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Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Female-run second-generation family sound system firm set to make noise in Miami
By Michael Butler
November 27, 2022 5:30 AM
LAMM Industries continues their family legacy
Miami Herald spoke to LAMM Industries CEO Esther Lamm, COO Elina Lamm and Chief Engineer Mikhail Kushnir about the future of their family-owned company during an interview on Oct. 25, 2022.
Through a booming audio system, Beyonce’s hit song “Break My Soul” sounds crystal clear. Each thump of the bass drum can be felt and each background vocal heard.
Lamm Industries CEO Esther Lamm bobs her head as if she was at a concert. As a sounds system professional, she also looks as if she’s analyzing each instrument.
“My dad’s thing was, ‘Don’t compromise sound,’” she said of Lamm Industries’ late founder Vladimir Lamm, while sitting in her Sunny Isles home.
The family’s high-end audio equipment company recently relocated from New York to Little Haiti, in Miami’s Magic City Innovation District. The company produces electronic preamplifiers and amplifiers for music venues or recording studios that have been used by people like Atlantic Records executive Craig Kallman. For audiophiles, that equipment can take a sound system to another level. For Lamm, Miami was the perfect place to continue her father’s work and entrepreneurial legacy.
“I don’t think there’s any one night of the week where you can’t find live jazz music or Spanish music,” she said of Miami. “There is some place that has a live performance, and I want us to be part of that as we enter this new chapter in our business.”
The company’s new 8,000-square-foot headquarters is under construction in the Magic City Innovation District. The area appealed to Esther because of its proximity to Wynwood and the Design District.
As a Ukrainian immigrant with a Jewish background, Vladimir Lamm sought refuge, after leaving the former Soviet Union of Communist republics for New York City in 1987. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society helped Lamm and his young daughter, Esther, leave the Soviet Union. She remembers having to take clothes out of her suitcase to put on top of the clothes she was already wearing, because of all the security checkpoints.
“We went to Austria, and from Austria we went to Italy, and from Italy we had a choice to go to Israel or New York, where we happened to have family,” she recalled, referring to an uncle and grandmother that had already made it to the United States.
Esther Lamm grew up in Brooklyn and loved city life. She enjoyed listening to musicians like the late Christopher Wallace, also known as The Notorious B.I.G. and going to concerts and live music events. A New York woman at heart, she received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from St. John’s University and spent the early years of her career working in marketing and fundraising roles, while helping her father with his audio-equipment business.
Esther remembered her father as a brilliant, precise man. As a 14-year-old girl, Vladimir took her to big industry events like the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, as a way of exposing her to leading electronics companies and technology.
Her father’s experience leaving a Communist regime that stripped him of his freedom as a businessman and creator motivated him to excel in business in America, she said.
New York business roots
In 1990, he launched Lamm Industries alongside his wife Elina Lamm, the firm’s chief operating officer and Esther’s stepmother. Elina, who emigrated to the United States from Belarus at 18, was a skilled piano player and New York University student. She met Vladimir through a mutual friend at a concert at Carnegie Hall. They immediately bonded over music, and the couple started a new life in Brooklyn and she helped her husband build the audio company from scratch. Eventually, their company received praise throughout the audio industry with each product released, until Vladmir Lamm died earlier this year.
Head engineer Mikhail Kushir worked closely with Vladimir over the years on Lamm’s technology and knew that moving the company to South Florida wouldn’t be an easy task, but could be worth the risk. He saw it as a valuable opportunity for Lamm Industries to continue growing.
A year ago, Esther Lamm visited Miami scouting locations for a new home base for the family’s company she was leading into the second generation. It was raining heavily in the days before Jewish New Year in 2021, but she was undeterred. She found the Little Haiti site for the sound-equipment business.
Initially, Elina Lamm was hesitant about leaving Brooklyn for Miami, but after arriving she quickly became fond of the warm environment.
“It’s so easy to work here,” the elder Lamm said. “You want to work here, You want to do things here. There’s this energy and this light that makes life more enjoyable in all senses. We’re able to realize the continuation of Vladimir’s dream because we are here.”
Restaurateur Sven Vogtland owns Wynwood eateries Coyo Taco and 1-800-Lucky. He also operates Dante’s HiFi, a lounge featuring high-level audio equipment, and Oasis, an outdoor live music venue in Wynwood that has hosted prominent hip-hop acts like Travis Scott and Jay Electronica.
“Audio has usually been a male-dominated industry,” Vogtland said. “Throughout the years, I have seen more and more females enter into the space. It’s interesting to hear of a female-owned audio business here in Miami.”
Vogtland agreed with Esther Lamm about Miami’s thriving music culture and thinks the city is perfect for her audio business.
“It’s an entertainment culture,” he said. “We’re one of the largest entertainment cities in the world. Not so much live music, but for DJs and entertainment and festivals we’re top two or three on the planet. That pushes us to the forefront.”
The company is building a new home office in Little Haiti.
As Lamm Industries continues to develop its presence in Miami, Elina Lamm is focused on the business’s enduring success in the audio industry.
“We have a jewel in our hand and we want to put it in the proper setting,” she said. “Vladimir’s spirit is with us because we’ve had such good help and such good people come into our life. We’re going full speed to the goal.”
Read more at: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article267791792.html#storylink=cpy