How did you enter the lighting industry?
I learned a lot about the home furnishings business from my dad, Bill Ferber, Sr., who established his own rep firm and had a permanent showroom in the Dallas Market Center for many years. However I entered the lighting industry when I was interviewed by Mr. Troy Lee and Michael Boyd for the opportunity to represent their company Renaissance Guild/Savoy House. At that time it was an idea to create and start another powerful lighting and accessory manufacturer. After spending two days at the Dallas Market Center, Troy Lee offered Bill Ferber & Associates the opportunity to be his representative for the states of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The entire line was high-end accessories, table lamps, and furniture. Knowing that Mr. Lee’s family also owned Progressive Lighting and Lee Lighting, I asked that if Savoy would be expanded into a major lighting company that we would have the opportunity to pursue the avenue of lighting showrooms in our territory. They agreed and the rest is history: Bill Ferber & Associates was the first and only representative in the three states to represent what is now Savoy House.
What are some of the biggest changes you have seen?
In the beginning, we offered traditionally styled lamps, furniture, and fixtures. Over the years, we have modified our assortment to include Contemporary and soft Mid-Century Modern, among other styles. In the last two to three years, we have all seen the lighting world become predominantly LED-based. Every day now we read or hear about something new and different in the lighting world.
What has been the key to your success?
First and foremost, it’s been the people who have stood behind me, and my drive to be successful. The most important individual in my organization is Barbara Jordan. She keeps it all together and organized. My customers have all supported me and gave us our opportunities with different manufacturers over the years. Building those types of strong partnerships is certainly a key factor in both my business and personal life. I enjoy and look forward every day to working with and calling on our accounts.
What do you wish you knew when first starting out?
Back then, I wish I had listened more and paid closer attention to the older, more experienced people in our industry.
What do you envision the lighting agency of the future to be like?
In today’s world of e-commerce and LEDs, agencies will have to be more knowledgeable than they ever have been in the past. You have to know your product, know how it works, and honestly be the best you can be. You have to work at it harder and smarter — and above all, never give up.