The Champagne-tinted plumes curl and swoop low. They aren’t feathers but angled slivers of crystalline lights blooming into the showroom entryway as if announcing a dreamy Mardi Gras ball.
“We hang a lot of things at eye level so you can really get a sense of the detail,” says Bridget Tate, Capital City Lighting founder and owner—although she prefers the term “lighting stylist,” a nod to the creative expression that springs from her palette into combinations of cascading light and color that can either totally reimagine or visually complete a space.
“Quality is key—and the finish,” Tate says. “You want to know it’s going to be timeless, and not simply a trend.”
From Currey & Company and Ralph Lauren to Robert Abbey and Urban Electric, Tate carries more than 70 lines and is expanding into Acadiana and the Northshore. It’s a significant surge of growth for the relatively new entrepreneur whose company was recently named a finalist for an East/Atlantic region ARTS award, presented by the nonprofit Accessories Resource Team. Ninety percent of Tate’s work is with new construction.
After 13 years as a stay-at-home mom, the McKinley and LSU alum worked for an accounting firm, then another local lighting company, before striking out on her own in 2019. What began as a concept of a brand for her curated lamp collection at The Foyer quickly escalated to a full-scale lighting company and showroom.
That road began with her own Instagram profile and a blog of essays and poetry, with her goal being to “make lighting sexy.”
Tate’s passion for fearlessly styling a space and her business confidence are bolstered by her participation in the Babycakes, a dance troupe of women who step in Mardi Gras parades. That girl gang has become her tribe. “Being yourself is what people want,” Tate says.
Facing challenges like shipping delays and increased prices since COVID, Tate’s tactic is to confront rather than avoid. “I try to be as genuine as possible and communicate well,” she says. “Your people will feel like they are being taken care of, and they’ll respect that.”
A people-pleaser from a huge Cajun family, Tate balances a natural camaraderie with her vivid creative concepts. Whether working with contractors, interior designers or homeowners, she will defend her ideas and her vision for a room. “If you have conviction, and you’re bold, clients will align with you and get excited,” she says. “You have to be assertive. But at the core of everything is kindness.”