Yudi Kaufman, design business strategist and DNN Design Business Blueprint columnist, is sharing how to navigate the home furnishings and design business through ever changing times

High Point, NC (April 2024): Multifaceted design business strategist, Yudi Kaufman, founder YKD Associates, is sharing his experiences and the growth his licensing clients have had, while he helps them to navigating the home furnishings and interior design industries through ever-changing times. 

Yudi Kaufman, Business Development Consultant and Licensing Agent commented, “There are many ways to achieve success in our industry, but it all starts with you and your business and your goals. I like to say that we at YKD Associates are a ‘one-stop shop’ for business development, though we are not a ‘one-size-fits-all.’ We tailor our strategy specifically to the client we are working with to help them achieve their goals.”

With the struggles that businesses face everyday, and as a uniquely left-and-right-brained entrepreneur and creative, Yudi’s ability to help his clients’ to diversify, to grow and to thrive, is paramount to the success YKD Associates has seen and is one of the many reasons why he continues to work to help businesses large and small unlock their business potential. Yud’s design background includes a decade of success running a Manhattan based luxury design firm, Robin Baron Design, where his role as Vice President meant that he managed many of the day to day tasks overseeing Baron’s interior design projects as well as running her luxury design firm’s business development endeavors, from marketing and social media to product development and licensing. Baron, who congratulates Yudi on his business success, commented, “Someone years ago, seeing my relationship with Yudi, said “Everyone needs a Yudi”. They were right! Now that he has his own company, they can!”

With the knowledge and experience Yudi gained throughout his design career, coupled with his years of experience in business management and accounting, he launched his own consulting and business development firm, YKD Associates, which helps interior designers, artists, creatives and manufacturers grow their business. From business coaching, licensing and brand collaborations, revenue growth, sales channel expansion, social media and marketing, and even consulting on ways to elevate one’s public persona.

YKD Associates “Guides their clients’ with hands-on and actionable business tools.” Yudi shared, “There are many ways to achieve success in our industry, but it all starts with you and your business and your goals. I like to say that we at YKD Associates are a ‘one-stop shop’ for business development, though we are not a ‘one-size-fits-all.’ We tailor our strategy specifically to the client we are working with to help them achieve their goals.”

As a licensing agent, Yudi has seen success with several of the designers and artists he works with since the business launched three years ago and he remarks that “I am so proud that licensing and brand collaborations continue to develop for our clients and has become one of the largest divisions of YKD Associates’s list of services.” 

His long-standing partnership with Celebrity Interior & Product Designer Robin Baron, president of Robin Baron Design, has yielded several prestigious licensing deals and collaborations including luxury hardware company, Hamilton Sinker, which launched Robin Baron’s eponymous ‘Baron’ Collection of exquisite door and cabinet hardware, in addition to the wildly successful Robin Baron Lighting Collection with The Minka Group which debuted in January 2022. Baron’s collections with the Minka Group have received noteworthy and wide acclaim, as well as design award nominations and has continued to be expanded upon with new lighting designs launching bi-annually since its original debut. 

Baron’s partnership with Yudi and his experience bringing licensed collections to the marketplace has also led to a new collaboration with The Howard Elliott Collection. Through Yudi’s steering of the collaboration, Howard Elliott and Robin Baron have designed an exquisite line of home accents, called The Robin Baron Collection, with debut categories that include Decorative Accessories, Accent Furniture, and Mirrors, that will be on display for the first time during High Point Market (April 13-17, 2024) in their new showroom within the International Home Furnishings Center, IHFC H-324. 

In the last year Yudi has also helped product designer and artist Austin Allen James to successfully launch hundreds of designs across a wide assortment of product categories with home accent furnishings brand StyleCraft Home Collection. The Austin Allen James x StyleCraft Lifestyle Collection first launched in July 2023 and has become a fan favorite for designers, retailers and online consumers for its ability to stylishly bring a hint of ethereal glam with an urban feel,” as Yudi calls it. 

Another exciting announcement from YKD Associates includes Yudi’s newest client, award-winning lighting and product designer Kevin vonKluck, KvK Design, who is poised to explode into the lighting arena. Since joining YKD Associates as a new licensing client, several leading lighting brands have already shown great interest in Kevin’s design expertise and aesthetic.  

In addition to all the hard work the YKD Associates team does to support their clients, Yudi provides valuable design business insight to readers of Design News Now in a monthly column he writes entitled, “Design Business Blueprint”. Courtney Porter, Editor in Chief of Design News Now commented, I am so honored to partner with Yudi on his weekly column Design Business Blueprint and to bring his design experience, savvy business mindset and creative strategies with ways to develop business growth to our DNN audience.” 

Yudi’s partnership with Courtney Porter, Editor in Chief of Design News Now, is excited to announce two insightful talks for growing your design business at the upcoming Spring High Point Market,  (April 13-17, 2024).

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The first talk on Sunday, April 14 at 10 am is created in partnership with luxury custom upholstery brand Lancaster, to deliver an informative talk on Upleveling Your Design Business to Enter the Luxury Market with Yudi and Courtney.” Their casual fireside style chat is designed to be an engaging and informative talk that will help designers unlock the secrets to elevating their design business and discover ways to make a successful foray into the luxury market. This discussion promises invaluable information for the entrepreneurial designers of any level and who are looking to attract high-end clientele, grow and move their business upmarket. Attendees are encouraged to bring their questions to this lively conversation. The talk will be held at Lancaster’s High Point showroom at 104 North Main Street and feature champagne and lite bites. Guests are asked to RSVP to attend.

Yudi Kaufman will also speak as an expert panelist alongside Courtney Porter at a very special talk on Monday, April 15 from 3-4 pm, in Hooker Furnishings’ Showroom in Showplace 3rd Floor (211 E. Commerce Ave. High Point, NC) where they will deliver “Design Business Blueprint: Best Ways to Pivot Your Design Business in Times of Uncertainty.” From embracing digital transformation to fostering adaptive leadership – and everything in between – Yudi Kaufman and Courtney Porter will provide actionable insights for design professionals looking to thrive in unpredictable environments. Join for a drink and bring your questions, as the experts delve into practical strategies to empower your business in the face of uncertainty.  

Jeremy Hoff, the CEO of Hooker Furnishings remarked, “I am thrilled that Hooker Furnishings can host design business strategist Yudi Kaufman for an engaging and educational talk at our showroom during April’s High Point Market. Yudi’s unparalleled wisdom and expertise promise to provide enrichment for interior designers and entrepreneurs, offering invaluable insights to elevate their businesses. Our commitment to supporting designers and making their work easier remains unwavering, and we are excited to foster this partnership to empower the design community.” 

About  Yudi Kaufman

Yudi Kaufman, founder and president of YKD Associates, is a multifaceted business strategist, entrepreneur, and creative, who brings years of experience navigating the home furnishings and interior design industry from the inside out. He has a background in interior design, furniture design, sustainability, e-commerce, business management, human resources, accounting, marketing, and public speaking. Yudi is a true left-and-right-brainer! 

Yudi’s professional background in luxury interior design, furniture design, sustainability, e-commerce, business management, human resources, accounting, marketing, and public speaking has led to his success as a business strategist and as a business owner. As a longstanding member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council and with a Master’s degree in Sustainable Interior Environments from New York’s FIT – Fashion Institute of Technology, it’s no surprise that Saatva Mattress has included Yudi on its Saatva Mattress Advisory Panel as their Sustainable Expert, alongside ten other design, health, sleep, and wellness experts. Courtney Porter is the Editor in Chief of Decor News Now. She is the co-author of Green Interior Design with Lori Dennis. She combines a deep understanding of luxury design, business development, and the tech media landscape to deliver insightful reporting in a voice and format respected throughout the industry. Interior designers, architects, showrooms and retail brands have relied on Porter’s consultations to move their businesses upmarket and expand their reach.

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