In June 1986 Jim & Blake Barber formed Ashley Lighting (named after Jim's youngest daughter) to provide lighting fixtures to the hospitality market. The company first occupied a small storefront property in Lake City, Arkansas, where the Barbers and their three employees founded the Ashley tradition of excellence. The hospitality industry responded enthusiastic to the Ashley Lighting combination of innovative design, high quality, and competitive pricing, and the company grew explosively.
In 1988 the company relocated to a 10,000-square-foot facility in Monette, Arkansas. By January 1991 operations had moved to a new 20,800-square-foot facility in Trumann, Arkansas. Two years later the company again expanded its facilities to the modern 70,000-square-foot factory from which it operates today.