While in Paris, this past January, covering the 2012 Maison et Objet show I had the pleasure of meeting Larry Lazin, the CEO of Global Lighting. Amidst the high energy and excitement of the show, Larry and I sat down to discuss design, lighting, arts, crafts, and his innovative, forward-thinking approach to business.
Long before I met Larry, I had been a fan of his company Global Lighting. My first introduction to Global Lighting and the exclusive line of Spanish and Italian lighting they import into the United States (to designers, hotels and other contract venues) was at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in 2010. I came across one of the brands Global Lighting carries – Spanish-based lighting design firm, LZF – while walking the show floor. I can honestly say that LZF’s lighting took my breath away. The show vignette was stunning and the fixtures themselves were beyond words. Simply put, LZF in one singular moment had taken a décor item (lighting) that at best I had a modicum of boredom toward, and illustrated to me that true artistry still existed in the world of illumination.
Larry understands the arts and crafts of his business which is why I believe he possesses the masterful ability to find unique, beautiful and emotionally transformative designs like those created by the multiple designers at LZF. Larry’s love for arts, crafts and industrial design led him to a stint at Goddard College learning glass blowing then on to art school where a pivotal project put him on the path to lighting design and eventually shaped Global Lighting into the company it is today. That project over thirty years ago was the starting point in lighting design for Larry. After school he went on to work for Lightolier and subsequently opened his first custom lighting design business in New York, Lazin Lighting. The early years in the custom lighting design business were hard, and at times the future didn’t seem so bright. At one point Larry found his non-patented lighting design being copied by a larger market player and felt deeply disheartened – not having a patent and with little financial resources to fight to defend his design. Larry, however didn’t give up on his dream. He was armed with a strong resolution to stay in the lighting business and to continue to move forward.
LZF Agatha Pendent
LZF Link S Chain
LZF Anfora Table Lamp
Several years after opening his own lighting design business Larry moved away from the custom lighting business model and founded Global Lighting. As mentioned earlier, Larry, is an innovator, an early adopter of technologies and business ideas – so when he noticed a tremendous opportunity to import exclusive European lighting designs (from emerging design hubs like Spain) to the North American markets, he took it. Since then Global Lighting has become quite the successful market player in the imported lighting design market catering to designers and contract buyers. Larry now has plans in the work to bring beautiful and exclusive lighting direct to consumers.
Not surprisingly, along with his intense yearning for the arts and constant learning and innovating in the business realm, I found that Larry also had a deep passion for sailing. As a fellow sailor, I fully understand his passion. As in life and in business, when we set sail we have a plan for the places we will visit, however not always does our voyage go according to plan. There are times that sudden, severe storms approach on the horizon and you must change course (time permitting) or adapt to the situation at hand. It can often be scary, demoralizing and confidence-shaking, but my experience is that you come out of the experience stronger, more confident in your abilities and with an intense pride in knowing that despite the hardships and fears that you reached your destination. Larry, never lost sight of where he wanted to take his business, he navigated through the stormy weather and rough waters, adapting and innovating along the way, and in the end he reached the destination he had dreamed of.