PaperCity Magazine

January 2018- Houston

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50 S ome of the world's leading entrepreneurs have launched wildly successful businesses from humble garages — Apple's Steve Jobs, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and Walt Disney all leap to mind. Add Andy Singer to that list. You may never have heard of Singer, but his brainchild, Visual Comfort & Co., is one of the most powerful global brands in the design industry. Collaborating with Kelly Wearstler, Ralph Lauren, Aerin Lauder, Barbara Barry, Alexa Hampton, and Thomas O'Brien, the company manufactures hundreds of styles of lamps, chandeliers, pendants, sconces, and outdoor lighting, sold mainly to the decorating and architecture trade. Flip through any design magazine — Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful — and you will see credit after credit for Visual Comfort lighting. The company began in 1987 with a simple, single idea: a line of pharmacy- style lamps, which the 32-year-old Singer designed and sold out of his family's garage to department and lighting stores, including Ralph Lauren. They were a hit. "I set a lifetime sales goal of making $5 million, because back then if you were a lamp manufacturer, that was a lot of money," he says. By age 39, he'd surpassed that goal. "That's when I realized there was a bigger world out there than $5 million." S inger's original benchmark is chump change compared to Visual Comfort's current revenues, which Moody's Investors Service estimates at $200 million annually. Hard work and persistence have paid off, but it's his 30-year history of remarkable design collaborations that has ANDY SINGER SEES THE LIGHT VISUAL COMFORT IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST DECORATIVE LIGHTING COMPANY, WORTH MORE THAN A HALF A BILLION DOLLARS. AND FEW PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE DESIGN INDUSTRY REALIZE IT'S BASED IN HOUSTON. MEET ITS GENIUS FOUNDER, ANDY SINGER, WHO, LIKE MANY TITANS WE CAN NAME, BEGAN HIS COMPANY IN HIS GARAGE. BY REBECCA SHERMAN. PRODUCED BY MICHELLE AVIÑA. PHOTOGRAPHY SAMANTHA BEATTY. Andy Singer in his Houston offi ce. The nuts and bolts

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