The show's star, Tone Loc, is best known for his recording of Wild Thing. While he may be a one-hit wonder, Hughie's definitely is not.
In 1953, Hugh Callay founded Hughie's Flower & Film in a 900-square-foot store in the heart of Cleveland's retail district. The flower shop was the primary business; film development and camera rental were an afterthought -- a convenience for his customers.
It was a simpler time, when a flower centerpiece created the tone for any special event. But times changed. So did customer demands and the technology to meet them. The flower shop evolved from camera rental to offering slide projectors and later, video cameras.
But it wasn't until 1994 that a local man, Dave Wheeler, bought the business and broadened Hughie's product line to create a national presence.
That year, David Copperfield was searching for a production company to take him from a stage presence to an arena production. He tested Wheeler's expertise and hired Hughie's to tour with him. The job lasted eight years.
Hughie's is also the provider of choice for the American Advertising Federation's national convention and the Cleveland Advertising Association's ADDY Awards ceremony. And when President Bush recently visited Richfield, Hughie's was there, creating the staging and roof systems.
"You can basically get the equipment from almost anyone," says Wheeler. "It really comes down to our clients having a good comfort level with us ... it's how well we work with them."
Hughie's hires emcees, designs sets, writes scripts and provides clients with the latest in computerized lighting, animated computer graphics, sound systems and logo projections. Throw in special effects with confetti cannons, smoke machines and moving lights, and "it becomes more of an experience rather than a happening," says Wheeler. "I like to call it corporate entertainment."
Wheeler's success lies in part in creatively bringing ideas to life. The other part is taking control of the quality of his products. Events, both large and small, require more than audio and visual products. Often, stages must built and buildings constructed.
Wheeler used to subcontract that portion of an event production. But in 1998, he acquired a Columbus-based audio visual company. The move not only broadened his capabilities, it allowed him to integrate the Columbus market with the same performance quality he offered in Cleveland.
In 2001, Wheeler expanded Hughie's again when he bought Cleveland-based Electra Stage, bringing staging, rigging and outdoor roof systems under Hughie's service umbrella. Now, no aspect of an event has to be subcontracted.
Hughie's went from a modest 900-square-foot store to a 90,000-square-foot national headquarters. But it's not the nationally televised, big-budget jobs that have spurred Hughie's growth. It's the boardrooms and the road warriors that bring in 80 percent of the business.
Clients large and small have product launches, corporate meetings and presentations. Wheeler specializing in transforming the big-budget event into the affordable for middle-market companies.
"There's lots of companies out there with champagne taste and beer budgets," says Wheeler.
So whether it is in a conference room for 10 or at a convention for 10,000, Wheeler says clients want to get their point across with a message that's exciting and memorable.
"With Hughie's, you're going to see it, you're going to hear it and you're going to feel it." How to reach: www.hughies.com