The Lexington lamp store has been connected to customer needs since 1956

LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — If you pass Shannon Lamp Service, you might think it’s just a place to get a light fixture or pick up light bulbs. But go inside and you’ll see one-of-a-kind things.

“We have a reputation for being able to make a lamp out of anything,” owner David Shannon said. “We make a lot of porcelain vases, bourbon bottles, candlesticks, figurines, but also quirky items: electric meters, fire extinguishers, roller skates, anything you can think of.”

Shannon operates the business that her father, Coleman Shannon, started in 1956.

If you want a trophy or toy turned into a lamp, he can do that. If books turn you on, he can turn them on, as well as bait buckets, blocks, or bowling pins.

In 1972, Shannon’s father had an idea. You could say a light bulb went out. He decided to start making his own lampshades.

“My mother thought he had lost his mind. He made a few appointments, and they went to Chicago and brought back a van of fabrics and trims and started making lamp shades with no idea what they were doing,” Shannon said.

But they learned, and custom shades are the biggest part of the business.

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Shannon has over 3,000 designs for shades. He said a big box store could only stock 20 to 30 sizes.

“I am very particular. For the lamp to look right, the lampshade has to be right,” he said.

Shannon lost her father in 2016, so it’s now just a two-person operation. He and his wife, Amy, still use the equipment his father bought 50 years ago to shape the blinds and add the trim.

This little shop gets custom orders from all over the country as they are ready to make just about any type of lamp or shade.

“Sometimes people have a certain collection. They may collect cows and may want a tint with a cow print on it, we can do that,” Shannon said.

In a world full of mass production, this shop stands out as an example that small businesses can have a bright future by being plugged into the past.

“I think our business is stronger now than it has ever been, but we don’t take it for granted,” he said.

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