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Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Style Files: Gale Singer

{The Circa Lighting store in Houston}

Circa Lighting has become synonymous with timeless, classic, well-made lighting. The company was founded in 1998 in Savannah, Georgia by Gale Singer, who is the face behind this wonderful company. Prior to opening her first store in Savannah, Georgia, she spent ten years working for Visual Comfort (owned by brother Andy Singer), the company which manufactures most of her lighting. After the Savannah store proved to be a success, flagship stores were opened in Atlanta, Charleston, and Houston. The company continues to grow and will hopefully expand into other parts of the country in the future.

Circa's mission is to offer "quality lighting, lamps, and accessories that are as beautiful as they are timeless." The product line is comprised of thousands of items, each of which come in a variety of finishes and all of which are sure to appeal to various design aesthetics. The pieces in the collection were designed by some of the country's foremost designers including Alexa Hampton, Thomas O'Brien, Michael S. Smith, Clodagh, Barbara Barry, Bill Blass, Sandy Chapman, Eric Cohler, Suzanne Kasler, and J.Randall Powers. There is something for everyone from traditional hand-finished bronze pieces to crystal lamps, and industrial-inspired ceiling fixtures.



Name: Gale Singer

Occupation: Owner, Circa Lighting

Hometown: New York, New York

Current City: Savannah, Georgia


{The timeless Abbot Single-Arm Sconce adds glamour with its Greek key detail to this beautiful vignette by Melissa Warner.}


LDV: What inspired you to found Circa Lighting?

GS: After working for Visual Comfort for ten years, I moved to Savannah. While trying to figure out what I was going to do, I said “go with what you know, the lighting business”. No one was doing a well-edited, boutique-like lighting showroom at the time. I found 375 square feet in Savannah’s historic district and the rest is history!

kitchen style at home eos

{The fabulous Hicks Pendant is a perennial favorite of interior designers and design enthusiasts.}


LDV: What do you love most about it?

GS: I love how both Visual Comfort and Circa Lighting have grown and how lucky we are to be selling this beautifully-designed product. I love retail. I love the reaction when people walk into our showrooms.


{Industrial Redux: Country Industrial Pendant, Eugene Pendant, Yoke Pendant}


LDV: What is the most challenging aspect?

GS: Teaching clients to think about lighting first, instead of as an afterthought.

{Image via Real Simple}


LDV: Where do you find inspiration?

GS: Magazines, magazines, magazines

tob {A Room featured in Thomas O’Brien’s book, American Modern}


LDV: Who is one of your personal style icons?

GS: Thomas O’Brien for his diversity.

atlanta tti

{Circa Lighting’s Statement-Making Zodiac Pendant and Studio Floor Lamps

Image via Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine}


LDV: How would you describe your own style?

GS: Eclectic. I know that may sound cliché, but it’s pretty accurate.


{Lucky Clover: Basil Flush Mount and Quatrefoil Floor Lamp}

LDV: What is the trait you most admire in a person?

GS: Honesty


{A Home featuring Circa’s Boston Functional Two-Arm Wall Lights}

LDV: What is your principal weakness?

GS: My son.

circa ell decor aug 10{Circa’s Gorgeous Alabaster Ring Lamps (a personal favorite), as featured in the August 2010 issue of ELLE DECOR}

LDV: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

GS: Whatever you do, do your best.

circa mary ruffle {Side by side Vendome Chandeliers add an unexpected touch to this dining room.}


LDV:  What do you consider your greatest achievement?

GS: Being a good friend

circa master bath{The French Deco Horn Sconces add Glamour to this bathroom by Angie Hranowsky}


LDV: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

GS: Having joy everyday. Maybe not all day, everyday, but everyday. Loving my work, friends, family…



gale faves

{Image via Domino}

Bloom: Sunflower

Drink: Wine

bread mary ruffle {Delectable Image via Mary Ruffle}

Food: Crusty Bread

Thing to Wear: Ugg Boots

Season: Fall

paris breakfast {Parisian Breakfast}

Meal: Breakfast

Musician: Bruce Springsteen

Artist: There are too many. I am surrounded by so many incredible local artists in Savannah.

Film: Harold and Maude

Television Show: Modern Family

Book: Anything by Anne Tyler

Magazines: There are too many to name!


Anna Katrina said...

love every single picture you posted! i would love that vanity !!

stop by sometime<3

Sharon Brown said...

That was a very nice interview. Thank you for sharing.

Lilacandgrey said...

So much inspiration here- I am going to need a few days to take it all in!

Zuniga Interiors Design Studio said...

another fabulous profile! Great to know the story behind Circa! What amazing lighting they have! Love to hear what others find as their favourites! {crusty bread, breakfast, etc}


Dumbwit Tellher said...

Tremendous interview Paloma. What's not to love and admire when reading about Gale. I remember when living in the Pacific N.W. seeing ads for Circa and admiring all the magnificent lighting choices wishing there was a store in Seattle. I have two addictions in design; chairs and lighting. Lighting is like a fabulous piece of jewelry & believe what Gale states about starting with the lighting first & building from that point. Truly a joy to read & thank you for sharing Paloma x

Christen Ales said...

I love Visual Comfort- their lights are fantastic!

Moonlight Serenade said...

Love your blog!

Unknown said...

Circa Lighting - Visual Comfort has been a "go to" source for me for lighting. I loved this interview!!
~ Elizabeth

paula said...

Oh my, I have such a wish list of lighting from that shop, gorgeous. Love the interview, she seems divine.