by AMY LEHRER | photo by Lauren Nygard Photography

Full of Light

People often explore multiple careers before finding the perfect fit. Growing up in New York and New Jersey, Deborah excelled in math and loved art. She pursued architecture, a career that combines mathematics skill and artistic expression, at Drexel University. Later, she switched to computer science and obtained her degree from Rutgers University. Looking back, she thinks she sensed the difficulty of being an autonomous designer in architecture. Although she still loved design, she chose a career with a strong demand despite a fluctuating economy and it served her well. Becoming a software designer paid well, connected her to San Diego, and allowed her time to discover the career that now illuminates her soul.

womaninbusiness02“I love that lighting is warm, inviting, and you can cozy up to it with a good book in the winter time,” she shared. Lighting spoke to Deborah early. Before moving to sunny San Diego, she committed to studying industrial design. Ten years ago, she made a prototype of a hanging lamp. Once in San Diego, she took glassblowing, metal welding, and metal casting classes. Not knowing where to start Deborah began designing lampshades with designer fabric because she thought color could create visual interest and excitement. She used fabric that played with light, showing different qualities when illuminated. She eventually sold her shades online and in a local shop. When one customer requested a lamp to place the shade on, she investigated making designer lamps herself. She bought a floor-length drill press and consulted with a local lighting shop to learn how to make solidly-constructed lamps. Now she runs her own business selling lamps that she creates herself from start to finish – and business is growing. She enjoys knowing who buys her lamps, like the newly married couple from Canada or the husband who bought a lamp for his wife’s birthday or the college student who bought playful lamps for her dorm room. “It gives me a warm feeling thinking of the lamps being a part of people’s daily experiences,” she expressed.

Presently, Deborah is happily settled in family-friendly La Costa raising her daughter. She has fond memories of sharing calligraphy and painting with her own mother, and hopes to share art with her daughter someday. However, Deborah also believes in the importance of honoring her daughter’s individual identity and realizes her daughter’s passions may be different from her own. She only hopes that her daughter observes her pursuing what she loves in life and grows up to do the same thing for herself.

Name: Deborah Wolfe
Profession: Owner/Designer Loving Lighting
Community: La Costa since 2013
Hobbies: Enjoying nature, healthy eating, art, and design
Favorite Local Spots: Grandview Beach and stairs, Solana Beach and Encinitas Farmers Markets, Cedros Avenue Design District