People + Places

Meet the Makers: Huppé

In this competitive world we live in, it is quite a thing for a company to last for 10 years, let alone 50. But that’s just what Huppé has done. It’s no small feat, so we wanted to take the time and chat with them to get their perspective on what it takes to stay in business–and even thrive–for half a century.

Huppé [hoo-PAY]

adjective (French)

  1. Sophisticated, high-class, distinguished.

noun

  1. The family name of Raymond, Aurele and Sylvio Hamel, three brothers that founded a cedar chest manufacturing company in Quebec, Canada, in 1967.
  2. The name of that company, still in business today, and a maker of fine modern furniture. How did they do it? Here’s a look at the tenets that led Huppé to the big 5-0.

Have the Ability to Adapt

A lot can change over the course of 50 years. If a company does not change with the times, they are bound to become obsolete.

Case in point: Huppé started off as a maker of cedar chests. But the evolution into contemporary fine furniture design is what ensured the company’s survival and success. (After all, not a lot of people buy cedar chests these days.) Recently refining their furniture design offerings in 2010–and bringing on Joel Dupras as the lead designer–has put Huppé into its current luxury brand niche.

Today, the look of the company is, as Dupras puts it, “a perfect blend of Scandinavian, Italian and North American design, inspired from the past without compromising innovation.”

Build on Past Reputation

A company is known as highly reputable, always uses great materials and is design-focused. Those are things that people always respond to, regardless of trends.

One could say that Huppé’s existing reputation helped make their recent rebranding easier for the public to embrace. And that reputation is? According to Dupras, it’s “a solid reputation based on quality products made by our amazing team, as well as a great capacity to reinvent ourselves over the years and to never stop dreaming.”

Continually Seek to Innovate

Beyond merely adapting, be the company that initiates change. Lead the way. Be inspired by everything around you to create great designs. Dupras and other Huppé designers are continually inspired by nature, architecture, materials (usually wood) and the intended function of a piece.

Never Compromise on Quality

There is a tendency for companies to cut corners in order to grow or stay competitive. But you cannot get away with compromises on materials, manufacturing or delivery of products forever. And that’s where bad reputations are made.

“We believe in being innovative without compromising aesthetics, using local suppliers and materials and not letting any particular trends influence us,” says Dupras. “We pick what we like and what we think would blend well with our own style.”

(In case you were wondering, that includes solid wood sourced in northeastern USA and eastern Canada, and hardware imported from Germany and Italy. Everything is handmade in Canada.)

Be True to Yourself

Yes, things may change. But then there are other things that remain the same. Any company that lasts for 50 years has done so because they have remained true to their principles. Consistency along these lines engenders trust.

Such tenets may sound simple. But if they really were, every company would be able to make it to 50 years. It is a challenge to change yet remain true to yourself, to innovate yet never sacrifice quality. But these are challenges that Huppé has certainly met. They have most definitely lived up to their name.

Want to see more? Then be sure to check out the range of Huppé fine modern furniture.

Nissa Hallquist

Nissa Hallquist

As the Content Marketing Manager for YDesign Group, Nissa has been writing about lighting, furniture and decor for many years. Considering that there's always something new out there, she'll likely write about them for many years more. She loves all things modern design, especially those designs that reinterpret classic forms in cool, imaginative ways. If she had her way, she'd spend all her money on such pieces (and wine).

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