Meagan Gittins - Portugal
Hi, I'm Meagan, the creator of Silver Coast Designs and the designer of all the handcrafted jewelry, lighting and decor. My husband Micah and I moved to Portugal from the United States in 2015 along with our yellow Labrador, Hunter. We have fallen in love with the diverse landscapes as well as the people here in Portugal.
LOVE OF LIGHTING
I have been in the field of design for many years, in a variety of areas, but always I kept coming back to this dream of mine to make lighting. My dad is an electrician, so maybe that's where my interest stems from! In my opinion, the right lighting can completely change the mood and feel of a room. The perfect chandelier should be a piece of art, it should bring style and class to the room. I like to think of lighting fixtures as being the jewelry for your room. The right piece can bring everything together.
PASSION FOR THE OCEAN
After moving to Portugal and living by the sea, my passion for lighting evolved to include my passion for the sea. Beachcombing is what I do to relieve stress. Finding sea glass is like treasure hunting for me. However, once I moved closer to the ocean I soon began to realize how bad the problem with plastic pollution really is. There's no ignoring it when you see it every day.
SAVING OUR SEAS
I know as well as the next person that the problem with plastic pollution is bigger than any of us can deal with. Still, I personally feel my conscience hollering at me when I see debris (especially plastic) washed up on the beach. That's why I always carry an extra bag to pick up rubbish with. I know it's not enough to save the planet, but it's something that I am perfectly capable of doing and every little bit helps. I've also made an effort personally to reduce my use of plastic at home. This means that when you buy from us, you're helping support beach cleanups! :)
In early 2019 I decided to teach myself the art of electroforming. Electroforming is the deposition of metal (in this case silver or copper) onto an object by using a chemical acid bath and electricity. Electroforming is not the same as electroplating because in electroplating only a very thin layer of metal is deposited, while in electroforming several layers of metal are deposited, building a substantial and thick shell. This is great for coating things like sea urchin shells which are very delicate. What I love most about electroforming is that almost anything is possible. I can create all kinds of unique pieces with this amazing art form!
DESIGN AND CREATION
All of our products are uniquely designed and handcrafted by me in my workshop here in Portugal. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and a true piece of art.
Inspiration is everywhere here in Portugal. The rugged coastline, the wild ocean, the salty air all breed a sense of wonder and a desire to create.
The materials I use are primarily what I find here on the beaches of Portugal and elsewhere in Europe. All sea glass, driftwood, seashells and rope I use is genuine, hand-selected by me, and ethically harvested. I like to think that we are helping the environment, so I try to be as eco-friendly as possible - even in my packaging.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS
So somehow, over time, my love of lighting and electricity have come together with my love of the beach to form this idea of Silver Coast Designs - beach inspired lighting, jewelry and decor. All materials are hand selected by me, all products are handmade by me.