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Honoring Women in Lighting | International Women's Day

Honoring Women in Lighting | International Women's Day

The Beginnings

Jean Eyre founded Lighting Design in 1997. Jean was a pioneer in her own right as one of the first women in lighting and one of the first female showroom owners. She changed the lighting industry by showcasing chandeliers, pendants, and sconces with home decor in lifestyle settings. This International Women's Month, we honor how Jean paved the path for female entrepreneurs. 

When Jean founded Lighting Design in 1997, women didn't own showrooms. There were few women in the industry and they weren't typically weren't in ownership positions. Jean's ownership on its own disrupted the lighting industry. Additionally, Jean showcased lighting in different interior design scenes which was different than most lighting showrooms at the time. When she combined her eye for design with her lighting knowledge she became unstoppable. 

Women in Management

As the business continued to grow, Jean realized the need for warehouse staff. Because of her tenacity Lighting Design was so big that she could no longer pull orders and handle warehouse duties on her own.

Enter Jackie. Jackie Jennings wasn't even looking for a career when Jean reached out to her to manage the warehouse. Since then, Jackie has been part of the company managing the warehouse for 15+ years. Jackie says, "I can't say enough about her support. It was almost like she protected me." With over 10,000 square feet and four employees to organize and oversee, Jackie and her team are certainly the backbone of Lighting Design.

Empowering Other Women

Today, Lighting Design's staff is made up of over 60% women with 50% of its management female 

Capri Cheney started at Lighting Design in the early 2000s after meeting Mendee (Jean's daughter) who was her next-door neighbor at the time. Since then Capri has gone 1099 (outside sales) with Jean's support. In turn, Capri has been able to grow her own business. She credits Jean with, "...Paving the way for women to be in business." 

Ashley Williams looks up to Jean's example of running a business. Being able to see a woman do it and be so successful inspires Ashley to continue to work hard. Within the last year Ashley has gone from working in the showroom to starting her own business as a 1099 Outside Sales Lighting Specialist.

Jean's legacy is one of uplifting kindness, and part of that is how she has created a family-friendly working envrionment. Family-friendly policies such as allowing people to take off or work from home when needed to take care of children or spouses, working with various schedules part time or rotating hours. These are all remnants of respect for Jean and her kindness to employees. 

View the International Women's Month video.

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