Archive for Wednesday, March 8, 2000

Couple embark on enlightening business

March 8, 2000

Rex Cantrell is a man who's doing his best to light up the world.

He and his wife, Diane, have embarked on a new business venture since he retired in November from the U.S. Army.

The couple's company, Images 'N Lights, sells commercial-grade ornamental light forms ranging from Christmas designs to ghosts and goblins for Halloween, shamrocks and even university mascots. Some of their biggest clients are cities that contract with them for their decorations.

Cantrell's lights are wrapped around painted metal frames that have been assembled in Mexico. He hires local people to wrap strings of colored lights around the frames, making sure the lights are close together, an inch and a half apart, and the colors match the design.

The lights are higher quality than most Christmas lights, he said.

"They're of commercial grade they're long-lasting, durable and don't go out as much," Cantrell said.

Better yet, the bulbs are cool to the touch.

The lights have been selling well, Cantrell said. For instance, he set up a booth at the American Royal.

"The American Royal overwhelmed us," he said. "We sold way more than we expected."

Through this, he said he also realized that it was already time to add more products to their catalog.

"Because of the demand, we'll have about 60 new items this year," Cantrell said.

Prices for the lighted designs range from $30 for the smaller items to as much as $3,000 for a 10-foot-tall three-dimensional snowman, Cantrell said.

The Cantrells recently purchased a home at 206th Street and U.S. Highway 24-40. Cantrell said he eventually plans to build another building there to house Images 'N Lights.

For now, he plans to line some of his products along the fence that faces the highway and keep the lights on year round.

His goal for the business is simple:

"To break even. So far it looks like that may be possible."

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