Bert Light, one of the company’s partners along with his siblings Stuart, Steve and Cindy Light, said perseverance and believing in what they do are what has kept the business running for so long.
Artlite was started on Aug. 31, 1964, by the siblings’ parents, Arthur and Estelle Light. The four children have worked for the company since their teenage years.
"My father has since passed away in 1991, but he had been retired for about 14 or 15 years prior to that," Bert Light said.
Said Stuart Light, "We were very fortunate that they turned the business over to us while my father was still alive. They retired down to South Florida, and they gave the business to us."
Estelle Light still resides in Florida.
"When we first went into business 50 years ago there were no big-box stores," Stuart Light said. "As the big-box stores came in — Office Depot being first, then Staples, then Office Max — a lot of the independent [companies] went away by the wayside. I think the way that we have stayed in business is that we have personal service. … People know they can depend on us for unbelievable service."
Among the factors that make their company unique, Bert Light said, is its drivers will come into a customer’s business, unbox the products and place the items down where the client requests. He said Artlite’s office furniture comes pre-assembled, the company offers eco-friendly shipping and they will recommend products and allow customers to try them out before purchasing them.
Bert Light said Artlite maintains loyal customers. Most of its business comes from direct ordering, but the company also maintains a retail store on Sidney Marcus Boulevard that sells high-end office supplies.
Bert and Stuart Light also attribute the company’s success to good employees and a positive family dynamic.
"We have employees that have been with us 40 years," Bert Light said. "The majority of them have 18 years average."
Said Stuart Light, "I could not run our business without my siblings. The key to our success is that the four of us work together."
The next generation of the Light family is part of the company as well. Stuart’s daughter, Michelle Light, works in outside sales. Steve’s son, Brian Light, works in the retail store.