Retail Lighting: Small Business Owners Support Each Other During Pandemic (Video)

Published August 2020


“Yesterday I had a couple come in and say “We personally choose to support you. We saw an ad on Facebook for a big box retailer, and yeah it was a little less expensive for the same ring, but we know you are a small family business that needs our support right now. Especially during this time,” It brought me to tears,”

– Callan Paffrath, Owner of Paffrath Jewelers


Retail Lighting – Supporting Paffrath Jewelers in Owatonna, MN

Like many small businesses, Paffrath Jewelers, a family-owned retail jewelry business in Owatonna, MN, found themselves wondering how they were going to survive the pandemic. While it’s easy to assume that competition may be the default response during a global economic depression, Callan Paffrath, Owner of Paffrath Jewelers had another approach in mind.


Paffrath Jewelers Owatonna, MN
Callan Paffrath, Owner and 4th Generation Leader of Paffrath Jewelers in Owatonna, MN


“I’ve always said that the only reason I’ve been as successful as I’ve been is because of my community. I came into the business at 22 years old and I didn’t know what was up and what was down. My community supported the heck out of me. I’m here today because of Owatonna and the surrounding communities.” – Callan Paffrath, Owner of Paffrath Jewelers

Paffrath Jewelers has been passed down through the generations and is now in the hands of Callan Paffrath, owner and GIA certified jeweler. Located in the heart of Owatonna, MN, this family-owned and operated retail shop is approaching a major milestone. “It was always the plan for me to take over the business; I’m 4th generation. We have been in business since 1926; we are approaching our 100 year anniversary!”  says Paffrath.


Pushing Through the Pandemic


Paffrath Jewelers Owatonna, MN
This family-owned small retail jewelry shop is leaning into their local community, supporting each other and finding strength in numbers in an effort to keep businesses and their community healthy and safe.

“After we got the notice that you must shut down, things were really hard especially for that first two weeks. After two weeks, I had to adjust and find a new way to communicate with my community. Things have been going well, and I’m very blessed to say that,” says Paffrath.

Paffrath had to do what any business owner must do during tough times; make it work! As Callan Paffrath pivoted her business to be solely online during the shutdown, she also saw this as an opportunity to make improvements to the business by enhancing the client (and employee) experience in their retail space.

Making improvements to her facility was always on Callan’s radar, and the shutdown presented the perfect opportunity to have a bright, clean space for when their doors opened back up.

In addition to flooring, paint, and some new display features, Callan also knew it was time to focus on her retail lighting. Lighting has a profound effect on the human body. It regulates our biological clocks, effecting our physical and emotional well being, and in a retail setting it is even more important to have proper lighting that highlights your product.


Keeping it Local

“All of the renovation choices I made were from local businesses. I wanted to do my part as best I could to stimulate the local economy,” says Paffrath.

  • Flooring: All of the flooring came from Alexander Lumber located in Owatonna, MN
  • Shelving: All new shelving from Montayne Woodworks
  • Paint: Callan purchased all of the paint from Sherwin Williams locally in Owatonna, MN with the help of Ryan Ferch. “But I did all the paint myself! I wanted to keep busy,” says Paffrath.
  • Lighting: A full lighting re-lamp from The Retrofit Companies, Inc. in Owatonna, along with a big lighting rebate with the help of their rebate team.

Customer Experience

LED Retail Lighting from The Retrofit Companies, Inc.

LED retail lighting is the new standard in businesses, proving to be versatile, long-lasting and highly efficient. The Retrofit Companies, Inc. did a full re-lamp for Paffrath Jewelers, providing big energy and maintenance savings. Improved light levels also enhance the customer experience and showcase the products.


“The Retrofit Companies, Inc. was speedy, fast, super polite, and they gave me a great rebate which is especially great during this time. We did a relamp, changed everything to LED which is going to reduce our electric bill by at least 50% which is exciting, especially during this time. They’re also a lot brighter, which shows off the jewelry a lot better!” – Callan Paffrath

Project Details:

  • Energy costs are one of the top expenses for retailers. Switching to LED’s, Paffrath is estimated to save over 50% in lighting costs .
  • Reduced maintenance with longer-life LED technology, eliminating the ballast.
  • $420.00 rebate from Owatonna Public Utilities – TRC files and processes all of the paperwork for you.


“TRC found me a really great rebate through Owatonna Public Utilities that is going to save me a bunch of money. I wouldn’t have even known if they hadn’t filed the paperwork for me. I couldn’t have been a better opportunity to do these lighting renovations,” says Paffrath.


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