Faith Baum and Ken Douglas are the founders/owners of Illumination Arts, LLC an architectural lighting design and consulting company that specializes in "innovative lighting designs" that address "both aesthetic and practical" requirements. Ms. Baum and Mr. Douglas both worked at the same architectural lighting firm and had tried to purchase the business unsuccessfully for two years. They finally decided to break-out on their own in January 2004 and formed Illumination Arts, initially setting-up shop in Mr. Douglas' basement.
The business partners met with Denis Rasugu, Assistant Regional Director (Client Services) to review the business plan they had worked on and to discuss sources of financing and lending criteria. The Center then also assisted the company with successfully completing the applications for Women Business Enterprise (WBE) certification and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) registration. After meetings with bankers made it clear that a loan for soft costs and salaries would not be forthcoming, they decided to bootstrap it and relied on savings and home equity lines of credit to cover start-up costs. Work came rapidly, the company landed its first client in February 2004 and the client roster has been growing every since. The company has worked on projects for New Jersey Transit (Newark Broad Street Station), St. Phillips Academy (Newark, NJ), MAHER (Corporate Offices), St. Croix River Crossing (Minnesota), Gold's Gym (NY), Sheraton Hotel (Delaware) and AT&T (Kansas) to name a few.
In August 2005 the company decided to give the banks another try. Denise. Rasugu arranged a meeting between the company and a loan officer from PNC Bank, the meeting went well and Illumination Arts was quickly approved for a line of credit. The business also recently moved to a commercial location at 330 Glenwood Avenue in Bloomfield.
Congratulations Illumination Arts!