Meet the Furniture, Lighting & Decor Editorial Advisors: Johne Albanese, Hooker Furniture

Meet the experts on our Editorial Advisory Board: First up, Johne Albanese, the VP of Corporate Marketing for Hooker Furniture. 

12/17/2019
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Johne Albanese Hooker Furniture
Johne Albanese, VP of Corporate Marketing, Hooker Furniture

The Furniture, Lighting & Decor Editorial Advisory Board is is made up of industry professionals — furniture, lighting and decor, like the name says — interior designers, architects and retailers.

These experts in their fields are integral in helping us share the latest and most effective information that helps you with your business.

We gave you a little insight into our experts in the December issue of Furniture, Lighting & Decor, but we asked them far more in our interviews, so we’re sharing (alphabetically) more in-depth Q&As with our advisors! Learn how they got into the business, what inspires them and their advice for those coming in behind them.

First up, Johne Albanese, the VP of Corporate Marketing for Hooker Furniture 

Furniture, Lighting & Decor: Tell us a little bit about your business – What is your role in the industry? How did you get started and how long have you been in business? 

Johne Albanese: I am the VP of Corporate Marketing for Hooker Furniture. I’m responsible for all corporate level marketing as well as for the e-commerce and interior design channel functions. I entered the industry in 1983 with Bassett Furniture Corp. in their sales department and have been honored to have been a part of this great industry for 36 years. 

FLD: What inspires you the most in your business? 

JA: Without a doubt, that would be the people that I have met and have had the opportunity to work with over the years. This includes those I’m fortunate enough to work with now. Beyond that, I’m truly inspired by those who create (and foster) innovation and aren’t afraid of change. 

FLD: Name one of your biggest challenges in the business you’re in now and how you’ve overcome it.
JA: There are always challenges in any business and we’re no different. I would say that one of the greatest challenges we face is related to the demographic transition that is now taking place throughout the U.S. With it, we find materially different shopping processes and expectations that will impact the business for years to come. While overcoming these challenges can seem daunting, we also know that on the other side of the transition is the largest available consumer pool ever in our history. So this challenge truly should have a very positive impact over all for those who are able to manage the evolution.

FLD: Share something you wish you knew when you were just starting out. 
JA:
It’s not about me. When we’re young, it’s very tempting to see things in the light of self, versus the light of the overall enterprise and of others. Unfortunately, this can sometimes cause us to miss the great benefits of an external focus. My greatest joys today come from seeing others succeed, and I wish I had known that since the beginning.

FLD: What are the tools, companies and people who help you do what you do best? Why? 
JA:
Wow there are so many that this would take forever to answer. I hope it will suffice to say that through the opportunity to work with some remarkable leaders as well as team members, customers and vendors, my life has been far more blessed that I deserve. There is nothing of substance that I’ve achieved that wasn’t a direct result of the talents and generosity of others.

FLD: What’s your favorite piece for your home you’ve ever purchased? Why? 
JA: My sectional from Hooker Upholstery. It’s so beautiful (leather and tufting) and remarkably comfortable!

FLD: What top three tips would you give someone entering a home retail or interior design business?
JA:
Set and be committed to your long term objective. The path will not be straight, but the end game should remain consistent. Build a great team of people who are smarter than you. Expect to fail along the way. It’s painful sometimes but very beneficial. 

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