Dave Dawson and his wife started The Urban Electric Company nearly 15 years ago in a tiny workshop on Romney Street in downtown Charleston. The purpose – then and now – is to create custom, made-to-order American-made lighting fixtures for interior designers and architects. Their designs are based firmly in the classics, but stay fresh and relevant for the modern aesthetic. Now with over 200 employees in a historic 120,000 square foot facility, they are proud to service a worldwide clientele. Dave took the main stage at the 2016 Good Business Summit as a keynote speaker, and we are proud to have the Urban Electric Co. as a sponsor for our 5th annual Good Business Summit.

Mr. Dawson answered our questions and shared his insider Lowcountry business perspective.


What is the driving force behind your business/ organization?

Our driving force is multi-faceted. We want to be the benchmark in our industry for original design, heirloom quality,
uncompromising service and meaningful opportunity. We strive to create and deliver unparalleled product through a flawless luxury experience for our design clients and the clients that they service – we firmly believe that having a strong, happy and dedicated workforce is integral part of making that happen.

What is the best business advice you never got?

The importance and challenge of over-communication. It is easy as a business owner to neglect this part of the job, but you constantly have to ensure that your entire team understands the mission, the targets, the measurements of success. Even if you feel everybody is on the same page and you’re tired of repeating yourself, never stop communicating the mission. Never.

What does being a “good business” mean to your company?

Again, providing meaningful opportunity to our employees is incredibly important to us. We place a great deal of emphasis on internal career development, and invest heavily in training and growing our team. We hope they see Urban as a lifetime career path, and we want them to love to come to work everyday and to be proud of what they do.

What are you most looking forward to with this year’s Good Business Summit?

It’s always so inspiring to meet other local business owners. We are excited to discover great new organizations that we want to support and create relationships with.

Jordan Amaker
Director of Marketing & Communications
Director of Marketing & Communications