Running a high-end lighting business was never part of Jen Brassey or Joe Ardovino’s long-term plan, but somehow they ended up just where they needed to be.
Their company, Elume, reflects their individual strengths and has afforded them the mountain lifestyle they love so much — golf and waterskiing in the summer and skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
“I love it when the kids come home and we go skiing. We end up with so many generations, and it is amazing because my dad still skis at 83 and has more stamina than we do!” says Jen.
Between Jen and Joe, they have four grown children — Brayden, AJ, Sierra, and Avery — who were all raised in Park City. When their kids were little, Joe remembers that “everybody went to the mountain and everybody did everything [ski racing, ski jumping, etc.]. We really were a ski town,” he laughs, “everyone was training for the Olympics.”
Joe and his family moved to Park City in the late ’90s, while Jen started teaching skiing at Park West (now Canyons Village) in 1984. “When I worked at Park West, the base of the mountain where the village is now was a dirt parking lot, and the road from the freeway was two lanes and often windblown with snow drifts,” she remembers.
A lot has changed since then, but their love for the mountain lifestyle remains. “Joe and I love to golf, water ski, and travel, among other things,” says Jen.
The duo bought the business in 2007, renamed and rebranded it, and moved it to Quarry Village in 2011. The entire operation revolves around their award-winning showroom, which provides a taste of the fixtures and lighting services Elume offers.
“We have a very contemporary showroom which is very different from most,” says Jen, noting that customers often “come in, stop, and look up in wonder. … The showroom displays are meant to inspire … to spark something.” In the back of the showroom, hundreds of catalogs await. Elume has relationships with companies all over the world — including those in Israel, Holland, and Italy — and often designs custom fixtures.
Perhaps what makes Elume standout the most is the service they provide — from the first consultation to servicing any issues with the installation and beyond. Jen and her sales team usher customers through the showroom and help them visualize their lighting. She says their team is highly educated and creative, which results in every project being unique.
Meanwhile, Joe, who also owns and oversees a sales and marketing company and a gymnastics facility, stages Elume’s orders, makes deliveries, and uses his electrical engineering background to troubleshoot any problems that come up during installation.
“I could be driving a forklift or building something, you just don’t know. It’s really that typical small-business mentality,” says Joe.
“We have made many customers happy by solving tough lighting issues,” says Jen, remembering all the times Joe has had to rewire a light or do a last-minute run to Salt Lake City to have a part custom made. “We help people not make the mistakes they might make on their own,” she laughs. “We try to go above and beyond; we want to build a relationship with our customers. We want to be their lighting people for the rest of their lives.”
Elume can work on projects as small as a lightbulb and as large as a 15,000-square-foot new build. And while the jewel of their work is often eye-catching fixtures, or what Jen calls the “wow” to greet your guests, Elume also handles a home’s architectural lighting, task lighting, ambient lighting, and exterior lighting. The end goal? To highlight the architecture, a piece of art, and perhaps most importantly, to make a space feel good.
“Lighting really changes how you feel in a room,” explains Jen, noting that lighting has the power to open up a room, enhance your skin tone, and make you feel at ease in a space. And you can bet that every project Jen and Joe are involved in is executed to perfection. The couple’s hardworking entrepreneurial spirit drives everything they do.
For now, they’re riding the wave of growth in Park City. And while they look back fondly on the days of dirt parking lots and two-lane roads, they appreciate everything the growing community has afforded them.