Metairie, Louisiana-based Oracle Lighting is celebrating its 20th anniversary in the vehicle lighting businss.
“I’m born and raised right here in New Orleans, and I started Oracle Lighting more as a hobby at first rather than thinking it would lead to what it has become 20 years later,” said Justin Hartenstein, Oracle Lighting founder and director of product development. “I’m a car guy at heart with an engineering background. With that knowledge and drive I started tweaking and working with different lighting components in my garage back in the late 90s…stuff that was not available at the time, and eventually it began to turn into a business. And here we are two decades later, employing more than 30 people with a line of more than 11,000 products.”
Oracle Lighting designs lighting products and technologies for the automotive, powersports, motorcycle, and marine markets. In the company’s early days, Hartenstein was a one-man show who wore multiple hats.
“Honestly, with an entrepreneurial owner’s mentality, I didn’t think anyone would be able to take care of these responsibilities with as much dedication as I would,” he said. “But, as the company began to grow, I was overextending myself to the point where output was not where it needed to be and that growth was becoming stunted. With the help of my wife Tiffanie Hartenstein we developed a plan to put systems and personnel in place which allowed us to be successful. Today, Oracle Lighting has a proficient staff taking care of every aspect of the business so I can focus on new products and continued overall growth.”
The company’s intial organic growth strategy worked. Oracle Lighting’s accolades include being listed on the Inc. 500 list of the Fastest Growing Businesses in the U.S. for the past eight consecutive years, winning the 2012 Bronze Stevie Award for Consumer Products Company of the Year, and most recently being named the Small Business Administration’s exporter of the year and a Small Business Champion by the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.
“It may be cliché, but we are excited to see where the next 20 years takes us,” Hartenstein said. “We see that the market is growing. As we continue to grow with it, we are diversifying our products into new and emerging categories so we can face these new and exciting challenges head on.”