Justin Hartenstein, founder and president of Oracle Lighting, was a true automotive enthusiast from the beginning.
When Hartenstein began selling automotive parts in his eBay store in 1999, it was primarily items that he had installed but later taken off his own rides. He later started making items on his own and posting project pictures on online forums. Others began requesting parts, asking to buy what Hartenstein had made for himself. While he maintained his eBay store, Hartenstein was also going to school at the University of New Orleans and working full time.
It wasn’t until Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that Oracle Lighting became the top priority for Hartenstein. His previous employer was greatly affected by Katrina. After the Hurricane, Hartenstein moved for a short period, and his own business was what he relied on. This was his turning point.
“When I moved back, I didn’t have any distractions, and it’s all I’ve done since then,” he said.
Oracle Lighting has been a SEMA member since 2003 and began exhibiting at the Show in 2009. The business has steadily grown, and in 2013, Oracle Lighting surpassed the 20-employee mark. Hartenstein’s wife Tiffanie also joined the company as the director of operations.
As Hartenstein focuses on research and development, he is constantly evaluating new advancements in LED technology, and how these advancements can efficiently be worked into the automotive industry.
When he first began Oracle Lighting, his motto was, “You gotta take risks to get rewards.” Over time, his personal and company focus has shifted to a customer-focused goal, “Keep doing right by the customer.”