Eureka Moment: I studied scenic and lighting design in college and graduate school and had done quite a bit of work in live entertainment, film and television design work before I began designing architectural lighting. In Hollywood when you need scenery or props you can ask a prop house to build anything you can dream up – any style, period or material is possible. But in architecture vendors tend to be material and style specific. I thought that there should be a lighting company that could make any style decorative fixture for any commercial or hospitality project.

Secret to Success: Our awareness of what our clients are going through and their needs. The architects, interior designers and purchasing agents that we work with are all under a lot of pressure to provide innovative new products with limited time and budgets.

Long-Term Strategy: First, to continue to offer our lighting expertise to a broader range of architectural design clients here in the United States. Second, to develop relationships in foreign markets such as the Middle East and Far East where, despite the economic downturn, the hospitality and construction sectors are booming, and where the current weak U.S. dollar allows us to sell luxury American made goods at extremely competitive prices.

Biggest Challenge: We spend a great deal of time researching vendors through trade shows, online trade fairs and foreign travel so we can offer our clients new materials and finishes. Be it glass blowers, crystal vendors, bronze foundries or the like, many of the world’s vendors were ravaged and several of our key vendors even disappeared during the recent economic recession. So maintaining those sources and those relationships is a key challenge in our business.

No. 5 - Lusive Decor

Los Angeles

Business: Custom lighting manufacturer

Year Founded: 2002

Two-Year Growth Rate: 296%

2009 Revenue: $5.2 million

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