Since 1926, Creative Lighting has been a standing pillar in the lighting community. A now third generation family-owned business, the Creative Lighting story is one comprised of dedication and dreams. Beginning in the days where decorative home lighting seemed to be merely emerging, the business itself was initially geared toward selling electrical wholesale and contractor product, and was at that time known as Blaine Electric. When Barbara Blaine Minsberg and her husband Sol took over the business from Barbara’s parents, Bill and Nettie Blaine, in the fall of 1966- a new plan began to take shape. Wanting to grow with the times, the Minsberg family vision became clear- they would create a new showroom in St.Paul which would cater to the evolving decorative lighting trend, and they would offer the finest array of residential lighting fixtures available. This showroom would require a new location with a new name. In the Spring of 1971, 1728 Concordia Avenue became the home of what is now known as Creative Lighting.
The lighting scene was a much different landscape when Sol and Barbara first started out. “We had to source our product out of New York. There weren’t catalogs and websites available in those days,” Sol explained,” We had to physically go to the distributor and take a look at their floor samples to decide what we wanted to purchase for the showroom. It was much different back then- the fixtures were designed in other countries and then shipped here to sell. We had crystal chandeliers from Austria and that time, Czechoslovakia, etc. When the product arrived to the store, much of the time it was in several pieces. We had to do a lot of the major assembly in those days- sometimes right down to the sockets and wiring,” Sol continued, “Now- most everything is designed in the U.S. before it is manufactured overseas. And, fixtures come 80% pre-assembled in the box when they arrive at our store.”
With the change in times, came a change in leadership. Between the years of 1975-1980, Sol and Barbara’s three sons would start to take over the family operation. Jonathan, Michael and Jeremy Minsberg would work together to continue to grow and build the Creative Lighting brand and business to a thriving operation through the 80’s and 90’s. The three-generation title remains true today with Michael serving as the current President, and brother Jonathan as the VP and head of purchasing.
Starting with only a couple of vendors to showcase, Creative Lighting now has access to over 140 different lighting manufacturers, and proudly displays some of the best lighting product the industry has to offer. Covering a wide variety of styles and product lines, the shimmering floor displays have helped make the now iconic blue building become a stand-out visionary along the I-94 corridor. The building has changed it’s facade a couple of different times throughout it’s history. Chank Diesel, a well known local font artist, gave the building a fresh new face in 2002 with his famous “flowering lamp” images and cartoon styled characters that graced the building’s exterior for 8 years. Then, in 2010, Chank presented another design concept for the Creative Lighting structure. He put his talent to work and created the beautiful blue masterpiece that is our building exterior today, incorporating a mural with the work of another talented artist- Adam Turman. Creative’s exterior isn’t the only thing that has changed over the years-the company’s logo has gone through it’s own evolution, as well. The blue and white color scheme was original to the early days of Blaine Electric, but Creative Lighting came to the scene with a new logo and color combination. Goldenrod yellow and white became the first branding image of the store, along with the famous domed pendant image that was meant to mimic the trademark dome-shaped display window on the building’s exterior. Shortly after the summer of 1973- the old blue and white combination returned, and has remained Creative’s standing logo ever since.
As we complete our 90th year in business, we are reminded of what has brought us success and longevity in this industry. Our core business values of building trust, providing solutions, collaboration and evolvement in the lighting industry has created a loyal customer base within our community that we are honored to serve. Through our trained sales staff and customer service team, we continue to strive to provide you with a quality lighting experience each and every time you enter our store. We thank you for choosing Creative Lighting for all of your lighting needs, and are grateful for your continued business and support!
Let’s cheers to 90 years of Excellence in Illumination!