The Next Generation:
Whether it's a new grad just starting out, a dedicated mid-career-er changing paths or leaders looking to advance, we are committed to helping the next generation of talent reach their goals. Many of our team members have created unique career paths at Jonathan Louis, and in this series, we celebrate their stories and growth. Interested in a similar opportunity? We always have our door open for future talent—check out our Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor for availabilities.
This week, we talk to Reid Hooper, a Jonathan Louis Sales Rep who started working with us in October 2015. He came to us from the paper sales industry. This is his experience so far:
If you had a time machine, which part of history would you revisit and why?
I would like to go back to the '60s and '70s. I really love old music and it seems that those years were just the “good ole days,” with cool cars and good music.
What song can you listen to on repeat?
“Thrown Down” by Fleetwood Mac.
If you could be fluent in any other language which would it be?
I speak Greek, but want to learn to speak fluent Spanish.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
Describe yourself in one word.
What’s something people take seriously but shouldn’t?
Material things. I think people should take their health most seriously.
Who’s your role model?
My grandmother, Kiki Hassapelis. She is an immigrant from Greece, coming to America with nothing, opening restaurants, working endless hours, providing for her family, creating their success and future, along with being an asset to this country, all with a 2nd grade education. She is truly my role model, the living embodiment of “if you want something bad enough, you can achieve anything you want.” In my eyes, she is the definition of the American dream.
What's your biggest pet peeve?
3 things you can't live without.
Love, golf, cars
What's one place you've always dreamt of traveling to?
Australia/ New Zealand
How did you come to work in JL?
Born and raised in High Point, North Carolina, I was given the opportunity to bartend at the Jonathan Louis Showroom for the October 2015 High Point furniture market. A day or so into bartending, I met a man who would become a best friend, a business partner, and an idol to me–Doug Barrett. (Doug is a main rep for Jonathan Louis.) He and I spoke for a few days at that market, hit it off, and he offered me an opportunity to move out to California and be his sub rep for Jonathan Louis. Since then Doug and I have been partners representing JL for the last 8 years.
What did you expect when you first came to work at JL in the first year? In 5 years?
Exactly what I expected to happen seemed to happen: for the first one to two years, I really put my head down and grinded hard to soak up and learn all of the knowledge I could. I wanted to be well versed with the line and this business. I learned so much. Within 5 years, I felt very confident with the line, our customers, and how the operation worked. I continue to learn each day and love it more and more as I gain more experience, knowledge and relationships in this business.
All in a hard day's work
What does a typical day look like for you?
My typical day is waking up at 6AM. I get ready for the day, jump in my office around 7AM and work on all of my emails and other office work. Once I get the office stuff wrapped up, I leave around 9:30AM (after traffic mellows some) to go see our customers. I train their salespeople and make sure the product is represented on the floor correctly. Some days I meet with the buyers of these retailers and sell them new items and programs that we come out with, or re-cover their current items (we sell them with a fresh fabric combo for frames they currently carry). Once I get home in the evening, I go through a few emails that built up from being on the road that day. Then repeat the next day :)
What do you think?
Did you have a mentor (at JL or elsewhere)?
My mentor is Doug Barrett! Doug has taught me everything about this industry in the last 8 years; his distinguished knowledge and longevity in this business has allowed us to have great success. Doug is one of the best I have ever seen in this business, an elite when it comes to ideas to create success for a retailer. His expertise is second to none. His honesty, care, loyalty and compassion are something I work on mimicking in my life.
My other mentor is my dad, Reid Hooper, Sr. My dad really worked hard to teach me life: that hard work, honesty, discipline and being prepared would take you a long way. It was because of his teachings that I was prepared for when this opportunity at JL came around; I was prepared because my dad instilled that in me. As he would always say, there are the “5 Ps of Life: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance”...be ready for opportunity that comes your way.
What have you accomplished here that you’re most proud of?
I feel I have accomplished part of what I dreamed of as a kid, which was to be in sales or business, or be an entrepreneur. Growing up in the small town of High Point, North Carolina, I got to see the furniture market come twice a year, and how it turned my small town into a city for the week. I got to see successful professionals from all over the country, dressed up and doing business, and they all appeared to be doing well through a kid's eyes. I wanted that forever–and now my feet are in those shoes. It makes me proud I have the opportunity to represent a well-oiled company that is family-owned and -operated like Jonathan Louis. I am proud of the success I have had thus far, and of the man I have become. I look forward to continuing to grow in this business as I am so proud of what I do.
What are your next steps—in the next year? Or in 3 years?
I hope to and plan to represent Jonathan Louis for as many years to come as possible. I want to keep growing with JL in this industry, and I look forward to seeing JL continue to soar in business and with great new ideas. It is truly an honor to represent this company.
Movin' & groovin'
The gang's all here!