''Our relentless pursuit of perfection is what our clients know us best for.''
An Interview with Martha Huk
Founder & Chief Engineer, Hedgeford & Berkley, Inc
Our dedicated interview on London’s Elite Luxury Designer with MARTHA HUK, Founder & Chief Engineer of Hedgeford & Berkley, Inc, once again showcases the stellar contribution of one of Canada’s preeminent luxury build and design firms that is characterised by an unsurpassable drive for clientele satisfaction through high quality building and renovations, with exceptionally thoughtful interior design. Executive Global catches up with the trailblazing pioneer of the award-winning company to examine the standard of excellence required to service the needs of affluent institutional and private clients.
Executive Global: Having been a military design engineer, you have great experience delivering life saving systems to a very high standard, while working under pressure. How does this unique experience give you a greater edge over competitors in your field?
Martha Huk: Imagine if today, everything was at stake. The meetings you went to, the deadlines you faced, the work you produced. One misstep, one failed deliverable and it was all over. That’s the pressure I work to. My time in the military gave me a sense of commitment to cause that I have never been able to shrug.
There was always a relentless pressure reminding me that if I didn’t come through, our troops might not get out of an attack in time. They might not come home at all. When I became an entrepreneur, my work no longer meant life or death, but that had little bearing on my standard for coming through. We work with no complacency, no backing off, no slack whatsoever. Is it exhausting? It can be, but imagine how incredible your projects could be if today, everything was on the line.
EG: When you imagine something, it is usually not built or ready to pick off the shelf and you must work strategically to accomplish your vision. How important is teamwork during the creative process?
MH: Commitment to the vision must be felt throughout the team. It is both a gut instinct and refusal to accept anything short of the real deal. There is no “good enough” or “we’ll get it next time”. Each person in the system is required to deliver. The mindset we bring to execute the vision is why our clients stay loyal to us.
EG: You stated that ‘how you do anything is how you do everything.’ Being known as a perfectionist in your professional circles, how does your unwavering commitment to quality benefit your clients?
MH: Our relentless pursuit of perfection is what our clients know us best for. We make discipline part of our daily life and we train not to waiver. We ensure that there is only one standard allowed on our job sites and there is no room for excuses and unaccountability. Our clients know that while they go do, whatever it is they need to do, we are handling the rest.
EG: Tell us how the unique demands expected when delivering for the luxury estates of High Net Worth clientele may require a standard of excellence that can only be met by the most experienced and accomplished designers in the industry?
MH: High Net Worth clientele require you to understand their needs quickly and effectively. They expect you to have the ideas as well as the ability to execute to a high degree. To do this, you need to have a structured approach and solid infrastructure behind you. You need to know when prototyping design can push the boundaries and how to mitigate the risks it inherently creates.
EG: What would you say have been your absolute most enjoyable projects to work on from the initial design phase, through to completion and why?
MH: There’s usually something specifically challenging, or an area we’re prototyping when we take on jobs so they all have their own challenges and rewards. Our most enjoyable projects have been lakeside houses with epic views and spaces where entertainers can show off their home.
EG: As an award-winning entrepreneur and leader in your industry, what are some of the greatest challenges you have faced in your business and how have you remained resilient in the face of adversity?
MH: I’m solving problems everyday. When you are responsible for the success of the company, you don’t have the luxury of being anything other than resilient. You don’t get to be tired or emotional. You have to stay vigilant and train to have the strength to know when to hold the line and when to push forward. Clients will have different expectations, experiences and goals. You must set thresholds early on to stay true to what you promised.
EG: Tell us more about the 8,000 sq. ft residential design that you completed in an impressive 48 hours?
MH: Ah, this one was a fun one. When we were approached with an ultra tight deadline on a lakefront home, we didn’t hesitate. This bungalow was designed for an entertainer. Someone who loves inviting people over to enjoy the sunset views over their infinity edge pool. A 6 bedroom home that boasts views through floor to ceiling windows while always having a sense of seclusion. A kitchen built to host many family gatherings, a lounge to kick back in and a primary suite that makes you feel like you’re still at the luxury hotel. You might imagine those 48 hours were spent sweating over a drawing board, but they weren’t. We train for opportunities that don’t exist yet. We train to find solutions despite the difficult scenarios we may be faced with so when this opportunity came along, we were ready for it. EG