In 2013, a Missouri mom/fashion blogger by the name of Kilee Nickells needed a pair of statement earrings. So, she made her own out of scrap leather. The simple teardrop design was an immediate success and she set about making earrings for others. Kilee and her husband, Soren Nickels founded Nickel & Suede in 2014. Today it is a multi-million dollar company with thirty employees. They also get help from their five sons, ranging in age from toddler to grade school.The Kansas City couple creates lightweight, statement earrings made of leather and high quality materials such as 14 karat gold. They started their company in the basement of their home but quickly outgrew the space. They reached out to Kansas City based Hufft Design to help them create a plan for growth. Hufft designed their retail store in a new 12,500 square-foot headquarters in Liberty, Missouri. The facility is a master’s course in retail design, providing a refined shopping experience that perfectly evokes the quality of the Nickel & Suede products. Hufft designed the Nickel & Suede floor system with a honey-colored wood island inset into a polished concrete floor.
Musselman & Hall Contractors had previously worked with Hufft on their award winning designs for the Tuft & Needle store in Overland Park, Kansas. The contractor and designers had worked together to choose a polishable overlay for the Tuft & Needle shopfront that would allow minimal issues with transitions, but still create a durable and attractive floor. That first installation ended up being just the ticket, so Hufft decided to utilize the same high performance self-leveling concrete overlay in the Nickel & Suede shop. The overlay was to be installed at only ⅜” thick, so preparation was key. The foreman, Johnathon Eggert, and his crew used large abrasive diamond grinders to profile the entire floor as preparation for the overlay. A five-man crew was able to place the entire floor in just one day using small onsite mixers. The new overlay only needed 24 hours to cure before it could be finished. Diamond tooling was used to polish the floor to a satin finish. A penetrating sealer was applied to provide resistance against stains while still keeping a low maintenance surface. The warm gray floors show no perceptible aggregate and are an integral part of the overall design aesthetic.
Soren Nickels had this to say about his experience, “ We wanted to build up the concrete floor to the level of our decorative inset, while going for a refined concrete look. We were introduced to Musselman & Hall with the understanding that their creative work in concrete concepts would give us some trustworthy options. This definitely proved to be the case. We wanted to avoid any surprises so we let our trust in their experience lead the way. We felt that the product they recommended would match what we were looking for-even with all the particulars we asked for. The team that showed up to do the work definitely proved to be careful masters of their craft. In our minds it was fine-finish work and they delivered. We even made a few last minute adjustments that were handled with ease, flexibility and speed. " The finished product was featured in the October 17, 2019 edition of Interior Design Magazine.