Our inaugural Small Businessperson of the Year award is proudly presented by the Small Business Center at CPCC, assisting more than 2,500 startup entrepreneurs and small business owners annually through networking events, free seminars, no-cost counseling, a business resource library, and tuition-based and non-degree courses.
In a neighborhood full of design and art, TUFT has become the go-to place for vintage-styled furniture.
The name is actually an acronym for Today’s Unique Furniture Trends — and the Plaza Midwood shop has quickly carved out a following for its beautiful custom upholstery, custom furniture and unique art since opening in 2014.
That’s thanks to Danielle McKim, the owner and visionary behind TUFT and finalist for our Small Businessperson of the Year award in the Retail category.
Get to know Danielle McKim better and learn from her success with these five questions. Responses have been edited for space and clarity.
What’s the first hour of your day look like?
I try to start my day off with a post on my social media platforms, catching up on emails all while simultaneously getting my son fed and dressed for his day. Oh yeah, and with LOTS OF COFFEE!
What’s the most valuable business lesson you’ve learned?
In order to to be successful, you need to be open to changes and willing to try new strategies.
From the time I opened my business to now, I have never feared being experimental and coming out of my comfort zone by following creative whims. The ability to take risks is a huge factor in my growth as a business owner and artist. Not all ideas will thrive, but allowing yourself to try new methods creates pathways to reach new customers and clients.
What’s a recent purchase of less than $100 that you love?
This is a tough one as I thrift just about every other day! Top of the list currently would be two thrifted frames that I had custom matted to hold my son’s monthly pictures of his first year.
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?
“You’re A Badass at Making Money,” by Jen Sincero. It’s got great information and she has a mouth and wit about her I can get with!
What other small businessperson do you admire?
Jordan Dollard of Elsa Fine. I know it may seem biased now that we are under one roof, but I proposed to her that she move in because of how impressive she is as a business owner. I have learned a lot from her and I look forward to how we will work together to expand each of our businesses.
Photos by Lauren Rosenau Photography