Employee Profile: Sleep Expert And American Idol Hopeful!

Talk about talented! We know our Steinhafels employees are pretty awesome, but check out our newest Employee Profile: Julica Kelly.

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Julica is a Sales Associate at our Madison West Store. We are so excited that she is embarking on an American Idol journey… and it’s not her first time! Julica took the time to tell us a little bit more about her journey as a singer/songwriter, and how her musical background has also helped her in her role at Steinhafels

How long have you worked for Steinhafels, and what do you do? What do you like most about it?

I’ve worked for Steinhafels going on 5 months now, and I’m a Sleep/Bedroom Specialist. (The best title ever haha!) This is one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had apart from taking care of people with disabilities. Most people don’t understand how important the correct pillow and mattress is for a great night’s sleep. We sometimes have customers come in with MS or Severe Osteoporosis. We are able to literally change their lives with a TempurPedic and adjustable base. That’s my favorite part of my job–helping people!

How long have you been singing? What do you love about it?

I was singing before I was talking!! In first grade, I used to ask my teacher if I could sing a song for the class everyday at the podium. A little embarrassing when I look back on it, but it’s also made me realize that being an entertainer is truly always something I’ve wanted to do. There aren’t enough words to explain my love for music and singing.  If I could explain it at all, I love the feeling/healing music brings. It’s the best form of release and expression of emotion for me.

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What first got you into music?

My passion for music started at a very young age and has always came very naturally to me.  Michael Jackson was my first musical inspiration aside from my parents/grandparents. I used to put in a Michael Jackson VHS my father taped for me every morning as my brothers left for school. I remember the first time I watched “Man In The Mirror” by MJ I cried and cried. I was only 4 years old.  

What’s your favorite kind of music to perform?

I would consider myself a very open and diverse musician.  I love all genres and styles of music, but the music I write is more funk/blues/soul and some alternative.

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How can people hear you… do you play in any local bands, at local bars, etc?

You can go to YouTube or Facebook and search “Julica Rose Kelly Videos.” There you can find a lot of my performances new and old. I currently play in two different classic rock bands. One is called “River Rockers” and the other is “Hammer Down.” I sing anything from Gunpowder and Lead to ACDC in these current bands and we have so much fun jammin together! I also play solo gigs as well. I’m originally a musician out of LaCrosse, WI. I have performed at local bars such as Popcorn Tavern, Dells Bar, and many more in the LaCrosse area. Currently I’ve been performing at local bars in the Dodgeville/Blanchardville area such as Jeffery’s House of Foolishness and Rachel N’ Rays. I’m looking to expand and start performing at more local venues in the Madison area.

What is the hardest thing about being a musician?

Being a singer/musician can be a rough road. Some of the most talented musicians go their whole life without being discovered in the music industry.  I think the hardest part is having drive and keeping faith. When you work hard year after year perfecting your skill and chasing your dreams with nothing to show for it, it can become discouraging. I’ve realized over the years that no matter what, I’ve accomplished a lot as a musician and I will never give up doing what I love most regardless of any fortune or fame.

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How has being a singer and performing helped you be a better worker and salesperson?

People and communication skills are super important as a singer/musician. I think being a singer has helped me to accommodate to different types and styles of people. Then you are able to kind of mold to their personalities–for a better customer experience.

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I know you can’t tell us too much about the American Idol journey so far.. but what has it been like? What’s been the coolest and most nerve-wracking parts? (And what’s the next step?)

This experience so far with Idol has been exciting, emotional, rewarding and so much more. I made it to Hollywood (Top 70) when I was 19, and many of those feeling rush back that I had then.

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A lot has changed since I was 19. I’m a mother now, and I have a whole new outlook on life.  I’ve also had more time to work on my skills. I’m feeling more confident, and I’m ready to give this all I’ve got. As far as the next steps, I can’t say too much but there is a link to my Story on WKOW with more info on the next steps.

Thanks so much Julica for taking us along on your journey, and all the best to you as it continues!

Julica also has a GoFundMe Page to raise money for travel, hotel, and expenses to get to the next round.  

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!

screenshot_43Joell and fellow Manager Summer Barnes!