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From the hearts and souls of two brothers convinced that family matters above all else, emerged Maxim Lighting®, a unique company founded on the values and principles passed down to them for generations—wise, compassionate leadership; respect at all levels; support and collaboration; a strong work ethic; and earned loyalty. From the designers to the manufacturers, from the sales representatives to the customers, Maxim Lighting functions as a closely knit family, committed to understanding and meeting the needs of each member. This simple but powerful philosophy propelled Maxim Lighting to the top of the lighting industry and continues to set the company and its people apart from the status quo.
Maxim Lighting began with the hard work and dedication of Jacob Sperling, who came to Los Angeles on a student visa in 1965 to pursue his education in aeronautical engineering. While studying, he worked as a sales associate for a lighting retailer and became acquainted with the lighting industry. Jacob quickly realized that customer satisfaction led to innovation in both design and utility. Soon, he was spending his nights working in his garage that he turned into a makeshift factory, designing and engineering his own fixtures and selling them locally. His customers were so impressed by his original, innovative designs in beveled glass and brass that demand increased and Jacob began selling his designs throughout California from the back of his station wagon. In 1970, Jacob asked his brother, Zvi Sperling, to assist him in creating a company focused on customer needs and expectations—and the family business was born.
By 1975, Maxim Lighting had grown out of Jacob’s garage and into a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in downtown Los Angeles with 25 employees. Zvi oversaw sales and marketing, while Jacob focused on design and production. That year, the line comprised 150 different designs, and Maxim Lighting hit its first million in revenues.
Cramped for space and still growing, Maxim Lighting moved to a 206,000-square-foot facility in City of Industry in 1989. Zvi organized a network of manufacturer sales representatives equipped to showcase Maxim Lighting products throughout the United States, while Jacob trained a local workforce of over 400 employees in the production and manufacturing of his designs. During this time, Jacob traveled frequently to East Asia in search of alternative materials, and in 1992, he opened an official Maxim Lighting office in China. He now splits his time between China and the West Coast, as Zvi heads the U.S. marketing and sales efforts, personally meeting with sales representatives and customers.
Always searching for better ways to serve the industry, the Sperlings recognized the need to strengthen the link between lighting showroom distributors and residential homebuilders. They responded in 2003 by launching Maxim Lighting’s Builder Program, a network of manufacturer sales representatives intrinsically familiar with both the homebuilder business and the showroom distribution industry. Valuing and fostering the intimate relationship between these two entities enables Maxim Lighting to deepen its understanding of pricing, quality, stocking requirements, design, and utility, and illustrates, once again, the effectiveness of the Maxim Lighting family model.
These close relationships keep Maxim Lighting keenly in tune with design trends and market demand, and inspired the Sperlings to expand their family. In 2004, Maxim Lighting introduced ET2 Contemporary Lighting™, an exciting addition of contemporary designs to complement Maxim Lighting’s more traditional lines. Jacob’s first ET2 line embodied the principles of fine art, incorporating the elements of form, function, and aesthetics. While traditional styling remains Maxim Lighting’s main market, ET2 Contemporary Lighting designs have met with immense favor in the industry and have paved the way for a new divisional focus on commercial and hospitality lighting that strengthens the efforts of both Maxim Lighting and ET2 Contemporary Lighting. As the newer contemporary designs meet a sophisticated and growing demand for unique, innovative lighting solutions, the clean lines and sleek finishes also elevate the impact of every showroom they grace, creating a fresh, forward-thinking atmosphere.
As one advance leads to another, Maxim Lighting’s next step toward total customer care led to the integration of technology with customer service. A true pioneer, Maxim Lighting became one of the first lighting manufacturers to utilize the Internet to better meet industry and customer needs and provide outstanding service, and is one of today’s strongest ecommerce providers. This strategic move came with extensive planning and a solid commitment to keep the family model strong and healthy. Much like the advent of ET2 Contemporary Lighting, the addition of online capabilities greatly enhanced the traditional Maxim Lighting customer experience without diminishing the essence of what has served the company so well for so many years. Unparalleled showroom support continues to stand as a Maxim Lighting hallmark.
Maxim Lighting’s enduring philosophical commitment has sustained it through economic downturn and united it during times of prosperity. In 2010, the Maxim Lighting family turned 40. And, while this brief glimpse at the past four decades highlights important milestones and chronicles steady growth, it by no means tells the whole story. With warehouse shipping locations on both coasts, a remarkable team of skilled and knowledgeable professionals, and visionaries at the helm, the Maxim Lighting family continues to expand and explore new ways to serve, design, manufacture, and light the world with excellence.
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