Keith Bolles

President

Keith is an entrepreneur at heart, beginning with his first paper route and then on to running a local fruit and veggie stand during the summers of his high school years.  Keith began his journey with Saybrook Home in 1977 right after graduating from Southern Connecticut State University.  He and his wife Jane and their family, Lindsay, Kara, and Keith have all worked together to help grow the family-owned business.  Keith’s role at Saybrook Home has not only benefited the business, but it has also benefited the town of Old Saybrook, CT.  Over the 41 years, the store has been in business, Keith has been passionate about supporting the town and surrounding merchants.  He has been an active member of the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and was the founder of the Main Street Business Association, both thriving organizations today.  As Saybrook Home has grown, Keith has worked as the visionary and leader of the business while putting many hours in on the sales floor, in operations roles, running the warehouse, marketing, and every department in between.  His passion for customer service is exemplified in the quality service his staff provides to each customer every day.

Keith loves that so many customers come to Saybrook Home and linger.  It’s like they truly have arrived at home, they make a day of it.  He appreciates the value of family and enjoys meeting the next generation of his customer’s children coming to the store to purchase their first piece of furniture.   He also has deep respect and admiration for the loyalty of his employees and how hard they work to exceed their customer’s expectations; some of his employees have been with him 30+ years before retiring.

When it comes to business growth, Keith says “there is never a stop sign, you always need to be looking for what’s next.”  He offers the following advice to the next generation – “find something you love doing for work, don’t be afraid to take chances, make mistakes, and learn from them”.  He is excited about the changes at Saybrook Home and Saybrook Home Apparel and is so proud to see his vision for the family business continue to evolve.

Keith enjoys his spare time on the golf course, with his family and taking a brisk walk with his beloved dogs.

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How did you get started in the industry? I graduated from college in 1977, and my mother wanted to buy another retail location, so she called and asked me to meet her in Old Saybrook so we could look at a property.  The piece of property was this beautiful old Captain’s house at the head of Main Street.  Knowing that O.S was at the crossways of two major roadways (95 and route 9), we thought it would be a great location.  So we bought it, fixed it up, and opened November 17th, 1977.  43 years later we’re still here.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment? I have always enjoyed design.  Whether it is a landscape design, furniture design, or architectural design, the process has always been satisfying to me.  We have expanded the footprint of Saybrook Home 8 times in our 43 years, and the development of the Saybrook Home campus has been incredibly rewarding.  I have had the luck of being able to design the gateway to downtown Old Saybrook, and I take great pride in what we have built.  Being recognized for this work by the Architectural Review Board as well as the Historical Society of Old Saybrook has meant a lot to me.

What is your favorite movie?  Why? It’s a Wonderful Life – We have a tradition in my family, every year in the leadup to Christmas we watch It’s a Wonderful Life.  It is such a great story, with a great message.  George Bailey was a born helper, always putting aside his desires to assist others. All of a sudden George finds himself in a tough spot, but the community he built around himself comes together to lift him up.  This has always resonated with me, and I have worked to build lifelong friendships, many of whom I have met through Saybrook Home!  “Remember, no man is a failure who has friends!”

What is your fondest memory of working at Saybrook Home? The day before we opened back in 1977 my mom and I were singing “Side by Side” by Dean Martin as we did our last-minute preparations.

“We don’t know what’s coming tomorrow/ Maybe its trouble and sorrow/ But we’ll travel the road sharin’ our load/ Side by side.”

The next day we opened, my Mom told me she had to run out to go to the bank and do a few other errands.  While she was running her errands, we had our first customer come in (who is still a customer to this day!) and they purchased a beautiful, handmade dining room set.  When my mom returned to the store and I showed her the order we celebrated together, the first of many celebrations. 

BACK

Meet the Faces of

SAYBROOK HOME

  • Keith Bolles

    President

  • Jane Bolles

    VP Operations

  • Keith A. Bolles

    VP Operations | Marketing

  • Cheryl

    General Manager

  • Susan (Suzy)

    HR | Business Office Manager

  • Debbie

    Senior Designer

  • Jackie O

    Senior Designer

  • Molly

    Senior Designer

  • Bridgette

    Senior Designer

  • Heather

    Design Associate

  • Donna

    Manager & Buyer

  • Karen

    Window Department

  • Christa

    Buyer & Sales Associate

  • Lee

    Sales Associate

  • Deb M

    Visual Merchandiser

  • Kasey

    Marketing

  • Peter

    Warehouse Manager

  • Emily

    Data Entry

  • Ben

    Warehouse

  • Alex

    Warehouse

  • Jason

    Warehouse

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