Bob’s Discount Furniture Senior Buyer, Kaily Hanna has just earned a spot as one of Furniture Today’s 40 Under 40. At 30 years old, it may come as a surprise that she has been in the furniture industry for almost 20 years.
“I am picturing the orange velour sofas,” said Kaily of her family’s coastal Maine furniture business, Perry’s Home Furnishings & Design. “It’s almost like I really started when I was 13.”
Hailing from a multi-generational family business, which opened in the 70s, Kaily joined Bob’s Discount Furniture as a college graduate with a degree in Management Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Kaily started in Bob’s merchandising department job shadowing then-Senior Vice President / GMM, Carol Glaser, who is now Bob’s Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer.
“I remember, vividly, this purple sofa they were working on,” Kaily recalls of her first days at Bob’s. She said she knew the original manufacturer and details of the piece, which immediately impressed the merchandising team. “I kind of talked the talk coming in so I feel like that helped propel me,” she laughed.
“Kaily is incredibly deserving of the recognition of 40 Under 40 from Furniture Today,” said Glaser. “She has been a vital asset to Bob’s merchandising team over the past decade. We are fortunate to have her on the team as the company continues to grow in footprint and product offering.”
Kaily became an assistant buyer for upholstery and mattresses, and she has never looked back finding her home in Bob’s. In addition to her role as Senior Buyer, Kaily has been integral to the development of Bob’s direct-to-consumer merchandise category.
Since starting in 2014, Kaily has worked with Bob’s mattresses and shares that she loves the challenge of this product. “Essentially I am just buying white rectangles, but it’s much more technical, making sure the layers are right.” Mattresses are a blank canvas where Bob’s can be an industry leader, said Kaily.
Kaily has brought new life to Bob’s sleep offerings by combining her engineering background and her furniture roots. “Coming from a small business, you have to think of the whole business,” said Kaily.
Kaily has enhanced Bob’s mattresses with modern technology like cooling covers and voice activated motion bed bases. She championed bed-in-a-box when the fad became popular, noting Bob’s had been offering the product long before competitors. The results of her ingenuity have had immediate impact on business growth.
As Kaily has progressed in her career at Bob’s, she has explored buying other products to gain knowledge. “You have to be open to any experience or exposure you can get,” she commented. “If you are curious and you want to learn more, I feel you tend to get more opportunities.”
Mentorship has been a big part of her growth story at Bob’s, said Kaily. She credits the openness of Glaser and mentor Michael Hoffman, former Bob’s Marketing and Merchandising Advisor, with her continued success.
First to join committees outside her area of expertise, Kaily said, “It allows me to get a more holistic picture of the business. I still have that curiosity. I am always asking questions and I want to get involved in as many outside projects as possible.”
Kaily is also so dedicated to her work, she’s even debuted in a few Bob’s commercials as on-screen talent and voice acting. She is also always willing to volunteer for Bob’s community events like meal packing and the annual signature partnership with the New England Patriots, the Bed-Zone Bash.
Kaily has grown right alongside Bob’s joining when there were only 65 stores. Bob’s will close 2023 with 171 stores. “We’re growing in store count and we’re growing in people count but culturally we’ve stayed the same,” said Kaily. It is the family-feel of Bob’s that Kaily said she likes most about her career. Bob’s is different from her roots, she said, but in many ways, it is the same.