Serge Magarik, the CEO and Founder of VONN Lighting, On Innovation, Technology, & Creativity
Serge Magarik, the CEO and Founder of VONN Lighting, manufactures and distributes unique technologically sophisticated LED light fixtures. Turning conventional light fixtures into extraordinary showpieces, VONN Lighting, sets itself apart from competitors.
As a distinguished watchmaker will say, “behind accuracy, lies precision.” VONN follows the same principle because design and function cannot stand short on quality. LED represents innovation and VONN combines LED technology with current trends to deliver a product that goes beyond innovation and creativity.
So, upon the Home Design & Remodeling Show, located at the Wynwood Convention Center from March 1st – March 3rd, we sat down with Magarik, to hear firsthand how he developed a state of the art lighting brand, creating a space for new modern artistry inside the market of home improvement, and his future plans for efficiency and longevity.
Serge, pioneered an unparalleled brand. What made you initially curate VONN Lighting?
SERGE MAGARIK: My interest in the lighting industry came with the innovation of LED. I identified an opportunity and I took the chance to create something unique, something that was luxurious at an affordable cost, but with higher quality and technology that stands out amongst competitors. Remember, pioneers are the innovators who learn from history and innovate for future generations. These are the core principles at VONN.
The amalgamation of sports cars, time pieces, and fashion. How were you able to build this synthesis and relate it to lighting?
SM: I use elements of the design and aerodynamics of the automobile industry. Sports cars for instance, it’s the lines, referring to aerodynamics. It’s the perfection of the design I get my inspiration from. Time pieces are designed with precision. On precision relies perfection. Think about it…. A watchmaker takes a small box of thousands of components, and puts that together by himself, which means each piece is truly unique. At last, fashion trends you must follow with such mastery, in order to indulge clients’ desires.
Elaborate on the maturity of LED lighting.
SM: In the world of LED, creativity is endless. Such invention catapulted lighting to the next level. With LED you can always do something different, something creative, unlike the traditional light fixtures we are so used to seeing over the decades. The one miscalculation on my behalf, is the fact that I did not think it was going to happen as quickly as it did. So timing was an important factor when I created VONN.
When did you first decide to enter the home design industry?
SM: After years of working in the investment industry, I realized that I wanted to build an innovative and unique Brand., a legacy if you will. So, I saw the opportunity of growth of LED lighting and took it by creating a lighting company that focuses on LED at an affordable price points, without ever compromising the quality of the products. By designing and engineering in the U.S. while manufacturing in Asia, this provided us with a tremendous competitive advantage with regards to quality as well as pricing as I mentioned earlier.
A visionary in home improvement, how do you plan to continue to develop and innovate lighting design?
SM: By following trends and keeping up to date with technological innovations. Lighting is fashion, art, and creativity. I follow trends, and trends are known to change quite rapidly. You always must come up with innovative ways to create something new from the design perspective. Then, its technology. Being that VONN is strictly LED lighting, it offers the ability to create art pieces rather than static fixtures that simply hang off the ceiling. VONN is not a lighting solution or a static piece of hardware handing off the ceiling; it’s an artistic centerpiece in home décor and a representation of elegance, precision, and technology.
Currently, VONN also has five verticals. Residential Decorative, Commercial Decorative, Architectural Linear, Outdoor and LED Mirrors. Meaning that there is enough room for improvement and innovation to continue growing.
Establishing a new space for lighting and artistry to exist together, do you see yourself creating a butterfly effect?
SM: Absolutely. I wanted to do something different, something that no one has done before. That’s why I created VONN. The lighting industry is an ancient industry. If you look back 40 to 50 years, lighting hasn’t changed. In my opinion, it is the most underappreciated element in any décor. This is the reason why LED technology is a revolution in lighting. Our exponential growth is attributed to our ability to build a solid infrastructure while offering upper-echelon LED products, but in a more economically agreeable price level than was previously possible.
The dynamic design processes. How does it work?
SM: Everything at VONN gets done in-house. Everyone at VONN is a unit. As a CEO, people do not work for me, people work with me. I am just an engine component, that’s it. Designs are created in-house, where I have personally influenced many of the designs offered. I often work on sketches, although my drawing ability is nowhere near where I wish it would have been. This is where Design Team takes over. It is teamwork that I am quite proud of at VONN. The ideas for the designs come from my surroundings. It could be a tree, waterfall, building, fountain, or bridge. It could be anything you could possibly imagine.
And after manufacturing countless light fixtures, which one would you say is currently on trend in Miami?
SM: The trend in Miami is modern and minimalistic. If we discuss residential settings, Miami has a geometrical approach when it comes to interior design. Lighting is usually selected after the furniture, where shapes of the furniture, or structural layout of the space, dictate the geometrical shape of the light fixtures selected. However, there are many who prefer traditional, warm look, where our most recent addition, VONN Artisan Collection, now offers integrated LED in traditional lighting. Finally, in terms of colors and textures, we mostly see white tones and glass, leading recent trends.
Are customers able to custom design pieces?
SM: For projects, absolutely. Core of our business is transacted through Trade Professionals, where our ability to Value Engineer is one of the most attractive offerings by VONN.
On the pulse of the lighting market, where do you see it going in the future?
SM: The lighting industry will continue growing at unprecedented pace, where integrated LED along with the Smart Home Concept, playing key role for decades to come. We have come a long way…. Just imagine that you are now able to control lighting and other electric components in your home or business with the use your smartphone from anywhere in the world. At VONN, we are going to continue to focus on efficiency, longevity, and creative designs as the industry progress.
Developing two giant home improvement brands, what advice could you give, young aspiring Miami based entrepreneurs?
SM: The advice I could give to young aspiring Miami based entrepreneurs, is to always follow your instinct. Innovate; do what others have not done and do not stop when someone attempt to discourage you. However, remember to be honest with your own self, judging your abilities. My motto in life is if you float with the current you will get as far as the current takes you. However, if you swim against it, you’re going to end up in places no one has ever been before. Most will consider that a risk, but it is a risk I am willing to take.