Shannon Guirl // Caravan Pacific


Recap: 09/08/17

Hosted by LWD member Shannon Guirl, designer and owner of Caravan Pacific


Caravan Pacific is a Portland based home goods and accessory company known for their sleek midcentury inspired lighting.  Caravan Pacific takes pride in sourcing sustainable, high quality materials and working with local resources and craftsman. They have also formed very successful design partnerships with larger companies like Rejuvenation.

In 2011 Shannon launched a successful Kickstarter campaign that launched Caravan Pacific.  Her designs quickly became successful and established a niche that continues to drive their business.

Shannon discussed design, her creative process, manufacturing, running a small business and learning as you go.  She showed us where the “magic happens” with a tour of their beautiful SE Portland studio and showroom.  She spoke openly about the pros and cons of starting and growing a small business while also balancing time to create new products and being vulnerable enough to take risks in both business and new designs.

Caravan Pacific’s studio handles all light orders that come through from design, prototypes, slip casting, glazing, electrical, to shipping fulfillment.  All lights are made to order and they process an impressive amount of product each week.  She shared with us their form dies which all molds are made from and talked us through the process of creating plaster molds.  She then walked us though their process of slip casting, firing and glazing.

There are a couple of components that they do not so in house, their lamp shades and turned wooden details.  These details are made by vendors they have been working with and growing with for years.

We also spoke frankly about protecting your designs and ideas when pitching to larger companies and in general.  A topic we touched on in a previous LWD meeting, read those notes here.

Caravan Pacific has many new designs in the works as well as exciting custom pieces scheduled for debut in 2017 and 2018!

clayScrap bins full of cuttings

shannonShannon walking us through the slip casting process in front of just some of their molds

lamps_shelf.jpgLamps waiting for final assembly

Resources Mentioned:

Form 3D Foundry for product or furniture modeling