Shant is a dedicated man with innovative ideas, just like the Ground Control Collection that has endless technological possibilities. He usually arrives at the office early before anyone else and has been known to spend a Saturday in our lighting design studio. Between discussing new products and big ideas with product development and marketing teams, Shant jumps between the office and production to make sure everything runs smoothly.
WHERE ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM?
I’m from Montréal, Québec. Besides it being my home, Montreal is also where my parents are running a lighting manufacturing business of their own for the last 35 years.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START JUNIPER? AND WHY NEW YORK?
I have a passion for creating new and better ways of doing things, sometimes even mundane things. I also have a love for design, and I believed I could make a positive impact in the field. I set up a shop in New York simply because this was and is my home. I have been a New Yorker since 2000, when I moved here to begin my career in Finance. Ultimately, I saw the potential in New York as it is the center of design, being surrounded by new ideas and technology.
HOW DID YOU TRANSITION FROM FINANCE TO LIGHTING?
I actually didn’t foresee the lighting industry in my future, but I learned a lot about the business growing up. At first, I chose Finance as my career. I worked as a Financial Analyst & Investment Banker for 13 years before I impulsively launched a business in design.
WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF WORK?
I’m completely in love with work, which is honestly what I tend to think and talk about even outside of work. But I do get distracted sometimes with music, art, food, and wine. But mostly the latter.
ANY FAVORITE SPOTS IN NEW YORK?
Once upon a time, I could have written a book on my favorite spots in the city. Today, I prefer sanctuary over a crowd. But The Highline is where I am most inspired, especially early in the morning. For fun, Ghost Donkey in Bowery is a great spot. In my neighborhood, I often eat at La Slowteria and Frankie’s. Probably even too often.
DID YOU EXPECT JUNIPER TO BE WHERE IT IS TODAY?
Naturally, I had plans and projections when I launched the business, but they look nothing like what actually transpired. Running a business was harder and more rewarding than I had ever imagined. As always, I am pushing ahead to the next milestone, but I have learned to find time here and there to appreciate the achievements that have been made so far.