Lighting showroom winners from the 2012 ARTS Awards share their success stories.
Valley Light Gallery , Scottsdale, AZ
Chris Unthank, President: We’re a family-owned business, and to be recognized in this way by [the ARTS Awards judges] is very gratifying. We are humbled and proud to receive the recognition. We’re lighting geeks who are customer-oriented. We love lighting, and we love helping customers fulfill the needs they have and create ones they don’t. I’ve surrounded myself with similar lighting geeks with the same attitude. In our showroom, we’re running uphill already. We’re working with a very old building with 9-foot ceilings, so when you walk in our showroom, everything is at eye-level and there is tons of it. But there’s something for every taste. Customers are [thrilled with all the choices] and happy to see, touch and get up close to the products. They get a whole different perspective on lighting because we take advantage of the opportunity to educate them, as well.
Brian Kleinberg, owner: Almost a decade ago, we took a leap by adding home furnishings to complement our lighting and enhance our product mix. We also set out to re-utilize our showroom floor space by introducing new categories while keeping a strong eye on value and affordability. We also brought on a full-time merchandiser and two assistant merchandisers because we understood the value of merchandising and of change. All of this has paid off by helping to increase our business. In the coming year, we are going to wow our customers further by being extremely progressive with technology. The reps in our showroom are going to start writing orders on their iPads. On the front end, when customers come in and ask [for a product that’s not on the floor], the reps can plug [their request] into their iPads and bring up a bunch of different options. We’re going to have large-screen TVs in the showroom that the reps can project the choices onto.
Craig and Lisa Motz, owners: We put a lot of effort into our [ARTS Awards nominee binder] presentation. We sat down and said ‘If we’re going to accept the nomination, let’s make our best effort to win it.’ In the end, our binder really showed off the fact that our store has a certain wow factor that customers feel when they walk through the door. Most people have maybe heard something about us, but when they walk in, they’re really amazed when they see it for themselves. A lot of it is the size. We have a 25,000-square-foot showroom, so they’re blown away. We have different areas of the showroom set aside for different manufacturers and different styles, so they really appreciate the selection and theway the product is displayed.