Rural Business Photo Stories

Duffer Hollow Designs

Duffer Hollow Designs

“Throwing shade” is what they do at Duffer Hollow Designs in rural Rich Hill, Missouri.

Owners Gina and Brian Richardson launched the shade structure business in 2022 after moving their lives and industry expertise 11 years ago to the Bates County countryside, about an hour south of Kansas City. At Duffer Hollow Design, they produce custom and customizable shade structures for playgrounds, recreational facilities, restaurant patios, and more.

Nearly every step of Duffer Hollow Designs’ shade production process is accomplished in-house. Designs begin in the office using software to create a blueprint that puts structural integrity behind the customer’s vision. After the plans are final, work on metal supports and fabric layout begin in tandem.

Employees cut and sew fabric to fit exact dimensions of the project. In the metal shop, they weld and grind down supports to be assembled later on site, generating a firework-like display of light and hot metal. Another local business in nearby Appleton City powder coats the metal supports before Duffer Hollow Designs packages and ships the final product for installation.

Gina Richardson said, “If you don’t count our powder coating guy over in Appleton City, there are only eight of us. We might be small, but we are able to hold our own with the big guys.”

Shade structures that Duffer Hollow Designs produces in Rich Hill are shipped out and installed across the Midwest. Some noteworthy customers include the Kansas City Currents women’s soccer team and the Worlds of Fun amusement park in Kansas City.

“Most of our work is shipped out to other regions and states, so anytime we have an opportunity to help locally, we do what we can,” Richardson said. She and husband Brian are active in the community, including serving as a supervisory judge in local elections, volunteering with the Butler Area Chamber of Commerce and supporting women’s education through the Butler P.E.O (Philanthropic Educational Organization).

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