Hufft receives statewide recognition

Kansas City firm receives statewide recognition

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Hufft Projects, LLC, Kansas City, is the winner of a statewide award for business excellence.

The internationally acclaimed design and furniture firm received a 2013 Excellence in Business Award from the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDC) and Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (MO PTAC) at a gala banquet in Jefferson City, Mo., on Jan. 30. The firm also received legislative resolutions at the Missouri Capitol from Senator Jason Holsman, District 7, and Rep. Judy Morgan, District 24.

Hufft Projects, LLC, is one of 22 outstanding Missouri small businesses that received the award. The annual awards recognize outstanding achievement in business management, government contracting, job creation and revenue generation by client firms of the two programs.

Hufft Projects’ clean, modern houses and commercial structures are redefining Midwestern architecture. Co-owner, CEO and architect Matthew Hufft and long-time designer friend Clayton Vogel have also established Edwin Blue, a division that designs and manufactures high-end contemporary furniture. The trademark of Edwin Blue, whose craftpeople work in a converted stable, is handmade and modern – two words not often seen together.

Hufft and his wife Jesse moved their design firm from New York to Kansas City in 2006, triggering a rapid expansion. The Huffts were introduced to the University of Missouri-Kansas City SBTDC and Mark Allen, program specialist, in late 2011. Allen’s assistance consisted of introductions to banks, counseling on hiring a part-time CFO, consultations with Hufft’s management team to redefine roles, performing a SWOT analysis, conceptualizing strategic goals, suggesting ownership opportunities for key personnel, networking and introductions on both the customer and supplier sides of the business.

The results of this collaboration have been undeniable. From 2010-11, Hufft revenue grew from $850,000 to $1,500,000 and this year will eclipse $2 million. In that same time frame, the company grew from 13 to 24 full-time jobs plus additional part-time help. And this young, vibrant, gifted team expects to grow more.

Success doesn’t always breed awareness, but it has in Matthew Hufft’s case. Hufft realized that, as much as he enjoys designing, the firm needed a true CEO and that he was the best candidate. As CEO, Hufft and the firm’s marketing director now work on benchmarks and timelines. Hufft says he balances his management with his practitioner role, allowing him to spend more time developing new business and visions for daily living. Increasingly, he says, that vision includes green and sustainable elements, a burgeoning market for design firms.

The MO SBTDC and MO PTAC are a statewide network of business technical assistance providers and educators who serve Missouri businesses with consultation and training in the areas of management, marketing, international trade, financial management, government contracting, technology commercialization and market research.

For more information, go to www.missouribusiness.net. Or call Mary Paulsell, director of communications, at 573/882-1353 or paulsellm@missouri.edu.

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