Pamela Vandergrift
Artist, Designer

The life's 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.

Raised by 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 community.

The passion 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.

Heywire was phased out so that Pamela could meet the demand for her lighting line although she still creates lanterns on occasion by special request.

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.

Rested and 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.

Click here to for South Coast Magazine Article