“It’s something you have to be passionate about,” Morgan said. “You can’t be in a business that you don’t love. And we love making people happy and dressing up their dining room or remodeled bathroom.”
The Lighting Gallery was first opened by Morgan’s parents, Annette and David L. Schmitt, in 1974 at another location not too far from the current one on FM 1960. David, who worked as an electrical engineer for Shell Oil, and Annette, who loved design work, decided to combine their skills, launching what was then called “Annette’s Lighting.”
After five years in business, the Schmitts relocated to a bigger store at the current location, while adopting their new name.
“When we moved here, we changed the name to The Lighting Gallery to encompass what we are because a lot of people thought that ‘Annette’s’ was a lingerie store,” Morgan said, laughing. “It didn’t tell [people] what we were.”
Morgan grew up working in her parents’ business starting at age 14. While her two siblings also worked at the family business over the years, today, Morgan is the only family member who still works in the store as her parents have both retired.
The Lighting Gallery showroom is filled with a variety of fixtures, and it employs two electricians who can install the fixture, should customers need help. Morgan frequently serves individuals who come in looking for a new do-it-yourself project, and also professional builders and designers who are working on projects for clients. She also attends lighting expos across the state to keep up with the newest design trends and bring them to the store, she said.
“Even though we’ve been here 48 years, we don’t have 48-year-old lighting—we keep up with the latest trends as well,” Morgan said.
Throughout the years, Morgan and her family have navigated many ups and downs with the business, she said, including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the 1980s Houston oil bust. However, Morgan said no moment has made her more proud than when they celebrated 48 years in business this year.
“I do want to give all credit to my mom and dad, because they’re the ones that put in the hard work in the early days,” she said. “It takes a good 10 years to really get a business established. ... My mom and dad—they made lots of sacrifices.”
The Lighting Gallery
6265 FM 1960, Houston
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Mon.-Sun.