I am Ned Hastings from Pasco WA, AKA – The Tri-Cities (Pasco, Richland, & Kennewick). Pasco is located in South Eastern Washington right on the mighty Columbia river. A great place to live it never rains here.
I kind of stumbled in to my calling in OUTDOOR LIGHTING. I have always had a creative artistic talent as a kid and I never applied it. My adult professional life consist of 4 years in the Coast Guard, a BS in Construction Technology, a career in sales, 5 years as a Registered Financial Adviser, and then a Pharmaceutical Rep. for 4 years. I was miserable as a Drug Rep and I found myself without a job. I floundered around for a year tying to find unique products from the internet to sell – kind of like a manufactures rep. Through my research I ran across low voltage outdoor lighting. I became very intrigued. There are no outdoor lighting resources in my area. In August of 2005, Unique Lighting Systems was putting on a Unique University seminar in Lake Tahoe. Since I have family in Reno and it was a drivable trip I checked it out. Next thing I know I have a demo kit sitting in my garage for two months. I decided I had to do something with my demo kit so I lit up my parents front entry garden and BLEW them away. That was my first lighting job. I took some pictures of my first finished job of my parents garden and showed them to a hospital I was doing some other work with. They saw the pictures and said, “That is what we want for the outside of our hospital. The next thing I know I have a lighting job that consist of 75 fixtures and $30,000 contract. This all happened in the fall of 2005 needless to say I was GEEKED-UP on outdoor lighting. I was hungry for more resources in outdoor lighting, and I didn’t want anything to do with a franchise. I found the LVLIA. What a fantastic organization! My head was spinning because I am right in the middle of this huge job and I am learning as I go along. I go to my first LVLIA conference in Jan 2006 while I am right in the middle of this big hospital job. It was so exciting to meet other people who specialize in only outdoor lighting! It was inspiring and I had found my calling “Artistic Outdoor Lighting.”
I am still working at getting my business thriving. It is tough. Things are going good but slow. Last year to help keep me busy I also became a “Petstop” dealer and in the Winter I do holiday lighting – last year was my first year in the holiday lighting business. I personally think holiday lights are stupid. However, if someone is willing to pay a lot of money for holiday lighting, they are probably a good prospect for artistic outdoor lighting.
So my specialty is Artistic Outdoor Lighting – It is my passion, Pet Containment Systems-I have always loved animals, and Holiday Lighting – gag! (As you can see I will probably never have a thriving Holiday lighting business with this attitude).
Every minute of the past 2 years being in the outdoor lighting business has been fun. I absolutely love everything about the business. I get to do physical labor outside, I am challenged creatively, as a result I get a huge satisfaction from every finished job. It is tough starting your own business from scratch. But from what I hear, the best way to be successful in business is to do something you love, and I LOVE outdoor lighting. There is no way I can go back working for someone else. Everyone on this forum should go to the AOLP conference this January-It is a blast. Hope to see a lot of you there.