THE GARDEN GLAMOUR BLOG IS THE “LITTLE BLACK DRESS” FOR AN ENTERTAINING LIFESTYLE. JUST AS CHANEL’S DESIGN BECAME A BOLD STATEMENT & SYMBOL OF WOMEN’S FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE, THE GARDEN GLAMOUR  POSTINGS OFFER BOLD, TRANSPORTING STORIES ABOUT AN ARTFUL LIFESTYLE THAT ARE MEANT TO INSPIRE & CHARM.  MY PASSION  FOR BEAUTY, ART, NATURE, & CULTURE CELEBRATES EXTERIOR DESIGNS; TABLESCAPE DECOR; BOOK REVIEWS; HOMEGROWN FOOD & DRINK; GARDEN-TO-GLASS COCKTAILS; & THE INSOUCIANT ANECDOTES ABOUT THE HUMBLING, GLORIOUS & GLAMOROUS WORLD OF GARDEN ART & INSPIRING, ARTFUL WOMEN.

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Light is Healing Hope & Joy: Learn How this Mother Invented a Solar Light, Helping Children and Their Families

 

It took a compassionate Mother to help children ~ and Mother Nature. While teaching as a Professor in Architecture and Material Technology at Columbia University, Alice Chun created early prototypes of solar lights. Initially fueled by her passion to design a healthy light source for her son who suffered from (urban/pollution) asthma, she was also driven by her desire to help the underserved; in turn, Alice invented the world’s only self-inflatable, portable solar light that is a lifeline to those without electricity. Alice named this invention the SolarPuff™.  Today, Alice is an award-winning inventor and humanitarian who brings awe, wonder, & joy.  Learn about her incredibly inspiring journey: 


I was first introduced to Alice and her astonishing solar lights ~ so simple yet elegant and effective ~ by way of the book, Made in New York 25 Innovators Who Shaped Our World, authored by my friend, Frank Vizard.

I was so very impressed and wanted to connect with this astonishing woman.

How fortunate we are that Alice agreed to be a special guest on my recent  guest on my Ladies Who Lunch Conversations videocast on Facebook!

Inspiration is just a click away ~ with the link to Facebook or on my YouTube channel. (Please do Follow each while there ~ you’ll find lots of inspiration and beauty at both destinations 🙂 Thank you.)

What you’ll learn from our Conversation ~ besides just how very Nice Alice is 🙂 are the interesting challenges she faced. (We all do, right?) Following Alice’s invention and working prototype, she conducted three years of field testing in Haiti. 

Because of emerging trends in material technology resulting in smarter, lighter, faster, sustainable fabrication, Alice started to sew solar panels to fabric as early experiments for harnessing solar energy with softer, malleable material. 

The innovative, award-winning origami design differentiates her Solar Lights from any competition because it eliminates the need for a mouth nozzle to inflate. This smart, thoughtful design detail ensures a healthy, sanitary method to inflate.  

Easier and healthier to open, Solar Lights were designed to be able to transform from a flat polygon into beautiful cube and pyramid shapes with a simple pull-open action, with the material a kind of sailcloth origami web. They are waterproof, sustainable, and also can power up personal, portable devices. 

  View full post from 11mo ago

In 2015 she launched Solight Design as the Founder and Inventor, and initiated a KickStarter program with unprecedented results.  

Award-Winning Efforts and Results

Alice and her innovative designs went on to win numerous awards including the US Patent Award for Humanity, 2022 FORBES Women in Impact Award and her products have been exhibited at MOMA, the Modern Museum of Art in New York City. She is honored as one of Marie Claire’s most Influential Women and in 2022 she is featured on the AppleTV Plus docuseries GUTSY with Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.

Not surprisingly, she has been a featured guest on a menu of top-tier media (not just Ladies Who Lunch Conversations ~ wink).

Because her designs are so effective and she is so generous and compassionate, Alice and her incredible designs have been featured and lauded on Good Morning America, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Forbes, CNBD and no surprise, Alice has been a TEDx speaker.  She is a true, “Shero.”

Give Light 

The sun is an amazing thing. Alice tells us that it gives us nine hundred and seventy trillion kilowatt hours of energy each day. That’s enough energy to give every single person on the planet a lightbulb that would shine bright for their entire lifetime. But we have a crisis right now and it’s tied to fossil fuels. It’s making us sick. it’s making our kids sick and it’s making our planet sick. In the rest of the world, there’s another toxic fossil fuel: kerosene. And when the sun goes down, 1.6 billion people live without access to electricity and rely on kerosene to light their night.

Alice notes that you can lower your carbon footprint quite readily using any of the lights in the Solight collection ~ You alone can save 120 lbs of carbon emissions each year, by just using the solar lights one hour each night instead of a regular light bulb.

You can visit the Solight website and choose any or all of the products 🥰 ~ in addition to the SolarPuff, there are:

  • MegaPuff

  • Mini Original

  • SolarPuff in six colors

  • Solar Helix 

  • QWNN ~ named for her son, Quinn


And more.

Home Design 

These solar-powered lights are perfect for your garden ~ I have used solar lights ever since I began designing gardens.  Now, I can use these pretty options with pride and confidence that they will add so much sophistication to the landscape design.

Of course, you will find uses for them such as floating in a pool or water feature, as well as your own camping or beaching adventures. 

And who hasn’t pleaded for a battery pack because you’ve taken too many photos; draining your smartphone? The Solights are your personal power bank too.

Further, I don’t have to remind you how all too often, we all lose power due to increasingly aggressive storms.  The utility companies can’t manage so now we all need generators.  Sigh…

So having a solar-powered, personal light network is a must-have for all our disaster go-to, emergency-ready bags. 

Furthermore, the Solights are a graceful and elegant design component to a tablescape design.

Look at my recent table decor ~ the theme is “Light” an homage to Alice and our Conversation:

Global Community 

But what really ignites Alice’s pilot light and fuels her fans is how they can shine a light and lend a helping hand to a global community in need.

Because of the tragedies and horrors of war and climate chaos and weather-related crises, those suffering without electricity continue to burgeon.  

With her loving, maternal heart, Alice not only offers 10% of profits to select regions, but goes to visit the sites herself.  She is a global, glowing Tinkerbell, giving light and healing hope to those children and their families in need.

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On her Give a Light page, you can donate solar lights via her partners to those in need in Ukraine, Haiti, Maui, Turkey, Puerto Rico, American Indian Services NAVAJO Tribe, Morocco, Florida, New Orleans.

View full post for 6 images from 6yr ago  No alternative text description for this image

Besides providing illumination to read or study or do any normal home activities, I bet you don’t think how just having light reduces abuse and kidnapping, and crime.  I didn’t…  Solight shines a light on these dark issues.

Born to Design 

As a little girl growing up in Seoul, Korea and then upstate New York, Alice spent many days learning how a simple fold can become structure. Origami forms were taught to her by her mother, who also taught Alice how to sew her own clothes. Always creative, fascinated by design, structure and forms, Alice studied architecture at Penn State where she obtained her undergraduate degree and went on to earn her Masters in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Our Conversation highlights Alice’s journey ~ how Alice’s creativity, fortitude ~ not taking “no” for an answer when told her designs wouldn’t work… Led her to create not only lifesaving products but a life journey that is truly compassionate and inspiring. 

And when I asked her what her proudest moment is, she brought tears to my eyes…

Thank you so much, Alice.  

Please enjoy our Ladies Who Lunch Conversation on Facebook or YouTube.


And also, please click on over to the Garden Glamour Shop ~ you can purchase the bespoke, artful Cocktail Napkins I create as an homage to the Ladies ~ and their causes. 

They are so pretty and come lovingly wrapped.  

Make your Happy Hour more, well, Happy! Cheers.

** All photos, courtesy of Solight except our screenshot of our Ladies Who Lunch Conversation.


2 Comments

  • Garden Glamour

    Thank you so much for our keen feedback and thoughtful reply ~ you are spot-on. I was gobsmacked at how very kind and nice Alice is ~ on-camera and in our show prep, too. Her compassion and goodness and brilliance ~ as you point out ~ are hallmarks of a great leader. I'm thrilled that you were able to discern and feel this from our Conversation. We need more Alice! xox. She lights up our world. Thank you again. And please do consider sending a Solight to those in need…

  • Anonymous

    What an incredible talent. Alice is both brilliant and generous literally making the world a better, brighter place

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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
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 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

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