Inside the _____

Inside the Artful Lighting of Morris Grey

Customer Story Morris Gray

This is one of a series of stories we are sharing to show what's inside CubeSmart. You not only get a peek inside our customer's storage unit, but also a peek inside what is important to them. Thank you to Morris, a customer of our CubeSmart store in Brooklyn,  for sharing his story with us.

Morris Grey's planned hundreds of events in his 25 years in the industry and met countless A-list celebrities, but you'll never see him posing with them on social media.

"I like to let my work speak for itself," he says.

Though his company Shades of Grey Productions offers a full range of services, including lighting, sound, staging, décor and more, Morris is most passionate about lighting.

"Lighting changes so much in a space. It can be dim, dark, warm, cool. It can affect a person's mood," he says. "Pin spots and votives on the table can bring a romantic or dramatic feel to a space. I like to say that an event starts at the invitation and goes until the last song. You have to bring people up and gently bring them down—lights are a great way to do that."

Morris cares so much about getting the lighting right for his clients that he's been known to eat the expense of any added spotlights or votives he feels he needs to complete the look he's striving for.

"It's about an experience. I want my clients to be happy and at the end of the day the work will be in their photos forever."

Born in Jamaica, Morris came to the States when he was 14. He didn't always plan to have a creative career. In fact, he went to school to study accounting. After he couldn't find steady work, however, he started working at a movie theater. His niece's boyfriend, who worked at an event company, suggested that Morris apply.

"I thought I'd just be a weekend warrior but I went full-time. I discovered that I really love color, making things shine and pop."

Observing and collaborating with New York's celebrity event planners like David Tutera and Preston Bailey and working at elite, high-profile parties like the legendary costume gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art gave Morris the training he needed to eventually start his own company ten years ago.

With both corporate and personal events all year round, Morris stays quite busy.

"We had a company holiday party last night on a Manhattan rooftop. We enclosed the lighted dancefloor in a tent and used pipe and drape. There was a gold-front DJ booth," he says, pulling out his phone to share images. "I was working on taking everything down until four or five this morning and now I'm here putting everything back into storage."

Morris now maintains four units at CubeSmart’s self-storage facility in Brooklyn for all of his equipment. On the day to day, the work is physically demanding but fun, filled with unexpected technical challenges that require him to always prepare for the worst-case scenario. But when the event launches, and his vision comes to life, he always gets a thrill, he says.

"It's not about the famous people or the names. I just like being in the background and creating something beautiful that everyone can enjoy."

 

We’d love to hear how self storage has positively impacted your life. Share your #HumansofSelfStorage story in the comments.

Elisa Ludwig

Elisa Ludwig

As a specialist in copywriting and communications, Elisa Ludwig loves to help people tell their stories. A graduate of Vassar College and Temple University's Creative Writing program, she is the author of four young adult novels (HarperCollins; Adaptive Books). Her book COIN HEIST was turned into a Netflix Original movie. She also writes about food for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Elisa Ludwig

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Elisa Ludwig

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