A Brief History

A passion for great design and an obsessive focus on building honest client relationships has shaped Hendrick since its inception. Over four decades, Hendrick has become one of the most reputable and successful interior design firms, following a consistent mission of delivering creative solutions that help their clients grow.


In the late 60s and early 70s, Bill Hendrick was practicing architecture in Atlanta while working with some of the most storied and inventive developers in the city. Always curious and creative, Bill developed a fascination for designing interior spaces, seeing great possibility to create spaces that inspire and enhance business.

Bill got his chance to dive deep into interior design when he was approached to establish the in-house firm for developer Jim Cushman (who was the visionary behind Colony Square and pioneer in developing mixed-use properties). With Cushman, Bill started Design Atlanta. His success there and his growing reputation attracted considerable client interest outside the Cushman family as well.

Early Days

In reaction to a strong desire to serve more clients and further push his vision, Bill split from Design Atlanta and founded Hendrick Associates in 1974. Joining him were three other designers and an administrative assistant. The spirit and determination of this small team led them to success both creatively and financially, and they built a strong foundation of clients — some of which are still active with the Hendrick today. In 1976, they moved to their current location in the newly-built Piedmont Center as a founding tenant.

In 1978, Bill was overtaken by his growing obsession with furniture design. He relocated to Michigan to pursue this path and partnered with a progressive manufacturing company. While remaining owner of Hendrick, Bill entrusted the day-to-day operations to designer Marsha Cook, who was only 29 years old.

Evolution & Growth

Marsha’s youth and inexperience were transcended by her enthusiasm, work ethic and passion for design. She took the reins and ran the creative side of the business with fervor, instituting client relation and design principals that hold today.

Listen. Do what you say you’re going to do. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know the answer, but find out the answer.

Marsha Cook

The new-look leadership of Hendrick was completed in 1980 when Jim Ferguson joined to handle business and administration. Jim made his mark by initiating processes and systems that increased efficiencies and productivity while retaining the focus on creative solutions for clients.

Jim and Marsha assumed full ownership in 1983, and Hendrick quadrupled in size under their leadership. The core approach to client relations was developed, establishing the template for exceptionally direct communications, deeper coordination into accounting, and an expectation of superior creative output.

Two key hires during this time were Chris Heard and Jennifer Treter. Chris and Jennifer had each worked with Hendrick, left to explore other opportunities, then "returned home."

Displaying leadership qualities, a passion for their craft, and the client focus that has been the common thread of Hendrick principals, they both became partners in 2001. Marsha retired in 2004, followed by Jim in 2008.

Since then, Chris and Jennifer have led Hendrick, continuing the charge of developing meaningful relationships and shaping spaces that grow businesses and brands.

I want people to feel comfortable and confident. They should know the process is under control and they’re in good hands.

Jim Ferguson