Design Milk recently headed to Charleston, South Carolina to visit the headquarters of Urban Electric Co. and to partake in some sweet southern charm and hospitality. Urban Electric Co. was founded in 2003 by Dave Dawson who has built a one-of-a-kind lighting company that is truly like no other. Leading the way of American manufacturers, the company delivers high-quality lighting built by their extensively-trained skilled craftsmen, who along with the entire company, work under one roof in South Carolina.

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

Housed in a massive 65,000 square foot facility that’s located in an old Navy yard in North Charleston, the building contains the entire operation.

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

Once inside, you’re greeted with random pieces from the company’s storied past that are temporarily suspended.

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

When they moved in, they made a point to keep the original details of the building which was once used to build ships inside. Notice the massive truss-like structure above and the lines on the floor. The lines on the floor used to indicate where it was safe to walk.

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

They have some of the pieces on display for visitors like me to drool over, like these classic lanterns.

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

Everything is done in-house and that includes making of the lighting parts to assembly to painting to packing, etc. Here are some of the raw metals waiting to be cut.

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

Pieces freshly cut that will go upstairs to be meticulously assembled by one of their craftsmen.

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

The offcuts make amazing works of art all by themselves. Whatever is leftover, though, goes to be recycled into new material.

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

An unfinished piece that has been seamlessly welded together.

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

The company extensively trains each employee encouraging them to stay with the company for the long haul. When employees are hired, they begin a year long apprenticeship training under the senior and master craftsmen. Slowly, they graduate up the chain to senior and then eventually to a master craftsmen, which takes years to achieve. Walking on the shop floor, you can tell each craftsmen takes pride in their work and it shows in the finished product. It also results in a very low turnover at the company and super happy employees.

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

So much time, patience, and skill goes into the making of each fixture.

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

Some of the forms used to mold metal pieces.

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

A banner shows the company’s motto, “Always proud, never satisfied.” They’re always striving to do better as a whole.

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

Fixtures getting a powder-coated finish.

Urban Electric Co. Factory Tour in news events home furnishings  Category

We spotted some of their Globus fixtures hung at a local restaurant called The Ordinary.

Our trip to Charleston was supported by Urban Electric Co..