At Karen Kane, we pride ourselves on seeking out great individuals to represent our brand and help bring it to life in the best way possible for our customers. Sometimes, we get lucky and those great individuals find us. Amanda Hunter is exactly one of those cases. I’m very happy to share Amanda’s excitement for our brand and provide you with a bit more of a peek behind the curtains of Karen Kane. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to thank Amanda for being a truly stellar representative of Karen Kane. Her passionate enthusiasm and strong dedication to our customers make us extremely proud to call her a colleague and friend.
Amanda Hunter - Karen Kane Retail Merchandiser
Name: Amanda Hunter
Time employed at Karen Kane: 4 years
Position: Retail Merchandiser (regions covered: North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Virginia; stores visited: Belk, Dillard’s, Macy’s)
How did you end up working at Karen Kane? What was it like when you first started?
I was working for Belk, a large department store chain in the southeast, as an Area Sales Manager for the Ladies Better Sportswear area which carried the Karen Kane line. I wore the merchandise, sold it to customers, and had formed a strong relationship with the Karen Kane representative that covered the area. She noticed my passion for merchandising the product and enthusiasm when new groups would arrive at the store. I really wanted to do more with Karen Kane as a company because I heard so many great things from our rep that visited the store. I inquired about the position and the rest is history. I have loved my job since day one!
When I first started, I really had to get to know my territory well to avoid getting lost! MapQuest (and later my GPS) became my best friends on the road – to this day I never leave home without one or the other!
Amanda poses with two other Karen Kane retail merchandisers - Jessica Piric and Courtney Richardson
What aspects of working at Karen Kane do you enjoy most?
I really enjoy working with my specialists and associates who sell Karen Kane. Building the business and brand awareness has always been a personal goal of mine. I love working with customers and dressing them in clothes that make them feel good about themselves. It is very rewarding to see customers living and embodying the Karen Kane brand.
What are some things you always hear on the road?
As a retail merchandiser for Karen Kane, I receive many customers asking whether or not merchandise fits well on them. Without a doubt, the one question I always hear is: ”Will my husband like this on me?”!!! Needless to say, I have not received a complaint from a husband yet!
Amanda provides some tips at a recent fashion show at Belk Phipps Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia
What’s your fondest memory working at Karen Kane?
There are so many fond memories, but one in particular really stands out. It actually occurred a few months before my position came open. The store where I was working received a visit from Lonnie Kane [Karen's husband, Lonnie, runs the company with her], his Vice President, and the Belk Account Executive at the time. It meant so much to me and the people that I worked with and my specialist. The Belk store where I worked was not that big, but consistently showed a strong business in Karen Kane. They had meetings in the Charlotte area and wanted to come by and see this store. Everyone was so nice and Lonnie was very personable and funny! He brought a special gift basket just for specialist who had been in the position for 10 years. When I found out about the job opening for representative a few months later, he and his team were one of the reasons why I wanted to work for Karen Kane.
What is something that no one at Karen Kane knows about you?
I can hold my own when it comes to talking about sports! College basketball, MLB, NBA, NFL, etc. Believe it or not, my favorite show to watch on Sunday morning is ESPN’s “Sports Reporters”!
Amanda poses for a quick photo with the Karen Kane specialist at Belk in Asheville, North Carolina
Have you changed in any way since starting at Karen Kane?
I feel that I have grown up a lot and continue to grow everyday. I credit much of that to the kind and caring boss that I have. Shawn Hockney has been a great influence to me and one of the contributing factors for my success with this company. Also, all employees that I have met, whether they are in the showroom, factory, or one of the other RMs, have made some sort of impact on me that has helped me be successful.
What is it like to work at Karen Kane?
When I wake up every morning, I just enjoy going to my job. Well, maybe not the 4:00 am mornings when I have to catch a flight… but once I get going, it is so much fun! I love the fact that we are a small company because I feel that I have a voice and that I am heard.
Amanda and fellow RM, Angie Crego, in front of Times Square