Showroom of the Year » Revenue Under $2 Million
Light Up Your Life
Sarasota, FL

The showroom’s name, Light Up Your Life, sends an instant message to homeowners. It also speaks volumes about its owner, Susan Inderbinen. In love with design and lighting since she was a young girl, Inderbinen is devoted to teaching people how lighting’s magical effects can improve their home lives and well-being with just a touch of a button or two.

Within an hour or so of accepting her Showroom of the Year Award on behalf of her store at the June Dallas Market, Inderbinen had a serious fall. After the ceremony — with husband and business partner, Moritz, and friends — she was on their way to celebrate an onstage experience that Inderbinen says was “truly like winning an Oscar.” Leaving a taxi, she tripped, hit her head and was taken to a local Dallas hospital. Inderbinen was still admitted, and in remarkably high spirits, when she spoke to Residential Lighting for this article. “We are honored, proud and happy to receive this award,” she says. “We are very proud of our profession.”

Small, independent, family-owned showrooms have taken it on the chin in recent years, but not so at Light Up Your Life, which opened in 1998. Customers from as far as Tampa and Miami travel to the 6,000-square-foot showroom because it is a showcase for world-class contemporary lighting, staffed by experts dedicated to personal service. 

The showroom itself is warm and comfortable. Displays are changed around daily, weekly, monthly — in other words, all the time. Display rooms present actual “home environments,” including a dining room, kitchen, bar area, home office and bathroom. Home lighting controls connected to each room give clients a full appreciation
for what can be achieved with good lighting design.
The Internet is used extensively to identify the latest fixtures and lighting design trends from around the globe. The assortment is truly world class.

Yet Inderbinen insists it is relationships that make her business grow. “We have respect for everyone who walks through our door. And we are honest with our clients. We treat them how we want to be treated, and we treat our employees the same way,” Inderbinen says.

“We listen to our employees and encourage them to give us feedback on the business,” she adds. “Retail success depends on employees who are motivated and truly interested in what they do. Listening to their thoughts and ideas keeps people motivated and interested. I’m excited about the business, and they are, too. We are on the same page. We have fun at work, and our clients pick up on those good feelings.”