Articles

Michael McHale: The short story [of how Michael McHale Designs came to be] is that I had been unhappy as a lawyer. I knew I had creativity in me, but I didn’t know how to harness it. [But, I did know] I needed to do... read more
Residential Lighting: How important is online advertising for lighting retailers? Court Cunningham: Traditional advertising and marketing have their place, but more and more studies show the incredible impact of online... read more
At least one-fourth of all businesses that close because of a disaster never reopen, with small enterprises the hardest hit, according to the Institute of Business and Home Safety (IBHS). The reason? Most fail to plan for... read more
BUCHWALD: The idea for my Machine Lights developed from my lifelong artistic examination of the essence of modern technology. I am fascinated by the uncompromising functionality of machines, [stripped from] the hull of... read more
Lindsey Adelman: I studied industrial design at RISD [Rhode Island School of Design] and focused on lighting for my final thesis. I found it to be a very low-tech way to have a big impact on a space and really transform... read more
Two-limb pendant by Sarah Cihat and Michael Miller Tabletop designer Sarah Cihat of Rehabilitated Dishware turns her talents to lighting design with the help of friend and metalsmith Michael Miller.Cihat: The lights... read more
Residential Lighting: What is Internet marketing, really? Bob Negen: Electronic marketing is using both e-mail and a website to deepen relationships with current customers and find new customers. Most retailers buy... read more
Residential Lighting: If we’re itching to expand, where do we start? Mike Munz: A person who thinks about expanding—adding a second location, square footage or product lines—should first write a business plan. Get the idea... read more
Residential Lighting: How have the entries evolved since the first competition? Monty Gilbertson: The improvement has been wonderful. We went from basic, “look at this” engineering technology to “look at what we’re doing now... read more
Residential Lighting: What are the main trends in kitchens and baths? Clayton Nelson: With open plans and multiple uses, kitchens are the social hub. As for baths, people spend more time at home, and they want a retreat. In... read more
Residential Lighting: How do we handle an irate shopper? Dr. Rick Brinkman: The customer wants to feel cared about. A study was once done by the White House Dept. of Consumer Affairs on why businesses lose customers: One... read more
Residential Lighting: What’s the formula for success with events? Melissa Haberstroh: Start with a small-scale event—a visit by an author, artist or designer. Let’s say you are fortunate enough to get Bob Mackie to introduce... read more
We asked three Lighting Showroom of the Year nominees for January’s 17th Annual ARTS Awards to tell us into which accessories categories they’ve expanded and how well they’ve managed to weave them into their existing product... read more
Residential Lighting: What makes for good visual merchandising? Paul Thompson: A vision. An understanding of what you want to be. Are you all things to everybody, or do you carry only certain items? Do you have expertise in... read more
For four years, Annapolis Lighting Co. President Preston Clark and his wife, Carlotta, have been deliberating the knotty process of turning over their four-store lighting showroom business in Annapolis, MD, to their... read more
Residential Lighting: Why are loyalty programs important? Malcolm Fowler: They allow lighting showrooms to gather data about their customers. In the enrollment phase, you collect demographic and preferential data. And in a... read more
Good retailing is about turning inventory quickly. But merchandising dollars often get tied up stocking slow products and funding customer returns. Never let a sleeping “dog” lie in this business. Speaker, author and home... read more
Residential Lighting: Why is public relations so important?Bill Stoller: One mystery about public relations is the difference between it and advertising. In advertising, you write the copy, select when and where it’s going... read more
The quickened pace of fashion trends and technological innovations demands the kind of commitment to continuing education that an industry outsider might more typically associate with the legal or medical professions. Not... read more
Residential Lighting: What is "cultural planning" all about? Larry Samuel: Fortune 500 companies and their ad agencies typically do lots of quantitative and qualitative research, so I bring them a different... read more

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