This week's Nails of New York highlights lighting designer, Bec Brittain. After graduating from product design at Parsons, studying philosophy and architecture, and working as design director for lighting designer, Lindsey Adelman, Bec launched her own business in 2011. Wanting to draw with lines of light, all the while incorporating beautiful hardware, Bec has always wanted her pieces to be about the lines of light. This idea served as the foundation for her Shy light, an angular space-frame of thin LED tubes and metal fittings.
Known for the statement, focal piece, Bec focuses on the geometry of crystals, while also incorporating other shapes and materials like the gorgeous pink and green ombre glass of her Vise fixture. As a part of the creative design community in New York City, Bec is surrounded and influenced by other downtown artists and friends, creating other decorative and beautiful forms, like wedding cake toppers, when she's not doing commission work. Read more to learn about her design process, the importance of having her nails done as a new mom, and the minimal and moody vibe she has as of late in regards to both her lighting and nail designs.
Why do you paint your nails?
It makes me feel much more together. Especially as a new mom, I don't spend a ton of time on my appearance daily and having a good manicure helps me feel so much better about my look.
What is your go-to color?
I typically prefer nudes or a classic dark red–it just feels right on my hands and best suits my skin tone and style.
When did getting manicures become important to you?
I started getting manicures, because I'm a nail biter. Manicures helped me stop. Whether I'm designing modules or on the computer, I'm constantly working with my hands, so I like them to be polished.
How did you get into lighting design?
I got into lighting design through different jobs–I started designing in metal (instead of architecture, which is what I went to school for) at a high-end hardware company, and then found myself working for a lighting designer after that. It really suited me, so I tried it on my own. We design everything in house, outsource the heavy-duty manufacturing (all within the US) and then assemble each piece in house.
How do your nails influence your projects?
I used to do literally everything myself since I was a one-woman show. Thankfully, those days are over–it's because I'm not assembling every day that I can pay attention to my nails again! Both the lighting designs and nails depend on my vibe–lately I've been a bit more minimal and moody.
What has been the most challenging and most rewarding part of starting your own business?
Starting my own business was the hardest thing I did until having a kid. It's a blessing and a curse to make all the decisions. On a tough day, I just want someone to tell me what to do.