Interview with Maurice Dery
Karice brings ideas to light. With its enormous passion for creating beautiful lighting products, it pushes its creative boundaries and craft the unimaginable with their cutting-edge, custom lights. Owner and co-founder Maurice Dery leads his team with an appreciation for collaborative workmanship. This team spirit is best exemplified in the recent launch of the Retta Linear Light – an innovative interior luminaire co-designed and developed by Maurice and his son, Jordan. Maurice Dery shares his views with Lighting India about his company and the lighting industry.
How long have you been in this business? Can you tell us about your process in the product category from start till date?
Karice Enterprises has been in business since 1993. The company started with co-founders Maurice and Karen Dery.
Process starts with an idea, a concept or a notion.
Lighting product design goes much further than the concept. A concept is merely a big idea or reflection. The real work in the design is making that concept work. How do we illuminate the light, how do we engineer the light, how does it hang? How do we wire it? These are some of the many questions that need to be answered in designing a light. Many problems we encounter in the design concept stage are completed and engineered by the design team at Karice.
Once a lighting product has been design engineered, production begins.
A simple outline of the process of a project proceeds as follows:
• Client brings an idea or concept to Karice
• Product/project budget is approved
• Karice designs the product
• Product goes into production
• Product is shipped to client.
We would like to know about the company evolution?
Karice’s grass roots started in the Architectural Metal Products. The company was primarily designing and building metalwork products for the Hospitality Industry.
Our company was working closely with Robert Clark of CLO Design out of Seattle when he suggested in early 2000 that we should begin building lighting fixtures. At the time, the Milestones Restaurant Chain was putting custom lighting products into all of their locations.
Clark would design the concepts and Karice would design engineer those concepts to bring them to reality for the Restaurant Chain owned by Cara Foods Ltd.
Shortly thereafter, other restaurant chains that we were working with began utilising the skills of the Karice team to bring their lighting ideas to reality. The custom lighting business was booming and our company was able to deliver new innovative products that were completely new and unique to the market.
In 2014 Karice began designing and prototyping their own lighting designs. This culminated in December 2015 with the introduction of the Electron Wall Sconce. The design of this light was well received. In 2016, it was short listed for the Lighting Design Awards in London England, it won a silver A’Design award in Italy and won Gold at the International Design Awards in Los Angeles, CA.
Since the introduction of the Electron Wall Sconce, Karice has introduced over 18 new products into its line-up. What were the ups and downs faced by the business?
Today’s marketplace has totally revolutionised from when we started our business in 1993. Back then, our marketing was 100% word of mouth.
Our company relied heavily on this resolve, but learned quickly in 2015 that this was not the way companies do business today. Today, it is all about the story you tell, not just what you know. Today, with the Internet and Social Media, in order to survive you need to keep current. Internet marketing, social media profiles, investment in a good website are all paramount to keeping current in today’s marketplace. Companies today must be on the forefront of marketing exposure. Without it you become the Picasso in the closet.
How do you perceive the current market?
The current market is favourable; it is hungry for new innovative light products. The market has a new-found love of lighting. Lighting is hot right now. Our company aims to deliver.
Can you talk about the future of your business into this market (current scenario)?
Our company is expanding its horizons. We are expanding in both the European and North American markets.
What suggestion would you like to give to the current entrepreneurs in the industry?
Hard work pays off.