Steve Conant grew up making things.
His childhood toys were the tools in his dad's machinist workshop. While in college, Steve worked part-time making lighting, bar rails, and coat racks for a restaurant under construction. Those projects were more fun than his college studies, and his phone started to ring with other restaurant owners interested in similar work. After graduating, he built his own workshop in a small brick garage. It was illuminated by two fluorescent shop lights and outside hung a sign that read “Conant Custom Brass.”
Demand for custom metalwork in Burlington, Vermont was low in 1979 but demand for restoration and repair services was high, so Steve focused on these. As business increased, demand for his fabrication skills grew, fed his “maker” craving, and justified a larger shop.
In 1982 he bought a small building, added a retail showroom, and stocked it with anything he could make, repair, or re-finish. His small vintage lighting and accessories collection developed to include all manner of lights, brass hardware, plumbing fixtures, faucets, fasteners, you name it. If Steve made it shine, it would sell.
Ten years of successful retailing provided a great launching pad for his big dream: to create a wholesale manufacturing division. Conant developed a line of high-end custom lighting, weather instruments, clocks, and bird feeders, and targeted the mail-order industry. Conant Custom Brass became recognized nationally as the leading manufacturer of fine outdoor weather instruments.
After fifteen years, the market began to change. Competitive pressure from China ramped up, the economy cooled off, and Conant decided to veer away from mass production. In 2008, Steve sold the Conant Custom Brass weather instrument division and re-branded the remaining activities as Conant Metal & Light, Inc. He moved away from the commodities market to focus on unique design and products that are functional works of art.
Today, Conant Metal & Light provides design, fabrication, restoration, and contract manufacturing services to a wide array of markets. Our retail store, sprawling workshops, and years of practical experience support a team of makers who are still passionately working wonders with metal and light. We create unique lighting and metalwork to both tell your story and to solve a problem. Our range of products and custom services includes lighting, sculpture, and public art. We believe there is a bright future for makers in America, and many creative solutions yet to be fabricated.