- Mitchell Antesky
Let's buy a lamp company, it'll be fun!
Ok, that's not exactly how it all started, but close, Here we are about 5 weeks into this adventure and I say, "hey, can I write a blog for the website"? So just what am I thinking, right? This is one of the reasons I'm sometimes called, the Crazy Bald Guy and for 10 years now there has been a CBG II, but I will get to all of that eventually here.
(For our musical theatre friends)...Let's start at the very beginning. Most likely sometime in the summer of 2018, one Saturday morning on our semi-regular trip to the Toledo Farmers' Market, we spied an open overhead door on the side of the Erie Street Market and obviously there was some activity going on there from the looks of some "open today" signs around on a loading dock and a few industrial style pipe lamps out on display. As curious cats, we ventured over to check it out. Inside we found a...well, to put it honestly... something that basically resembled a garage filled with unique pipe and wood lamps accented with a variety of vintage inspired Edison bulbs. Having recently moved into and nearly completed the task of decorating a loft apartment with a mash-up of contemporary urban and warehouse inspired industrial touches, these lamps pulled at our heartstrings. No purchase was made that day but we had a nice conversation with Denise, who was tending the shop that day for her son, Tom, the mastermind behind the Toledo Lamp Company.
Fast forward two years. I had another one of my great ideas, yes, the crazy bald head was at it again, Our fifth wedding anniversary was quickly approaching and of course, as usual, I was stumped for a gift for the greatest husband in the world. Ah ha, I might be onto something! When we moved into our 1028 square foot loft, some downsizing had to happen, and my most amazing husband had decided that he would part with his electronic keyboard since we knew space might be tight in the new place. A sacrifice I didn't want him to make since I know he loves to play as much as I love to hear him play but nevertheless, he bid farewell to his old 88s. Well, in late summer 2020, the desire to fill the loft with music brought a new keyboard into our home and we were after all able to find a suitable place for it, but...he needed a light over the music. So I sent a quick message via social media to Denise and explained my vision for an industrial wall mounted piano light. She graciously set up an appointment for me to work with her and design the lamp. Casually during that process, I asked how business was doing for them. She confided that due to many factors in both of their lives now, they were considering finding a buyer for the business. As we worked through the details of building the lamp, and it was coming together rather well, if I say so myself, she says "see, you built a great lamp, you're a natural, you should buy this place". (I laughed on the outside but perhaps at that moment, I knew what might be now be...fate, or kismet or one of those things that means, Oh boy, once again, what are you thinking you crazy bald guy!
Due to my procrastinating personality just a few days are left before our anniversary, I get a call, the custom lamp is ready for pick up and the next thing I know, its hanging on the wall above the previously mention keyboard. This is where it starts to get real, I tell Scott, (yes that his name, 3300 words into this blog and I finally mention him by name) you know, they say they want to sell the lamp company, want to buy a lamp company? He is as crazy, and as bald as me, so says, " hmmm, sure, let's go for it"! I of course say something like.. what do we know about buying and running a lamp company? This is where sometimes things you've said before come back to haunt you. He reminds me that once I had told him, "If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough".
Well, damn. Ok, now I guess we have no choice but to see if we can make both our dreams of being entrepreneurs come true.
So, to keep a long story from becoming even longer, in a nutshell. We contacted a great neighborhood legal firm, Anspach Law, (we can never call them out enough for the great work they did for us) met with Tom and Denise again, made an offer, got a counter offer, made another, you know, all the usual procedures and on eventually on December 2, 2020 we became the official new owners of the Toledo Lamp Company.
That's our humble beginning, I want to share more of our journey here with you, I hope you will enjoy more of what's to come. Our successes, our failures, what we do daily, the creative process, who is brains and who is brawn, and so much more.