UNIQUE is now our Competitor!!

Discussion in 'Unique Lighting' started by Eden Lights, Jun 26, 2008.

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  1. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 805

    I really try to stay positive, but this just is just Typical UNIQUE. Years ago a employee of UNIQUE tried to gain my business and long story short he really was my COMPETITOR. Demos, Installs w/ general laborers, and of course no service or followup. Well I have really stayed away from them ever since, It's just in the last couple of months that I would even purchase their products again after really enjoying meeting and talking with Joey on this forum. I could state many more factual experiences, but I have said enough. Just see for yourself and wait for the Spin from Unique.

    http://www.visualconceptsllc.com/residential.htm

    Unique Landscape Lighting
    Nate Mullen
    Visual Concepts LLC
     
  2. dwightschrute

    dwightschrute LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

  3. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 805

    Nate Mullen AKA "The Illuminator" with 1000's of installations.

    This stuff is great.
     
  4. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,955

    Eddie;

    Is he cutting in to your profit share?

    He personally is not in my market. If you came out with your own fixtures for building mounts, including some propriety concealment methods/materials, I would be on the phone with my distributor asking to get my hands on your stuff. Same with anyone else on here. Should Mike G. stop installs now that he is offering transformers?

    I'd rather buy materials from the best installers with lots of experience, who prove ideas in the field, and continue to learn and grow their business, than from a suit who never swung a pick ax at some roots or had to prove great designs in a free market.

    I only mention this from my beginner's perspective. Don't take for granted your own expertise. You may not need Unique, but I do, and I need everyone's help as much as they are willing to offer it.

    I have little time to waste in developing my biz. With the support of everyone here, I am now getting referrals, and I have confidence and faith in my work.

    If all I had was my local irrigation distributor, I would not be emerging and growing the way I'm starting too.

    My fear is not Unique, mine is you! Stay in Nashville, please. :)
     
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Oh that is rich! Very Interesting.... and only one very short comment on the Visual Concepts web site that makes any mention of Unique, or Nate's ownership of Unique.

    Hmmmmm..... I wonder what products they specifiy in their designs and use in their design/build company?

    This would reek of conflict of interest to find out that his design specifications reference products made by Unique lighting now wouldn't it? Even worse if the Visual Concepts designs and specifications carry with them "no substitution" clauses.

    Personally, I don't really care about this as it does not affect me or my business at all. It is a really big pie out there and there is a lot to go around. I could see how some people would find this annoying or problematic if they were in direct competition with Visual Concepts.

    Questions:

    1: How long has this company been around?
    2: If it is new, then you would have to ask.... Why?
    3: Is Visual Concepts a member of the AOLP?
    4: Is Visual Concepts a member of the IALD? ( I sure hope not)
     
  6. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    The more I look at this the more I am thinking that Visual Concepts is a Design / Engineering entity only and not a installation or contracting company. It would be good to understand this for certain before a bunch of people go getting all worked up.

    Who does the procurement and installation of the jobs that Visual Concepts designs and specifies? Do they use an open bid process for the jobs they Design/Specify or do they handle this in-house, or hand it off to a cherry picked installations contractor?

    If they bid the installations, then how does one get on the bidder list?

    I would love to see one of the design & specifications packages. It would be cool to see to what level they are documenting and specifying their jobs.

    Gotta hand it to Nate... the man certainly does understand "Vertical Integration."
     
  7. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,141

    Hey Nate,
    Good for you. I can understand the itch to "get your hands dirty" again, so to speak. I personally don't see a problem with it. The day Unique starts hoarding all their fixtures for their own projects and stops selling them to me, will be the day that I stop buying from them. I can understand if creating with light is what you do, sitting behind a desk is not going to be very fulfilling. A guy needs that creative outlet.
     
  8. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    I saw that website months ago and it doesn't bother me. Nate was a contractor before he was a lighting manufacturer. And face it, Nate has always been good at marketing.

    So was Bill Locklin, R.I.P., who maintained his EC license to the end, and was involved in installing many high end projects while still a manufacturer. Bill called himself a "wire twister" with a sense of pride.

    I think I even read somewhere that Mike Gambino, though mostly manufacturing transfomers these days, also designs and installs lighting. :)

    So, what's the big deal?
     
  9. jnewton

    jnewton LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    I don't have a dog in this fight, but I'm having trouble finding a big evil conspiracy here. Nate Mullen has never hidden the fact that he is a lvl contractor; in fact, his books are entirely based on his personal experiences in sales, design, installation and maintenance. From my perspective, it's good that a manufacturer is still willing to get his hands dirty. If he's still walking the walk, he's probably in touch with the industry and the guys who make a living in it. Doesn't seem like a conflict of interest to me.
     
  10. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 805

    I just checked in for a second and I will post more on my view later, but when you see a big project or two go to a Manufacturer, Local Rep, and some general laborers you will understand. Unique is not the only gulity ones, its the way of the lust for $$$ for many now days.
     
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