Inside the Life of Kelly Cole

Kelly Cole, CEO of Halls, shares about his life outside of work.
Kelly Cole

As president and CEO of Halls Kansas City Kelly Cole oversees the grande dame of retail in the metro. For more than a century Halls has been wooing shoppers with luxury brands and exquisite customer service. Cole says it’s a point of pride that every Halls shopper feels “wrapped in impeccable Kansas City hospitality.”

►I’m a morning person. Our two dogs make sure we are up around 6:00 each morning and then I work out at a nearby gym 6 days a week. This gets my adrenaline rushing and gets me ready for the day ahead.

►I think my sense of style started when I was pretty young because I looked at magazines and catalogs and unconsciously picked out things I liked or wanted to have. I’ve always liked clothes and my first real job was working in a men’s clothing store part time while attending college. I was fortunate to have positive mentors in my early years in business. Although personal style is innate, I believe it is developed and influenced by exposure to new and different things outside of our normal way of life.

►Like many people I don’t always take a real lunch hour but when I have time I keep it close to work. HBAR at Halls serves excellent, fresh salads, soups and sandwiches. You Say Tomato on Holmes at 28th St. makes a very good egg salad sandwich and Attitude at 31st St. and Cherry has a killer BLT.

►For twenty years, I was a vice president at Neiman Marcus in southern California and this experience helped form my standards for selling quality merchandise, giving high level customer service and creating personal relationships with clients and vendors. Halls has always had these same standards so that was a big factor in my decision to move here. In a world of homogenous stores, the few that stand out have a different and specific point of view about what they offer and how they serve their customers.

►The best advice I’ve ever received is “no risk, no reward.”

►December is a crazy good time for me! Most people relish the holidays and are in upbeat, caring moods so it’s enjoyable to run a store that’s a destination for all things Christmas. My favorite thing to buy at Halls are our ornaments. Our buyers travel to Europe and work with craftsmen who make ornaments exclusively for Halls.

►Currently “Ozark” on Netflix has me intrigued but I’m not a binge watcher. I’m trying to decide whether there are so many good-looking people on this show because it’s filmed in Hollywood or have I just been going to the wrong area in the Ozarks?

►One of the favorite things in my office is a photograph of Stanley Marcus and me taken at the Neiman Marcus San Diego.

►When I walk into work every morning I think how fortunate I am to lead such an incredibly talented and diverse group of people who share my passion for quality and customer service.

Categories: People