Lush Lighting to celebrate 10 years with anniversary event

Published 1:56 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2022

NILES TOWNSHIP — A local business that has served as a beacon for local horticulturists will soon celebrate 10 years in business.

Lush Lighting, 1950 S. 11th St., will host a ten-year anniversary event from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 25. The event will feature free food, prizes, games and more.

Owned by Matthew and Renae Johnson, Lush Lighting is a retail store that sells grow lights, soils and plant nutrients and other garden materials and carnivorous and exotic plants. 

A plant enthusiast, Matthew began tinkering with lights after being dissatisfied with the grow lights on the market. An entrepreneur at heart, Matthew wanted to take his lights and sell them to plant enthusiasts like him.

“I always wanted to be a business owner,” Matthew said. “But to find where to fit in is difficult. I look at a business in corporate America like a professional sport. Being good’s not good enough; You got to be the best in your field at something in order to succeed in excel and that’s when we created this light and it started forming like no other life could perform. I knew that we were on the cusp of something big.”

The business became incorporated in 2012 and opened in Belle Plaza in 2014 after two years of running the business out of their home.

“Opening up the retail store was a big leap,” Matthew said. “We had outgrown the house. I had already used the garage, the basement, the living room. I remember my office and equipment and inventory was spilling all over into the dining room and my wife was like, ‘this can’t happen, you got to find somewhere else for all this stuff.”

In 2019, Lush Lighting relocated from 1964 S. 11th St. to 1950 S. 11th St. in Bell Plaza, which provided the Johnsons with more space for products and room to expand. 

“Now that we have the retail store, we have close to 20,000 stock keeping units,” Matthew said. It’s a lot of maintenance to keep up with this kind of inventory.”

During the onset of the pandemic, the couple managed to stay in business by adopting a curbside pickup model.

“We had to send everyone home,” Renae said. “The two of us working curbside and not only surviving that but thriving through it was amazing. It was just him and I and my parents came in and would help us answer the phone, keep an eye on the store and stuff.”

The approval of Proposal 1, which legalized adult-use marijuana, has brought an influx of home growers to Lush Lighting the past three years. With the business continuing to grow, Matt and Renae anticipate outgrowing their current space within the next few years.

“As long as nothing changes in the cannabis space, I see us trending upward,” Matthew said. “There’s no reason for us to go backwards unless something were to happen where people won’t be allowed to grow anymore. That’s the only thing that would really slow us down at this point.”

In the meantime, they look forward to celebrating their success later this month with the community that made it happen.

“We’re excited,” Renae said. “We’ve had smaller things before but nothing like this. It’s exciting.

“It’s a big achievement to make it 10 years,” Matthew said.