Lou Kief was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1945. The son of a carpenter and a mother who went beyond her grade school education to college levels through self study. From childhood Lou had an insatiable appetite for writing, designing and building things with his hands.
A closeted gay man as a young adult, in the 1960’s he ran away to San Francisco and found himself in the middle of the most significant period in the history of gay liberation. Of the many places and times that have set the
foundation for American gay rights, Lou was there living through it.
He attended summer journalism classes at the University of Detroit and later at San Francisco State University and wrote for trade publications including Harcourt Brace Jovanovich business magazines, Furniture World magazine and the trade journal of the National Home Furnishings Association.
From the late l970’s on, Lou began to work with retailers across the United States and Canada. In 1990 he was Vice-President of Bryant Forney Associates, a store planning firm in San Francisco before leaving to start his own company with Bill Walls designing and remodeling stores.
Lou is a highly regarded motivational speaker and has presented numerous seminars and workshops for the National Home Furnishings and California Home Furnishings associations as well as Furniture Today and the California Vintners Association.
Currently he and his partner of 34 years, Bill, live in Guadalajara, Mexico and share a home with Katrina, a huge, not very lady-like Neapolitan Mastiff, Mexi-cats; Diego, Frida & Trotsky, and Rocco, a pushy Amazon Parrot.
In 2010 Lou released “In All the Silent Manliness”, a novel of family loss and grief. In 2012, he and his partner, Bill Walls co-wrote “Doing Retail Right” to help retailers stay motivated and successful as the worlds of brick and mortar stores began to collide with virtual retailing. The release of “Let No Stranger Wait Outside Your Door” is his memoire about coming out and San Francisco during the 1970s.