/23/15)

Condella’s Coats for Kids‘ is a passion project that Steinhafels has been proud to support over the years.  The program is a community-wide effort to collect new and gently used coats for children in Milwaukee’s inner city.

Steinhafels has always been committed to community, so it was a no brainer to team up with Fox 6’s Vince Condella to help bring this project to a new audience. Each year the Salvation Army, Fox 6, and several other local businesses work tirelessly to make sure Coats for Kids is a success.

However, none of it would be possible without the fine people of Southeastern Wisconsin.  Hundreds of coats are collected every year–from Fox 6 viewers, to Steinhafels customers, and anyone else who is looking for a way to give back. Every year it’s humbling to see the generosity overflowing, just like the bins holding the coats!

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One of those generous people is Fox 6 viewer Yvonne Ondrejicka.  She wrote Vince Condella an inspiring letter.  We’d like to share a few excerpts of it with you to help you get in the holiday spirit!

Yvonne writes, “I just wanted to tell you about a wonderful event that my law firm, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. runs every year for employees.  It is called ‘Whyte Lights’ and each employee receives $100.00 in cash to ‘pay it forward’ in any way the employee pleases.”

Paul Eberle is the Chief Executive of WHD, where the Whyte Lights Program is in its 4th year.  He explains, “Simply put, it was the right thing to do.  Good companies invest in their employees as well as in the communities they serve.  They reinvest profits to support many of the underfunded nonprofits that provide the last safety net to the poorest among us. They donate employee time and talent to improve our schools, support our arts groups, and sustain critical civic organizations. By giving employees the opportunity to do something good with $100, Whyte Lights allows each of them to make good corporate citizenship something very personal.”

Yvonne goes on to write how she has always donated to Coats for Kids, but was disappointed this year because her daughters are grown, so she doesn’t have any extra coats. That’s when she had the bright idea to use her Whyte Lights money!

She says, “The next evening I went to 3 different Goodwill stores in my area (Waukesha).  I took my time at each one and found wonderful winter coats and vests in every kid size imaginable.  After the third store, I counted how many coats/vests I was able to purchase with $100.00 and I had over 20 items! … Last evening I went to the Steinhafels Superstore in Waukesha and brought in all 7 bags of coats.  People looked at me kind of strangely and asked if I brought all those bags.  I then told them the story of how they got there.  People were just astonished at the whole idea of an employer giving each employee money to ‘pay it forward’, and what a great idea it was to do this.”

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Eberle was thrilled to hear about Yvonne’s use of her $100.  When asked about it how it makes him feel, he says, “In a word, awesome!  Purchasing coats from Goodwill to help keep children warm this winter, while simultaneously benefiting the nonprofit, which provides training, employment and supportive services for people with disabilities or disadvantages seeking greater independence, was a wonderful way to spend $100.  Yvonne rocks.”

We are so happy Yvonne shared her story with Vince, and with us.  What a great way to take a little initiative, and turn it into a thoughtful and meaningful gift this holiday season.

If you have a story like Yvonne’s, let us know!  Feel free to leave a brief comment and/or contact info in the Comments section of the blog.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!!!

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