History of ca2L
As it usually happens, the history of ca2L can be told in an extended version or in a brief, which we prefer in order not to bore you.
Our company was born January 1, 1990 in Barcelona, even though the experience in the lighting sector of its founders started in 1981 in other firms (store and factory).
At the beginning of 1990, we were three partners, but before the end of the year, we already had a fourth partner and an employee. We were located in a 35 m2 shop in carrer Calàbria, with 20 m2 devoted to showroom. Can you imagine? Back in that period, our job was to advise professionals (mainly architects and interior designers), thus, we were already in charge of the lighting project and, afterwards, we sold the product. These were hard years, in which we suffered what, until then, was one of the deepest crises, 1992-94.
It wasn’t until 1995 that we were back on our feet and we could move to another shop, now in carrer Sepúlveda. The fact is that, on that same year we had several positive facts: The crisis was over, the economic activity took off and our work of sowing the seeds with clients and suitable partners (suppliers) started to give its fruits: we were granted several exclusive rights, some of them from such prestigious brands as Agabekov and Modular. The latter had a very commercial product, unique at that time, which opened the door for us to a big client like Mango, for whom we made the lighting project of more than 1,000 stores.
Later on, we worked with famous brands like Catellani&Smith or Louis Poulsen, among others.
This volume, added to other, very emblematic projects, like Casa Batlló, and others less known, ended up, between 1994 and 2007, positioning ca2L as the fastest growing lighting (non-manufacturing) firm in the country.
During that thirteen-year period we grew from 5 to 65 employees, we had branches all around the country, and we moved from our 220 m2 premises on carrer Sepúlveda to a 900 m2 shop on passeig de Sant Joan. Our turnover also increased 12 times over. It was the crazy times of the economic bubble. A time that lies in the past and that will never come back.
As everybody knows, the famous “L-shaped” crisis in which we are installed, or maybe not, started in 2008. Maybe it’s no longer a crisis, but a change of the economic model in which architecture, interior design, construction and, clearly, the lighting sector, have suffered a dramatic shock. With 90 percent drops in the architecture sector, and 70-80 percent drops in the lighting industry in our country. Exporters behaved differently, but we are not among them. And so, we’re back to our origins, with a 150 m2 shop and a staff of 12-workers, and that brings us back closer to our customers, something we kind of lost during our long period of business growth.
But one thing is for sure: we never lost our design’s quality, which is a strong feature that identifies us; we never lost ca2L’s spirit, which is “light above all”; and we never lost the idea that the first thing is to work well and satisfy our customers with the atmosphere we create through light. This is the single reason why we’re still here. Unfortunately, there are many others who can’t say the same thing.
We are in a new stage, in which LEDs take the main lead, and it’s a stage that a mature firm like ca2L, with a 25-year history, faces with great excitement. And with the hope that, after the storm, the sun shines again, and that there’s still plenty of room for innovation in lighting design, our field, where we most feel at ease.