Shop Visit: Chloe Winston Lighting Design
March 30, 2020
Text by Maria LaPiana Photography by Jane Beiles
It’s a gutsy idea, going out on your own, especially in an industry that’s changing at the speed of, well…light.
On that, Rina DiMarte and Candace Pereira agree. Still, they say their joint venture—Chloe Winston Lighting Design—always felt like it was meant to be. “We found an investor who believed in us,” says DiMarte, “but mostly, we believed in ourselves.”
They know their stuff. The two women were among the last to leave when Klaffs, the grande dame of lighting showrooms in Connecticut and Westchester, went out of business in 2018. Pereira had worked there for thirty-two years, and DiMarte for twelve. To lay the groundwork for the boutique lighting store they opened in late 2018, they wisely cultivated the relationships they had with manufacturers, buyers, and clients.
The 1,400-square-foot corner shop in Norwalk’s SoNo neighborhood brims with lighting of all kinds and styles. The lamps come in every imaginable finish, and a wide variety of price points. Sconces are fixed to panels on exposed brick walls; table lamps sit on glass pedestals in the window; and a stunning array of pendants and chandeliers hangs from the ceiling.
The boutique feeling of the shop was absolutely by design, says Pereira. “We show a curated selection from the manufacturers we like and trust. And we have every current catalog so we can walk customers through all the options.”
“We know you can’t show everything,” she adds. Still, a touch screen from Visual Comfort comes close, allowing customers to see every product in every finish that the company has to offer.
The women’s brave gamble is already paying off. They not only got a warm welcome at Lightovation, the Dallas International Lighting Show, last January—they went on to win the Dallas Market Center’s ARTS award for best lighting showroom in the East/Atlantic region, an honor not often bestowed on a company so new to the game.
Chloe Winston Lighting Design, Norwalk