Many people love Lowcountry life so much that they incorporate it into their home decor. Oyster shells, in particular, are a popular mechanism for bringing that Lowcountry feel home.
Story by Amy Coyne Bredeson + Photography by Michael Hrizuk
Generally, people who visit the Lowcountry don’t want to leave. They fall in love with the sandy beaches, majestic Spanish moss-covered oak trees and a wide variety of native species.
Whether they head back home after vacationing here or decide to never leave, many people love Lowcountry life so much that they incorporate it into their home decor.
Oyster shells, in particular, are a popular mechanism for bringing that Lowcountry feel home.
“A lot of local artists are doing oyster shell paintings,” Lowcountry Originals owner Becky Brackett said. “I think it’s the organic nature of the shell.”
Lowcountry Originals uses oyster shells in many of its handcrafted home furnishings. The company sells furniture, mirrors, lamps, candelabras, chandeliers and other home decor made of the shells, which are hand-picked on the Ossabaw Sound near Skidaway Island and Wassaw Island in Georgia.
“They’re bleached out from the sun so they’re beautiful,” Brackett said.
Local artists then use the shells, along with other natural materials, such as marsh reeds and driftwood, to create unique products that are used in homes by interior decorators. Each piece can be completely customized by shape, size and finish to meet the individual needs of clients.
Brackett said the most popular items are the chandeliers.
After working for a retail lighting store in Savannah for a few years, Brackett opened her own store in 1994 called The Light Post. She now has stores in Bluffton, Savannah and Pooler.
During the 2008 recession, Brackett decided to reinvent herself.
“I’ve always loved the design end of it,” she said. “So I started designing a few things, and my local designers just loved it.”
Brackett took her products to High Point, N.C., for her first trade show in 2010, and her new line of Lowcountry Original lighting took off. Interior designers from across the country began buying her products.
Brackett now has permanent showrooms in Las Vegas and Atlanta, and another in High Point. Her work can be found at any of the three Light Post locations and online at www.lowcountryoriginals.com.
“It really has the feel of the Lowcountry,” Brackett said about her line of products. “It’s not beachy. It really is more Lowcountry.”