SJ Lights has been on our mind since we saw the applications. These beautiful lights will be at Renegade Brooklyn this weekend! Samantha Jacober’s lights are made from naturally occurring wood formations, snags and detritus from lightning strikes. How cool is that?
When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
I moved from New York to Los Angeles and started spending much of my time outdoors hiking, camping and exploring my new surroundings. I grew up in the musty forests of Pennsylvania where when a tree falls it decays and is covered in moss. Now in the mountains of California, I was fascinated by the very dry environments where time seemed to stand still. Severe drought conditions causing high levels of tree mortality through out the state. The California Pine lying in beautifully kept formations along the switchback trails, a preserved death, a petrified corpse — I became obsessed with the forms, bringing little pieces home and mounting them in progressions on my walls. I considered the struggle for life that produced the high twists and deep crevices in each piece and how my perception of them shifted depending on the direction of the light.
I’ve also always been scared of the dark.
Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?
I haven’t taken a long trip in a while. But I will soon.
Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?
I’ve had a lot. A friend of mine, Ms Hailey Benton Gates said, “the correction must be less intense than the error.” A delicate tweak is often the best way to fix what’s perceived as a big problem. I’ve come to realize that a major failure usually requires a very minor adjustment in order to make it a success.
What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
Making my first sculpture. It was extremely rewarding to see what was in my head become a physical reality. I also love the art shows and the craft fairs. It’s a chance to get out of the studio/my head and share my work with others. Oh and seeing my work in spaces other than my own studio is wonderful.
How does the city you live in influence your work?
The city makes me want to raise environmental awareness through my sculptures. I hope to show that there is a less ridged and beautiful way of being beyond the cities that most of us live in.
What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?
I think working in film production made me take on the “just figure it out” mentality.
What made you take this leap into being your own boss?
I would like to move out of the city and into the wilderness as soon as possible, so I can live in what inspires me most.
What are some inspirations for your work?
All For The Mountain
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
Don’t be a mean boss to yourself.
We can’t wait to light up our homes with Samantha’s gorgeous fixtures. Our Renegade Craft Fair weekend kicks off tomorrow starting with our Wholesale Market and our Summer Fair starting Saturday. Hope to see you all there! Check out SJ Lights online here: