AFTER many years selling his popular lights on the festival and market circuit, Byron Bay lighting designer David Mizrahi has made the leap into a full-time retail space, with a customer becoming a business partner.
Mr Mizrahi opened his Jonson St shop, Byron Bay Lighting, in mid October and has already received orders from restaurants, clubs and hotels for his lamps.
After a career as a jeweller when he moved to Australia from Israel, it was a move into selling paper lanterns that sparked a passion for lighting in Mr Mizrahi.
"I started selling paper star lights in Darwin and I used to love their magical look when I hung them in the trees," he said.
"I am a creative, artistic person and I started designing my own paper lights to start with and had them crafted in Indonesia."
That passion for design led to a change of materials to sturdier fibreglass that could be moulded to any shape, with his range now including more than 80 designs from table lamps to 2.5m-high statement pieces.
With an earthy, organic style, the lights' designs are inspired by Mr Mizrahi's travels, particularly around Australia, and include hand-painted tribal and botanical patterns; dot artwork; glass mosaics; and stone and sand.
"The right lighting can make a room look beautiful. The lights bring joy and happiness and they create a relaxing space," he said.
To make the transition from market and festival stalls to retail, Mr Mizrahi has the support of a silent business partner, Sydney businessman Peter Guest who bought his first lamp at one of Mr Mizrahi's Bluesfest stalls.
"Peter is a smart businessman who has taught me how to run a business properly," Mr Mizrahi said.
His focus lately had been on establishing his shop, but it was the creative side of his venture that kept Mr Mizrahi awake at night.
"I dream about my lights and new designs at night, and I get so excited coming into the shop each day," he said.