Steinhafels’ “Direct Designs” Furniture – It’s More Than Just a Slogan!

Here at Steinhafels, our Merchandising Team and Buyers are always looking for ways to bring you the best products, at the greatest value. We pride ourselves on carrying a vast array of styles, and staying on top of the latest trends, while still offering traditional pieces as well. As humans we are all unique, and our stores reflect that – offering something for everyone!


You may have noticed “Direct Designs” in our ads, and on signs across our stores. It’s not just a slogan – the title has true meaning to back it up. It’s a special branding we’ve had on many of our items for awhile, but we wanted to go more in depth into what it actually MEANS.


In a nutshell, “Direct Designs,” are a result of our buyers traveling across the nation, and the world, to find the best manufacturers. This eliminates the middleman and passes the savings directly to you, our customers.

One of the coolest things I’ve learned since starting to work here is that our buyers travel quite a bit – across North America, and even Asia, to develop relationships directly with the factories producing the beautiful goods we sell in our stores.


The two main furniture categories that highlight this aspect of our business are Upholstery and Case Goods (Dining and Bedroom). Elaine Haskey and Dawn Still are the lead buyers in each area, respectively. Thanks to these busy ladies for taking the time to explain just what we mean by “Direct Designs.”

The main idea behind “Direct Designs” is eliminating the middleman. Can you briefly talk about this, and why it’s such a good thing for us AND the customer?

“It’s good for the customer when we work directly with factories, because every dollar saved goes back into the quality, features and benefits of the product. In essence we pass the savings on to the customer, and that equates to more value. It’s also good for us because we have something that’s unique and available only at Steinhafels.”


Our buyers travel the U.S. and the world, finding some of the best deals and most unique items. Do you like that part of the job?

“Yes, traveling to the factories allows us to build relationships and tweak the product design, as well as communicate our quality standards.”

For Bedroom and Dining Room specifically, what makes these products special?

“The products reflect the latest trends and features, and we can bring these to the customer quickly.”


For Upholstered Furniture specifically, what makes these products special?

“The products feature higher quality materials: Better grade fabrics and leathers, generous padding around the frames, and the newest technology in reclining furniture.”

Pat approved DDSN 1429 Dover 231473909

As a buyer, is it a rewarding feeling to be so involved in the design and creation process of these items?

“It is a great feeling to be involved in the creation of furniture that’s up to our quality standards –  furniture that we would own personally.”

“Direct Designs” is selling well. Why do you think this is?

“When customers see our Direct Designs product, they quickly realize that they are getting a great product at a great price.”


I presume a lot of furniture stores have similar programs – what makes ours special?

“Actually, very few furniture stores in the nation have a similar program. For it to work, the company must be large enough to buy in quantity and negotiate great prices.”

Thanks Dawn and Elaine for giving us just a little peek into the process of picking the fabulous furniture we sell in our stores. Come check out our “Direct Designs” selection, today!


Steinhafels Employee Takes the “Honor” Flight of His Life

The nation will take time out to honor the brave men and women who served our country this Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11. It’s a proud day for our country, but also a day that brings back difficult memories for many of our nation’s finest.


Organizations like the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight are working to help ease the pain of those memories. The Honor Flight happens several times a year, and takes veterans (World War II, Korea, and Vietnam) to see their monuments in Washington D.C.

The day ends with a huge welcome home event at Mitchell International Airport. Steinhafels has partnered with the Honor Flight for years, through various donation drives, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “Mail Call” program.

But this Steinhafels blog looks at the Honor Flight from an even more personal angle–through the eyes of a veteran who works for our company. Theron Kramer has been part of the Steinhafels work family for 5 years, and has a skilled role in our Corporate Warehouse.

Before his time with Steinhafels though, Theron served our country as an Army Sergeant–deploying to both Kuwait and Iraq during his time in the service. Theron is one of many veterans we are proud to call part of the Steinhafels family.

Theron had the chance to be a Guardian on this past weekend’s Honor Flight. He was kind enough to share little bit about the experience with us.

hf pentagon

Steinhafels: Thank you for your service! When did you serve?

Theron: I served with Bravo Company 2/128th Air Assault Infantry in the Wisconsin Army National Guard in August 2003. I was honorably discharged as a sergeant in Aug 2011 with Alfa Troop 1/105th Calvary.

How about the gentleman you escorted on the flight?

Theron: Mr. John Tilch served with 1st Infantry as a combat medic in Phuoc Pinh, Vietnam in 1967. Mr. Tilch was given a spot on the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight and needed a guardian for the trip. I was very honored that he had asked me to go with him.

Why did you decide to join the service?

I joined the army because of the September 11th attacks. I felt like I needed to do something to help.

What is it like to be on a Stars and Stripes Honor Flight?

The flight to Washington was filled with excitement and anticipation. The flight back, however, was filled with many emotions. Every veteran on the flight received “mail call” letters from back home.


I had never been to Washington D.C. before, and didn’t know what to expect while touring the memorials. Each memorial left you with a different emotion. The World War II memorial felt a bit cheerful and triumphant while the Vietnam wall was very mournful. The Korean War memorial was more dark and eerie.

hf vietnam vets

What was the most emotional part of the journey?

In my opinion the welcome home at General Mitchell International Airport was the most emotional part of the trip. To see the large volumes of strangers, service members and family was so inspiring. Especially for Mr. Tilch, a Vietnam veteran, who didn’t get that ‘welcome home.’ This trip was for him, and I am filled with pride that he finally received the welcome home he deserves.




Why is the Honor Flight so important?

I think events like the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight are so important because it’s necessary to remind veterans that their selfless acts were appreciated, and that their call to duty did not go unnoticed.

I want to express my extreme gratitude to the staff at St. Paul School and Parish for their generous contributions. I also wanted to acknowledge the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight for the outstanding job that they do. Thank you!

And thank you Theron, for being a wonderful employee, and an example to other young men and women who want to take that extra step to protect the freedoms we are so lucky to enjoy here in the United States.

Help Steinhafels continue its support for veterans during our Veterans Day Sale, which runs through the end of business on Friday, November 10. Steinhafels will donate 5% of all sales to Fisher House Wisconsin. The Fisher House Foundation provides a network of comfort homes, where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment at the local VA.  

Also, Steinhafels is a proud Presenter of the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight “Mail Call” again this year. You can send a letter to a veteran on a 2018 flight! The Journal Sentinel will make a $10 donation for each letter received.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

attn: Mail Call

333 W. State St.

Milwaukee, WI 53203