Two close friends who have known each other and worked together for about 20 years decided to start an architect business. In July 2017, Sammey Collins and Roger Webb started their company, Collins-Webb Architecture. When they told their wives about their plans, it came as no surprise to them as they said, “It’s about time!”
After spending three months in a basement, Sammey and Roger decided their business was legitimate and moved into their first office space in Lee’s Summit. As project numbers increased throughout the fall, the duo hired their first full-time employees. Soon after, Collins-Webb moved to their current space in downtown Lee’s Summit.
Their location in downtown Lee’s Summit is very important to Collins-Webb. Part of their “selling point” to a new hire, is location. They want to make sure they offer an attractive destination for prospective employees. Sammey and Roger make consistent efforts to enjoy the area by taking the team to lunch or walking around downtown. “Heck, sometimes the whole staff will just all get up and leave to get ice cream downtown, leaving me and Sammey behind,” said Webb. Not only are they steps away from unique local amenities, but Collins-Webb is right in the heart of Lee’s Summit’s rapid growth and development.
Although they accept both local and national projects, Webb said that some of their favorite projects are the ones based in Lees Summit. They can grow relationships easily due to the proximity and enjoy their work upon project completion. Recently, Collins-Webb have worked with John Knox Village, Martin City, Arcade Alley, and Main Slice. Currently, 80% of projects are located in the Kansas City Metro Area and 20% land outside the region.
As project numbers grow at a rapid pace, finding new hires can be a challenge. Hiring efforts are put into recruiters, industry connections, and foot traffic. Collins-Webb Architecture operates differently from a big firm. For instance, a big firm will traditionally hire people straight out of school and offer limited project involvement. At Collins-Webb, new graduates could be responsible for 5-6 projects to work on independently. They are currently hiring, and job postings are available on their website –https://www.collinsandwebb.com/careers/.
From day one, Collins and Webb knew their business could only work if they collaborate and keep everything family oriented. The co-owners agree that “once we aren’t having fun, we know that we messed up”. In the next 5 years, Collins-Webb hopes to experience continued growth and expects to see more projects come through the door. Collins-Webb is confident their company will grow alongside the success of the LSEDC and is hoping to engage in more partnerships as an active investor.
Want to see more about LSEDC and our investors? Follow us on social media!