Lightly

“We strongly believe in the power of colour to transport, transform, breathe new life and create memories.”

Lightly

by Cindy-Lee Davies

Cindy-Lee Davies

Lightly

Location
Melbourne, Australia

Specialty
Planters, Vases and Homewares

Cindy-Lee Davies is the director and designer behind Lightly, a Melbourne-based company whose products emphasise functionality, resourcefulness and enrichment within the home.

With concepts such as personal relationships and longevity at the core of the brand’s philosophy, Davies has designed a versatile and colorful range of home, living and lighting products that have led her to exhibit work both around Australia and abroad, and have propelled Lightly forward as a well-sought-after manufacturer of authentic, enduring interior crafts.

Shop the collection

Juniper

Green, green, green!

Beginnings

Born and raised on a 7000-acre farm in Western Australia with her 3-sibling family, Davies cites the “utilitarian resourcefulness” of her early years as integral to her development as a designer and artisan. “Growing up in the country made me what I am today,” she remarks, “I could always make something from nothing, whether it was a clay sculpture at a creek bed or weld metal with my brother at the age of 12.” Having this hands-on approach to creating objects ended up closely tying in with the foundation of Lightly: “You had the space to foster creativity and natural resources at your fingertips,” Davies reflects, stating that this “sense of adventure” has become one of the brand’s core values.

Davies also emphasises the important role her grandmother, Rosemary Lightly, played in the foundation of the company. Initially starting the business “in homage” to her grandmother, Davies specifies relationships as one of the most integral building blocks of the brand: “Born from the fond memory of my grandparents, relationships are at the foundation of the business. From the community of artisanal makers who ensure quality and considered production, to our customer service team who manage the needs of customers, relationships remind us of what’s important.” This is one of the reasons why Davies chose her grandmother’s maiden name, Lightly, as the company’s namesake.


After finding herself with a rustic studio based in a scrap metal yard at the age of 19, Davies had a chance encounter with a book by Shiro Kuramata, which led her to enrol in a furniture design degree at RMIT University. Prior to starting Lightly she primarily worked in areas such as furniture and lighting design, and had experience working at Italian lighting companies, as a lighting consultant for architects and brands such as Flos and Fontana Arte, and working with film sets and props. Davies went independent and founded Lightly in 2005, after a product I designed began to gain popularity - a career move that she says was “a natural transition”.

Inspiration - Shiro Kuramata

Miss Blanche Chair by Shiro Kuramata

“Our designs are grounded in functionality and the beauty in simple utilitarianism.”

Design Philosophy

Davies is clear about the things that are important to the Lightly brand: values such as relationships, resourcefulness, functionality, longevity, and enrichment are at the forefront of the business’ design approach. The company’s broad range of interior products reflect these values with a fresh vitality, and an enduring sense of innovative, thoughtful home design.

Regarding the aspects of functionality that fuel the design of each of Lightly’s pieces, Davies states: “Producing a quality product that will have longevity in someone’s home is way more important to me than being on-trend or landfill of overproduction.” Davies cites this consideration toward sustainable homewares as “a desire to highlight the beauty in simple utilitarianism and to design as a personal expression from the heart.”



With products such as the eye-catching Second Nature range and the demure Goblet and Tone planters from the Grace series, Davies emphasises the role of colour and form in her designs. “Colour and form are integral to our ambition to bring wellbeing and harmony through design,” she states. “We strongly believe in the power of colour to transport, transform, breathe new life and create memories.” Ranging from striking azures and yellows to earthy reds and cool emeralds, the colours found throughout Lightly’s catalog define their “playful yet graceful” presence, and render them as “distinct yet timeless designs” that the brand has come to be known for.


Design Philosophy
Lightly - Second Nature Collection

The importance of relationships, however, is what lies at the heart of Lightly’s company philosophy. Aside from the relationship with her grandparents that inspired the business itself, Davies is mindful of the connections that go into operating a design-oriented small business: Lightly works with the same factories they have for several years - her “local family” - and around 60 percent of the company’s products are produced locally, with 100% designed in Australia and smaller makers offshore in Asia recently being enlisted in the production process. The staff members that make up Lightly are small in number, but also share a close relationship: they share lunch time together, with once-a-month trips to local coffee shops and eateries as a group, and occasional activities such as meditation and yoga.

Family

Cindy-Lee Davies with husband Willie and son Teal.

“From the community of artisanal makers who ensure quality and considered production to our customer service team who manage the needs of customers, relationships remind us of what’s important.”

Inspiration

One of Davies’ motivations in designing for Lightly is the importance of health and wellbeing, and it’s one of the things she never fails to take into account in all aspects of running the company. An avid cyclist and practitioner of yoga and meditation, Davies states that “health, wellbeing, and nurturing environments” are highly valued at Lightly.

Daviesは、オーストラリアのミッドセンチュリーメーカーにデザイン面で影響を受けていますが、他にも世界中を旅することが多大なるインスピレーションだと述べています。「世界を旅をして、私はいつもデザインと製作における新しい地平線を捜しています。」

Amongst her other influences, Davies cites mid-century Australian makers, and traveling outside of Australia. “Travel is a huge inspiration for me and Lightly reflects that,” she states. “We’re always exploring new horizons in design and production and seeking out global inspiration.”

Balance 01, 02, 03

Amongst her other influences, Davies cites mid-century Australian makers, and traveling outside of Australia. “Travel is a huge inspiration for me and Lightly reflects that,” she states. “We’re always exploring new horizons in design and production and seeking out global inspiration.”


As the head of Lightly, Davies plays a large role in most areas of the production of a new piece, from its inception up to its release. “I enjoy designing the most,” she admits, “colour choices are integral, sampling and forming prototypes. I am very hands-on in the design process.”

As a designer, Davies is driven by the desire to explore new materials and forms, and utilise her ongoing relationships with artisans in the pursuit of a unique end product - this process, she mentions, is as important as the result.

The company’s studio in Collingwood, Melbourne, is where it all happens - it’s an all-in-one location that functions as a shop, studio, warehouse and photoshoot area. In a typical week at Lightly, most days are spent assembling, invoicing and shipping for the company’s products, with the remainder devoted to planning, designing and marketing strategies.


Process
Tone planters
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