Designer Spotlight | Marovo Island Traders

Step into a world where time and beauty effortlessly converge. Marovo Island Traders skillfully craft naturally occurring fossilised stone, shaped by the passage of time and the rhythm of the tides, into captivating lighing fixtues. We invite you to discover the origin and inspiration behind this collection, as artisans Matt Woodfield and Amy Vomiero passionately share their story.

Not only have we been able to uncover natural beauty, we have created a micro-manufacturing industry supporting local carvers and artisans of the remote village on the Marovo Lagoon                                  

- Matt Woodfield

How did Marovo Island Traders Begin?

Marovo Island Traders was born a few years ago in the Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands, the home of my eco free-diving adventure lodge. This is an extremely remote and absolutely incredible part of the world, but as tourism completely stopped due to Covid shut-downs, we were faced with the very difficult task of pivoting our business so we could continue to support the local community through employment, as we had done with Driftwood Lodge.

Throughout the construction of Driftwood Lodge, I had forged an interesting relationship with Fossil Coral, one of the most abundant stones in the Solomon Islands. This natural stone, similar to limestone and travertine, was everywhere.

After years of experimentation, the initially overlooked stone, abundantly present on land and commonly dismissed as old, dirty rocks, has evolved into the primary muse behind our products. Not only have we been able to uncover the natural beauty found in the incredible expressions of sacred geometry and ethereal glow that transforms any space, we have been able to create a micro-manufacturing industry which supports the local carvers and artisans of the remote village on the Marovo Lagoon.




As creatives, our perpetual exploration of both the contemporary and historic art worlds never ends. To build on our inspirations from the Marovo Lagoon, we consider how our products resonate in different environments and aesthetics around the world.

 Matt: Over a decade of free-diving and living in the Marovo Lagoon, I have a profound appreciation for the beauty of nature and the remarkable stories it holds. I find wonder in the ancient and embrace the legacy that nature preserves… and it is my passion to intertwine it with the contemporary world.

 Amy: Having lived and worked in Italy for many years, my inspirations are deeply rooted in the timeless beauty and simplicity of raw, rustic, Mediterranean aesthetics, shaped over thousands of years in Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The interplay of airy indoor-outdoor living spaces, rustic yet elegant furnishings, intricate patterning, and ethereal coastal styles around the world remains captivating and a source of inspiration when refining our range to translate into a contemporary context.


Walk us through the process behind creating a new lighting design

We usually have lots of ideas, so it’s really about refining them and creating a concise collection from those initial concepts. It’s important for us to simplify our designs and not include ‘everything’ into one range.

 Our intention is always to let the material speak for itself and not allow it to be overshadowed by fixtures or decoration. Allowing the unique characteristics and sacred geometry to remain the hero of each piece is our starting point. Secondly, we aim to create pieces that complement a wide range of interior and architectural styles, from coastal minimalism to rustic, retro, brutalist, modern or contemporary

How does collaboration play a role in the design process at marovo?

Collaboration is integral to our design philosophy. Our team is made up of creatives with over 20 years experience in the design industry around the world, to the local artisans who possess incredibly unique traditional carving techniques and skills. This fusion of cultural preservation and design innovation is where the true beauty emerges. We believe that the essence of our work is found in this union of historical cultural traditions and contemporary artistic expression.


how Has MArovo's involvement with communities locally and abroad led to positive outcomes?

The greatest impact we have been able to achieve is generating stable income, education and training for the local community of Marovo. Providing vital support to local families, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic, while preserving the way of life unique to their remote and pristine environment, has enabled many locals to remain in their homes.

As we continue our journey and expand, our aim is to create a more interconnected and thriving world where cultural richness and sustainability are at the forefront of business practices. This approach not only uplifts artisans and their communities but also cultivates a deep appreciation for diverse cultures, promotes sustainable practices as we generate income on a practical level.

what initiatives does marovo practice to ensure socially responsible design?

Ethical sourcing of materials and community engagement are fundamental to our design process. Embracing an abundant natural material often overlooked in modern times has enabled us to substitute manufactured materials with nature's own creations and more importantly, restore value to an incredible culture and community of skilled artisans.

All of the Fossil Coral stones that we restore are found naturally on land by local artisans who share our unwavering dedication to both craftsmanship and the well-being of our planet. Grinding fossilised reef is an integral part of the Solomon Islandstraditional culture, and it has historically played a vital role in crafting local currency known as Shell Money. Today, with great reverence for the past and reviving traditional skills, we transform these ancient treasures into captivating pieces that tell a story of time, resilience, and beauty. 

We view lighting not just as a functional necessity, but as a powerful form of artistic expression

                                                              Matt Woodfield

do you see lighting as a form of artistic expression?

Absolutely, we view lighting not just as a functional necessity but as a powerful form of artistic expression. Lighting has the ability to shape and enhance the ambiece of a space, creating a visual narrative and evoking emotions. This perspective strongly influences our designs. Lighting is an integral part of the overall aesthetic, contributing to the atmosphere and character of a room.

Our designs embrace simplicity, with Fossil Coral's sacred geometry taking centre stage—unveiling the ancient beauty of texture, pattern, and light. The Wabi Sabi, minimalistic design showcases the natural origin and relic status of the materials we work with.


what is on the horizon for you and marovo?



As we continue the journey, we aim to create more jobs locally, enhance education and training, and improve resources. The progress achieved over the past few years has been remarkable, and we eagerly anticipate reaching new milestones. Our upcoming venture includes an upgraded manufacturing workshop, designed to accommodate more employees.



Creatively, we can’t wait to see what’s next. There is certainly a new range in the pipelines, but for now we want to focus on celebrating this collection and the cultural heritage that profoundly inspires our work.