Scott McGregor and Simon Lloyd met in their student days, playing rugby. Now, they're a team off the field too at Lighthouse Remuera, which they opened in September. Scott is one of the business owners and also runs the company's North Shore operation, while Simon manages Lighthouse Remuera.
Did you just take over the existing lighting shop that was here?
Simon: We did take over another lighting shop with the same name, but we have since completely renovated and we're implementing a completely new business model and culture. We were very fortunate that the existing staff, Peter Heweitt, Em McClure and Kerri Hada stayed on to become part of our new team.
Tell us about some of the changes you've made.
Scott: We have redesigned the floor and opened it up to be a friendly, inviting, professional space to better allow us to build relationships with both our walk-in customers and our business clients.
Simon: We've also got plans for a 'concept room'. No prices - just an area to feel and visualise the impact light has on a space, to show different effects and moods.
Are you both involved with creating lighting concepts for your clients?
Simon: Yes, working as a team on the consultancy process enhances the level of service we provide. We encourage our team to explore their own levels of creativity so we can offer a more diverse range of options to our clients. We've learnt a lot from our team since opening, and we continue to do so every day. It's a collective effort.
What sets you apart from other lighting stores?
Simon: We don't compare ourselves to others! Our focus is on what we can offer. The people we interact with can be the judge and let us know!
Excuse the pun, but what are the highlights and lowlights that come with running this type of business?
Scott: When someone has a build going on, or is renovating, they are full of enthusiasm. We should be sharing that emotion, and there is something wrong if we don't; we should all be getting the same goosebumps for getting it right.
Simon: There are no real lowlights - it's not really "selling" when you completely and utterly believe in your products and service.
Scott: Our challenge is to always be on the same page as our customers. But that's the fun part!
Do you have any plans for expansion?
Scott: Any expansion we do will be around our people. We want to give the best customer experience possible!
Where are you from originally?
Simon: I'm a Northland boy. I come from Maungaturoto, and still have family there and in Dargaville.
Scott: Kaikoura, although I haven't been back there for years.
Right. So considering you came from opposide ends of the country, how did you meet and end up running a business together?
Scott: We met at the University of Canterbury. We were originally rugby mates, which developed into friendship.
Simon: We've had a lot of business conversations over time and we always hoped we would get the opportunity to work together. Its all very transparent between us, we have a good business relationship and friendship.
Tell us something about yourself that people might be surprised to know.
Simon: I was a singer in an old-school/indie rock band! I'm also conversational in Japanese.
Scott: I lived in Asia for 6.5 years working as an international school PE teacher and sports coach.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Scott: I do a lot with my family; my wife Kate and 18-month-old daughter Ruby. I've also started reading, mainly biographies. Graham Henry's was one I really enjoyed.
Simon: My partner and I love outdoor activities like camping. We also help mum on the farm quite a bit.
Do either of you still play rugby?
Simon: Nooo... old injuries are working against me! But I'd be happy to coach at some stage.
Scott: These days we have more of an armchair appreciation for the sport.
Any predictions for the Lions Tour 2017?
Scott: 3-nil to the ABs.
Simon: Yep, I agree and a win to the Blues too.
1 St Vincent Ave, Remuera
Ph: 09 524 5319
Photos by Vanita Andrews and words by Fiona Wilson. This article first appeared in the June 2017 issue of The Hobson.