Interview with Todd Huschka
Founder & Chief Creator of Awesomeness @ House of Huschka

House of Huschka is a luxury kitchen, bath, closet and furniture dealer in Newport Beach, California. Todd Huschka, the Chief Creator of Awesomness has over 25 years of Custom Cabinet Craftsmanship, European Cabinetry Design, Technical Knowledge, Project Management and Luxury Installation Experience. Their clients partner with them because the company captures their vision and provides exclusive design and consulting services to create the ultimate environment for their home. All while having a lot of fun!
Hi Todd! Could you please introduce your work with House of Huschka and tell us a bit more about what led to your founding the company back in 1993?
Hi there - House of Huschka is really a one-stop shop for kitchens, baths, furniture, closets, pretty much all from Europe, mostly Italy. I've been doing this for eons, twenty five plus years, and I started out in a little old town called Evansville Wisconsin, back in the late 80s early 90s, as a custom cabinet maker. And I believe, had it not been for my landlord at that time, I would have never been here today. So I started out as a custom cabinet shop in the 93, and then around 2000 I became a dealer of a line called Snaidero, which is a super high end Italian cabinet line in Madison Wisconsin, and it was kind of unheard of at that time to sell such contemporary and high design, high style kitchens in Wisconsin. But within a year and a half, we were the number one dealer in North America. We were doing lots of condo projects and multi-housing, and kitchens, all over the Midwest pretty much. And that kind of led to, from a small town cabinet boy to becoming a big fish in a small pond so to speak, end up having kitchens on the cover of Robb Report; I was featured on an HTTV with a kitchen, for a show called HTTV's Top 10 Amazing Kitchens. And then that closed, when the economy crashed and I moved, due to the changes, I decided to pick up and get out of Wisconsin and move things out to California here in 2012, and been starting since then and a whole new chapter from there.
What separates House of Huschka from the other luxury kitchen, bath, closet and furniture dealers based in Southern California?
-Without blowing my own horn, I think really what separates me is my team, my knowledge in this niche industry that I'm in for so many years, and my manufacturers. The Italian lines that I work with, since I've had the pleasure and displeasure of working with really good companies and really bad companies, I've weeded out the lines and the manufacturers that I want to work with. And the same goes for my subcontractors, my installers, my shipping companies, and everybody that I'm kind of a partner with. So there's no doubt in my mind - and I think my manufacturers, and my team, and people in the industry would say the same thing - that I bring the A-team to the table. So yes. a product is a product, and I sell products first - the design and coordination is second. But it's my knowledge in the design coordination that allow pretty much every job we have to go in without a hitch. We really don't have many problems; we don't have mistakes; we don't have, ordering parts from Italy that are behind or come in damaged or wrong. It's just really a pretty smooth seamless thing. So you know that's been my kind of obsession and goal for the last twenty five years. I really wanted to be obsessed with being the best and the customer service side of things. And in addition to that, I really have a lot of product lines to offer a full package. So, from a talent and experience side of thing, I think my team and I bring something different to the table that really nobody else has around, maybe even in this country.
How have you expanded House of Huschka's client base and partner network throughout the past five years? Who have been some of your biggest clients to date?
Well, since I just moved here in 2012 it was a very interesting start-up. I mean, coming here from not knowing anyone, and certainly no one here knew my background and my cred, so I kind of started low key. I was working out of my house, and it started very organically. Again, as I mentioned previously, I'm very blessed to have the manufacturers that are in my corner. So that means they allowed me to be essentially a kitchen and baths dealer and closet dealer, working out of my house. So when I moved here to California, Orange County, here in 2012 and especially over these last five years, I was able to just slowly get the word out and land a couple jobs. And, in my industry, referrals are pretty much going to make or break you, when it comes to work. So landing a couple jobs here, about three four years ago, really got my foot in the door, which led to other jobs. As far as you know, when it comes to my biggest clients to date - I don't think they would want me to mention their names - but there's no question that out here - from clients in L.A. that I have, to clients here Newport Beach and Laguna Beach - these are the 1-percenters. So it's not uncommon to do a house that has a half a million dollars in cabinetry in it - just something that was not even conceivable back in Wisconsin. So it's been nice to get in with some people that just can do whatever they want to do. It's pretty cool and It's pretty fun.
How has House of Huschka impacted the way your clients approach home furnishing and interior design? What separates your aesthetic from the rest?
What separates my look and style, I think - and this was a little bit shocking to me moving here from even Wisconsin, which of course things are very behind the times - regardless of the money that's here that's being spent on these multimillion dollar mansions, the lack of knowledge in European products, and things that are hip and new and different and high-tech, is very much lacking here. That has been a surprise. So over the last couple of years, I've kind of got the pleasure - and now, with opening a showroom - of needing to introduce and show people stuff they've never seen before. I mean, it's just that simple. So there are so many amazing products across the world: from cabinetry styles, to technology, to finishes, to bathroom design, to wall coverings, to closets and electronics and lighting and cabinets. I mean, it's so different. Appliances, it changes so quickly that people are not up with it. And a builder, typically, is too busy to stay up with it, because it's hard for me to keep up with it even in you know, this is what I do full time. Even with the lines that I carry, I see what's coming out two years from now and it will blow people away. So my look is very much a wow factor - it's not for everybody. I mean, if you want a white kitchen I can do it, no problem. But that's not typically my client. Mine wants to go edgy a little bit, they want the quality and they want the service. And also, there's a warmth and probably an artistic quality to all the stuff that I do. As my showroom gets finished, it will really have an awe, or an inspirational, with colors and light and music and things like that.
What's next for your work with House of Huschka? How what new projects, partnerships and designs will you be focusing on throughout the next year?
Well, it's been an interesting six months to a year. I mean, two years ago I didn't even think that I would want to have a showroom again. I mean, just the headaches of it and the overhead. Selling high end cabinetry out of my house isn't the worst job in the world, but I think I got frustrated with people not being able to know and see what's out there. So I kind of felt it's my mission to come right to the end user, and open this small studio here in PCH, in Corona del Mar, and show people what's out there. So over the next six months, I expect the showroom to be completed - to my standards anyways. And it's been really fun to have meetings here. I miss that from not having a showroom. This is my little command central - people can see and touch and know all the things that are available. And it's been fun to have meetings with new designers, new builders and, of course, new clients because to be honest they become like family. So all in all, I'm again surround by great people, so I think when we start getting into grand openings and expanding the boundaries - I'm doing jobs in Park City right now, did a job in Scottsdale - I really think that all in all, it's going to be a fun six months to a year, because the word isn't really out there yet. I've been staying pretty low key until the showroom is done. But I think a year from now, once people can see the magic of what I do and what I try to show them, and the homes that I've done and the referrals, I think it's going to be a pretty fun year - especially by the end of the year, as my displays come in in a couple months. It's gonna be great! So I'm looking forward to all that lies ahead for my little crazy world of House of Huschka.