Combining her passion for clean and simple design and talent for detailed printing, Joanna of Lume Lighting creates lampshades that are nothing short of beautiful. Ranging from intricately patterned modern drums to ombre traditional shades, along with her fabulous new wooden pendant lights, Joanna has built up a successful lighting business.
We go behind the scenes to find out about her creative influences, what her days look like and why she loves lampshade making!
How are you today and what’s on your workbench?
Hello! I’m very well thank you. I’m just having a cup of tea before I start my day, which consists of making lampshades for online orders, testing out linen fabric for some new designs and prepping for product photography.
How do you start the design process for your screenprinted lampshades and where do you get your design inspiration?
My inspiration usually comes from being outdoors and travelling to different cities or countries. Usually something I see sparks an idea and I start by drawing that, whether it's a building, a tree, or a motif, then from there I will add in other elements and start playing around with patterns and repeats.
How would you describe your style?
Clean and simple.
It’s clear you have an eye for detail. Do you follow trends or do you just go with your instinct on what will work for a lampshade?
I have always tried to trust my instincts and go with what I love! I like to keep an eye on trends, however being a fabric designer too, it wouldn't be sustainable to keep designing new prints every time there's a new trend. Therefore I try to create designs that have longevity.
When did you start making lampshades?
I started making lampshades about 7 years ago. I used to make other interior products and thought that lampshades would make the perfect addition to my collection. After making my first ones, I fell in love with the process and it eventually became my whole business.
What’s your favourite part of the lampshade making process?
My favourite part of the lampshade process is rolling the fabric onto the rings, this is where you really see the fabric and print come to life!
In your online shop, what’s your most popular selling shade?
My Starlings design. It has a simple and neutral colour palette, and proves to be one of my most popular designs as it works well with a variety of interior styles.
What’s the mix of shades you make to sell online versus lampshade commissions and recoverings, as part of your business?
I would say that 70% of my business is making and selling my lampshade either online, through retailers or directly, and the rest is made up from commissions and recoverings.
Your lighting business includes a wide range of shades from drum shades, to fairy lights to traditional shades. Do you plan ahead to expand your product range?
I am always looking to expand my product range, whether it’s creating a new design for a shade or designing a new lighting product - I currently have quite a few ideas in the pipeline!
What’s the best thing about running lampshade making workshops?
I have been teaching lampshade making workshops for over 5 years now and still absolutely love teaching people a new skill. The best part is when they see their finished creation and are so proud of what they have made, especially when they have come along saying that they aren't very creative, and by the end they are so pleased with what they have achieved!
We love your new geometric pendant lights. Can you tell us more about them?
Thank you! I wanted to create some unique pendant lights that could be used with bare bulbs to create a statement. They are made using geometric plywood shapes, which are either left bare or painted and then strung onto a linen flex to create combinations of shapes and patterns.
Any tips for new lampshade makers in business?
There are a lot of lampshade makers out there so try to make your lampshades stand out and find that niche!
How do you fit in your shade making with your other commitments?
I’m very lucky that my lampshade business is my full time job. However, for the past year and a half my partner and I have been renovating our house ourselves. So I have had to adapt to working on my business less than what I normally would.
When are you at your most productive?
I’m definitely not an early morning worker! I get into my studio for about 9am and get my easy tasks out the way before moving onto the trickier ones. I know that I am definitely more productive later in the day and this is when I can get my products made.
And your favourite sustenance when you’re working?
Could you let us take a peek at your workspace?
Of course, although I would say it doesn't always look this tidy!!
Where would you like to be in 10 years time?
I’m not someone who has a 10 year plan, but I would hope to still be doing something that I love and that brings me joy!
What have you learned that’s been invaluable to your creative process?
I also would say that finding a local group of creative small businesses has been invaluable to me! To be able to share experiences and learn from one another is great! I also share a studio space with another amazing business who is a good friend, and this has really helped me and my business grow.
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