work of Pamela Vandergrift graces elegant and eclectic homes,
from quaint cottages to palatial estates. Her Sui Generis
Lighting Collection is the custom lighting choice of designers,
celebrities and those with an appreciation of old world craftsmanship
and sweeping ethereal design. Like the one of a kind lighting
masterpieces that she creates, Pamela's artistry was shaped
by the powerful forces of her life experience and emerged
perfect, textured and complete.
an adventurous, fun loving but struggling single mom, Pamela
learned to survive and thrive by using her gifts and imagination.
She built miniature apartments out of wood and cardboard along
the back sidewalk of the apartments they resided in, furnishing
them with custom made furniture, and fabric window coverings.
The neighborhood children would come from blocks away with
their Barbie's to play with Pamela and her sister in the make
believe neighborhood until it grew so large, it had to be
torn down. The family moved around and without much money
for craft supplies. Pamela took her mother's antique Singer
sewing machine and taught herself how to sew, making skirts
out of scrap fabrics she found around the house for her mother
to wear to choir practice in LA. Her Entrepreneurial Spirit
and flair for design was evident from the start.
As an adult,
Pamela started a Marble and Granite Showroom in West Hollywood
and later became the marketing director for an even larger
Marble and Granite company. Her marketing skills caught the
attention of a national mortgage brokerage firm, which sold
territories for distribution businesses, and Pamela became
their national trainer. The travel took its toll as Pamela
by then had a young daughter. While on a business trip to
Tennessee, Pamela began to transition back into her love of
interior design. She bought antiques from Nashville to Memphis,
loading up a U-haul, stopping in Santa Fe to sell some of
the pieces and then home to California where she began to
broker the remaining pieces to dealers, having in mind the
beginning of a possible new business venture. This was short
lived as Pamela had the opportunity to publish a criminal
newspaper, which became a staple read in the law enforcement
for home interiors was still a force that would soon resurface
and explode into a thriving business for Pamela. In 1994,
she started Heywire, a line of lanterns, jewel boxes and picture
frames made out of sculpted wire and beads. From her first
shows at street fairs to museum boutiques and retail stores,
Heywire took off from Los Angeles to Portland and Seattle.
A trip to a
lighting parts facility in search of Vintage Glass inspired
Pamela to design lamps herself. She was hooked and soon was
building chandeliers, candelabras and sconces from cast parts.
In 1996, this new lighting line was introduced into high-end
retail galleries and the word spread to designers that Ethereal
Lighting was born.
phased out so that Pamela could meet the demand for her lighting
line although she still creates lanterns on occasion by special
In 1998, Pamela
sojourned to the remote island of Orcas in the San Juan Islands
between Washington and Canada. Taking a break from the hustle
and bustle of Southern California, Pamela stayed in a studio
on the water traveling back to California to buy parts. For
four years she developed a market for her lighting in Seattle,
selling to top galleries and boutiques such as Les Piafs,
Camelion Design, Seva, Burnt Sugar, Project Babylon & Zanadia.
This is where Demi Moore and Sally Struthers purchased pieces
from the collection. For relaxation, Pamela would walk the
shores of the islands collecting beautiful pieces of driftwood
or fallen barn wood to make outdoor furniture for island homes.
This therapeutic hobby evolved into a business that ended
with Pamela's return to California in 2002.
Refreshed, Pamela was back in sunny California with family
and friends. Her time in the Pacific Northwest had further
expanded her business. Ethereal Lighting was established up
and down the West Coast and Pamela Vandergrift's artistry
of light, shown more brightly than ever.
here to for South Coast Magazine Article