After the past tumultuous, stressful, and fearful 22 months, we find joy to hearken back to the times that invoke some of our most nostalgic holiday memories.
As families and friends reunite over this holiday season, the uncertainty we have faced, the hardships we have endured, and the losses we have witnessed are easier to put behind us being surrounded by family and friends while sharing our happiest times.
As we start anew, may those memories bring comfort and joy to you and your family this holiday season and throughout the New Year.
Our KDR family is grateful for your partnership.
Wishing you warm wishes and a happy holiday!
“It turns out the times we thought were hectic and stressful were sedate compared to the last 2 years! We miss the times when everyone was together for Christmas.” – Kevin Kenney, President/CEO
“I loved this Christmas! In the center of this photo is me (ever the goof) in my best dress headed to Christmas service. It might not look like anything special BUT the little boy to my right is my husband! We’ve been together 12 years and have a 10-year-old daughter. We love sharing this memory with her. It’s such a great reminder that magical things really do happen…it’s truly the most wonderful time of the year!” – Ashlee Morgan, Window Covering Manager
“This is a photo of the round trip ticket Kevin gave me along with one week of paid time off when I first started at KDR. I didn’t have any vacation time and a few people found out I would not be going to see my family for Christmas/New years. Kevin found out and gave me one of the best Christmas gifts I have ever received.” – Russ Lundy, Operations Manager
“I was so excited to ask Santa for this pink bike I wanted. I remember waking up Christmas morning and seeing it next to the tree. It was the first bike I learned how to ride.” – Lisa Davis, Visual Merchandising Specialist
“After I was born my Mom didn’t go back to work until I was in seventh grade. She spent a lot of time sewing and was an excellent seamstress. She made all of my clothes. I remember her taking me to Northland Shopping Center to Famous & Barr every year to see Santa, go shopping, and eat lunch. It was a lot of fun zipping around in her VW bug- she loved those cars even those we froze in it every winter!” – Kim Caldwell, Residential & Contract Sales
“We (my parents & sister) would pile in the car every Christmas Eve and drive around neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights, all the while knowing Santa would have been at our house while we were out. It was magical…While out we would end up at an aunt’s Christmas party anxiously waiting to get home. 😉” – Monica Dalton, Area Rug & Carpet Sales Associate
“One of my favorite holiday traditions would be the matching outfits my parents would pick out for my brother and me. It is so fun to look back at these pictures and see how much we have changed over the years. These photos never cease to bring a smile to my face. Just one small reminder of joy during the holiday season!” – Maggie Parker, Showroom Sales Associate
“This photo is from one of my last Christmas’s spent with my brother before he passed away. My mom is a retired nurse so many holidays were often celebrated when we could all be together instead of a particular day. To this day, having the chance to celebrate with my loved ones on any day is more important to me than waiting for a particular day and possibly leaving someone out because they can’t be with us.” – Amanda Myers, Warranty Administrator
“This is my favorite holiday memory because it was when my family still lived in San Diego and I remember playing outside in the sand by the ocean with my brother before this picture was taken. My brother and I are really close and it’s great to look back on that time 😊 ” – Lillie Davis, Furniture Sales Associate
“I am the middle child of 7. I remember my siblings and I being so overwhelmed with excitement on Christmas Eve, and having the hardest time going to sleep. Even with so many children, my parents always made Christmas so special for each of us in different ways. Christmas morning was pure anarchy with wrapping paper flying around like crazy as we all would dig in. I will never forget, pretty much every year, having to go back through the trash bags of wrapping paper looking for the “missing piece” of someone’s gift! I’m laughing just thinking about it. I wouldn’t change any of it, and absolutely cherish every one of those moments ❤” – Kara Wagoner, Sales Manager
“One of my favorite holiday memories growing up was going to Breckenridge and Vail every year for Christmas. We would spend a whole week skiing, snowboarding, playing card games, and sipping hot chocolate. I plan on sticking to tradition and visiting again this year!” – Andrea Krumm, Marketing Coordinator
“Some of my favorite holiday memories are from Christmas Eve at my Mom & Dad’s house. We always celebrated Christmas Eve by going to mass as a family and then getting together for a big dinner. This photo is from the early ’90s. I have six sisters and a brother and wonderful parents, so we always had a lot of Love & Laughter. I really miss those who are no longer with us now.” – Kelly Specht, Kansas City Showroom Manager
“Growing up we always spent Christmas Eve with our extended family, but when I was about 7 or 8, my brother and I got chickenpox right before Christmas. It was the first Christmas we spent with just our immediate family, and I’ll never forget the fun we had just the five of us!” – Diane Gade, Window Covering Sales Associate
“This was a favorite Christmas morning in 1998 when my daughter Katie was three, my son Jake was five and my husband Joe had hair. We were just starting the renovation of the living room. I always forget how ugly it was when we bought the house!” – Brenda Goudey, CFO
“One of my many favorite memories growing up at Christmas time was going to see Santa at our school. My Mom would dress us up and take us every year. We always had a lot on our list and Santa was always a good listener! ( He was our best friend’s Dad so he knew what he was in for when the Messmann’s showed up. ) 😊 We would get our picture taken and then Mrs. Claus would give us candy canes and a coloring book with crayons. Those were the good ol days.” – Kathy Messmann, Window Covering Sales Associate
“I come from a family of 6 kids and Christmas time was always hectic but fun. Seeing who got what, who got the most, who got the least. Seems that Mom always had everything equaled out! My family is spread between Chicago, Florida and Kansas. This Polaroid picture reflects a time when life wasn’t so busy & complicated.” – Sue Dudak, Showroom Sales Associate
“As a child, our parents would take us to Christmas in the Park, I remember feeling like I was in the North Pole. I think my favorite part was the hour-long wait in line where my parents and siblings and I shared snacks and watched Christmas movies.” – Jenni Vargas, Textile and Wallcovering Sampling
“My favorite Christmas memory is decorating the Christmas tree with my family. We do it every year together and it is always something that I look forward to. Once we do it, it is time for the holidays.” – Caitlin Beary, Showroom Sales Support
“Every Christmas Eve my brothers and I would set out milk, cookies, and carrots for Santa and his reindeer as they needed the energy to keep flying through the night. Christmas was and will always be such a memorable time; I loved the moments with family and the magic of waking up on Christmas morning to find out Santa had visited with a hungry appetite- no treats or carrots to be found!” – Jennifer Drake, Assistant Showroom Manager
“Some of my favorite memories from the holidays growing up was getting a new dress made by my Mom. As I got older, I got to help pick out the patterns and materials. I also remember going to church and singing Christmas carols by candlelight. Just being surrounded by family and friends and then going home in great anticipation for Santa is what made Christmas special for me.” – Mallory Perry, Furniture Sales Associate
“Singing Christmas carols on the way to pick out a live Christmas tree from Sullivan Farms, driving through light displays, sledding the day after a big snow, seeing so many extended family members together under one roof – all of these memories have always been very special to me. I don’t recall much about gifts I received, but I will always remember the special moments of time well spent with my family during the Christmas season.” – Rebecca Crets, Textile & Wallcovering Supervisor
“My absolute most favorite Christmas memory is having cinnamon buns on Christmas morning while we open presents! :)” – Beka Matthews, Showroom Sales Support
“This is a photo of my younger sister and me. Our mom always made us matching Christmas dresses when we were kids. We always traveled to our extended family for Christmas so we would always celebrate a few days before. My mom, sister, and I would get ready upstairs and when we came downstairs we would find that Santa made a special trip to our house and all of our presents would magically appear (my dad would frantically bring all of the presents up from the basement 😊).” – Danielle DeNure, Furniture Sales Supervisor
“When I was young we always had Christmas at my uncle’s. His house was my favorite. Every year we would moan and groan when we saw him setting up his tripod for the annual family photo, but we knew it was his favorite part of Christmas. Looking back, I’m so grateful we have these photos, and documentation of the on-point hairstyles and clothes.” – Jamie Wood, Fabric Sample Supervisor
Do you have a favorite holiday memory? Share your story and tag us at @kdrshowrooms #kdrshowrooms
It is no coincidence there is a highly visible focus on mental health being brought to the forefront. KDR Kansas City showroom manager Kelly Specht and her husband Bob started Carl’s Cause charity 4 years ago in honor of their son Carl who took his life. Their goal is to bring mental health awareness to the stadium level. Last week the University of Kansas Health System and the Kansas City Royals made that happen. Over 500 supporters of @carls.cause in green t-shirts, and hats provided by the KC Royals, celebrated this worthy cause beginning with Bob Specht’s first pitch! A great night with well-earned recognition! All of us at KDR are proud to support Kelly, Bob and Carl’s Cause to help make a difference with mental health awareness. 🙌🏻👊🏻💪🏻⚾
From Kevin Kenney,
Scroll below to see more photos from the Kansas City Royals game.
The first High Point furniture market since October of 2019 was a great success both visually and psychologically! It was like a huge family reunion as we moved across showrooms for four days. There were lots of hugs, handshakes, storytelling and an overwhelming sense of optimism and gratitude.
Here are some things I learned at High Point:
All that glitters is not gold!
Although everyone is grateful for the record-breaking business, many manufacturers are taking huge hits to their profit margins. Millions of dollars of orders that were taken between 2019 and early 2021 were entered with prices based on parts and labor of 2020. Components, foam, fabrics and labor costs have increased by 25% or more creating a financial deficit for manufacturers. I expect some smaller manufacturers will be hit hard.
There are a lot of moving parts to build custom luxury home furnishings!
From innovative design concepts to wood, metal, springs, motion mechanisms, hardware, nails, staples, screws, paints, stains, bleaches, assembly, sewing, curing, baking, boxing and shipping…WHEW! The supply chain is improving slowly but surely. We must continue to creatively tell our stories to end-users so they understand the value of luxury home furnishings, versus the online imported product that photographically looks great!
If you give too many, too much, for too long there is a detrimental effect.
The labor situation is dire, with so many people collecting federal unemployment through the CARES Act, there is no incentive to go back to work. This must be corrected soon or many industries will be in trouble. We must get our country’s labor situation figured out and decrease our dependence on countries like China!
Gloom and doom for 18 months has stimulated vibrant colors into home fashions.
Wait until you see what we have coming to our showrooms!
We want to chill! Casual and comfort are the name of the game.
Laidback design is no longer limited to the lower level or a recreation area. Casual looks incorporating fine woods, rattans, weaves, metals and mixed mediums will reflect the relaxed lounge looks so common in apparel fashion today.
Spinning, rocking and reclining!
I guess spending more time sitting on furniture, combined with aging baby boomers like me, has made us want to keep moving even when sitting until we (I) hit the full recline position. 😊 Think swivel, tilt, rock, and motorized recline that stops in any position. Available on even a large-scale chair and a halfs! LOVE IT!
“You can’t sell milk from an empty wagon!”
One of my favorite anecdotes having grown up in Iowa. We ordered more furniture, accessories and lighting than any four markets combined! We will have a steady flow of exciting product hitting our showroom floors in the coming months, just in time for the holidays!
And finally……..”Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them.” – Robert Jarvik.
KDR is so fortunate to have partnerships with the leading home furnishings manufacturers led by some incredibly bright, dedicated, and risk-taking executives. I had the opportunity to have great conversation with many of these executives who I am privileged to call friends. What they have navigated over the last 14 months and continue to tackle has not deterred them one bit. There was no self-pity, just a sense of resiliency and determination to innovate and lead the thousands of people they employ that make them the great companies they are. These remarkable leaders put their employees’ and their families’ safety first throughout this pandemic, not knowing the impact and outcome of their businesses. I truly admire all of the fine executives we do business with, and all of us at KDR say THANK YOU for your leadership!
Please keep scrolling to view my travels to High Point with three lovely women in my life!
Thank you for your continued confidence in KDR and let me say, it’s so great seeing your smiling faces again!
This week I received a reminder from our payroll service, “June 1, Kevin Kenney has reached 30 years.”
KDR President/CEO, Kevin Kenney in 1991.
I remember vividly — June 1, 1991, having moved to St. Louis a few weeks earlier, opening KDR in 1,700 square feet of space, only 2 miles away from our present location. The warehouse was full of Kirsch drapery hardware, having only one employee, Mike Huelsing, who had been the Kirsch warehouse manager in St. Louis, and a few desks, I was scared to death of what I had got myself into.
From left to right: Kevin Kenney, Mike Huelsing and Susan Carter. Huelsing recognized for 20+ years of work at KDR during 2012 retirement, St. Louis showroom.
A lot has happened both personally and professionally over the last 30 years, including a pandemic, but I can’t help thinking I am truly one of the luckiest guys alive.
KDR’s first employees: Susan Carter, Mike Huelsing, Norm Flaherty and Vicki Tallman.
I have been so fortunate to surround myself with great employees who — are like family to me. Having had five of these employees each retire with more than 20 years with the company.
I have been so lucky to have all of you, as amazing design professionals accept me as a non-designer and as a trusted partner in bringing your projects to life. So many of you, I can call friends.
The KDR team and I have worked so hard to earn respect and admiration from the industry’s leading vendors. Their partnership and my relationships with them are invaluable.
Last but not least, I have the best wife, children, and grandson who truly make me complete and are the center of everything I do.
It’s crazy to know we are doing business with people now who weren’t even born when we started!
My most sincere THANK YOU to each-and-every one of you for making KDR what we are today.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures to commemorate some of the events in years gone by.
We will also be celebrating our 20th anniversary in Kansas City in September.
The best is yet to come!
Very truly yours,