Leighton Lam Designs, Inc. established in 1979, became the start of an innovative collection of island inspired jewelry, lighting & art concepts designed by the artist Leighton Lam. Leighton began his career creating a resin jewelry collection called Ear Art™. He was featured in accessory trade shows in New York, LA & sold his jewelry to stores across the country.
The ‘90’s were a time of changing trends. As jewelry fashions toned down to gold & silver Leighton focused on Hawaii creating the Hawaiian Nature Collection™ & Hawaiian Quilt Designs™ jewelry collections. He mastered the technique of using acid to cut brass in fine detail & then plate it in 24k gold or oxidized silver. Leighton also added a cast sterling silver & diamond-cutting design to the line.
1996 gave Leighton the opportunity for a new innovation, copper lighting fixtures. He increased the scale of his art designs to create copper light sconces. He named this collection of beautiful lighting Paradise Lights™, designed to create a Hawaiian sense of place. 2001 marked the return of color in Leighton’s Pacific Isle Collection™. Combining fresh water pearls, crystal & sterling silver he created an elegant new twist in pearl jewelry.
Leighton Lam Designs employs four full-time craftsmen. Leighton served several years on the board of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii (chair of the Made in Hawaii committee). He is a past President and life director of the Punahou School O’Men. He has received three “Hawaii Retail Merchants Manufacturer of the Year (unique catagory)” awards in 1997, 2002 and 2004.
His creative spirit not only evokes jewelry collections that are always evolving but custom original artwork that can be found throughout the homes in Hawaii. Whether it’s flying across the water on his windsurfer or dropping in on an epic wave, Leighton finds constant inspiration from the ocean and the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands.
Leighton’s father, Chapman Lam at age 4, escaped with his parents on one of the last ships to leave China before Japan took over the country. That ship came to Hawaii. Leighton’s father graduated from Punahou School and Oregon State University where he met his wife. He went on to a career as an officer in the US Navy. The navy sent them all over the world and during this time, Leighton and his three sisters were born. Leighton was the second child, born on October 14th 1955 in Long Beach California. Leighton’s first birthday was on a ship bound for Japan and for the next 10 years he lived in Japan, Washington DC, San Diego and Taiwan. When given another tour of duty in Hawaii in 1966 they decided it was time to settle down and make Hawaii home.
The first thing Leighton did was start surfing and making surfboards. Using polyester resin to make surfboards in 1967, he had no idea that his love of surfing would launch him into a lifetime journey as an artist. As he poured different colored resins over his hand shaped surfboards the flow and blending of the resin intrigued him. He saw its potential as an art medium. For the next 26 years Leighton created Resin Art. With 72 solo exhibits and public and private collections ranging from Queens Hospital to Rumors Night Club.
Leighton and Lani have a son and daughter. Their daughter, Kaily, works for the family business as the sales director. Their son, Lucas, lives and works in California. Leighton and his kids love surfing and windsurfing and get in the water as often as possible.
Our collections are now available in over 250 retail stores throughout the world.