A fine-arts major and decorative painter who began her career in interior design, Julie fell in love with lighting when she was asked to participate in a decorator’s show house in the late ‘90s. “I found a fabricator who could understand my drawings, and that’s when my lighting business was born,” she says.
Labor of Love
If she’s at her desk, Julie is likely sitting amid lighting models that might be made of chopsticks, pieces of wire, or paper cutouts. Each and every chandelier, wall sconce, and lantern is sketched out before a prototype is made and sent to a fabricator. With the piece in hand, Julie’s artisans get to work, selecting from the studio’s extensive palette of signature finishes, all of which are hand-applied.
Big Easy Homage
Inspired by her hometown, Julie (or The Bayou Contessa, as she’s known on her blog) revels in staying true to traditional techniques but always embraces the new. “New Orleanians aren’t stodgy,” Julie says. “We’re creative and fun.” Her greatest hope: that her pieces will become heirlooms. “I’d like my pieces to be passed down from a grandmother to her grandchild,” she says.