From Love to Light, the story behind Serip

Interview to Ilda Pires

Everyone has a story and all stories have something in common — it all starts from nothing.
In the story of Serip, perhaps things were a bit different. The dream may have started from scratch, but it came from a great love that united two people, Mr. and Mrs. Pires...

imagem_desktop imagem_mobile

What is the story behind the origins of Serip?

Serip wasn't always known as Serip. Initially, in the early 1960s, it was just a small family workshop dedicated to producing traditional lamps. The driving force behind Serip was always the family. Let me start from zero and tell you a story, one of my favorites… Well, should I say: once upon a time? Once upon a time, my father, Mr. Pires, on a hot summer afternoon, while leaving his work on Avenida Almirante Reis, spotted a beautiful woman who immediately caught his attention. This woman, named Helena, was a dressmaker and lived on the same avenue where my father worked as a lathe operator in a lamp factory. In those times, getting to know a woman wasn't as simple as it is today. However, my father was patient. Every day, he exchanged glances with my mother, who knew his schedule by heart and eagerly waited for him by the window. Time was a wise counselor and friend to my father, and destiny took care of bringing Mr. and (now we can say) Mrs. Pires together. From this love, along with me and my brothers, Ana and Mário Rui, a dream was born: Serip.

Wow, what an inspiring story... So, with the effort and dedication of both, the company started growing. How was this growth? Were there any obstacles along the way?

Serip grew gradually. As it expanded, the company began recruiting employees, salespeople, and, consequently, innovating. The 1980s were marked by crystal-adorned Atlantis chandeliers that were immensely successful. However, in the 1990s, the company was hit by a crisis in the glass industry, leading to the closure of some suppliers, creating obstacles in obtaining the essential raw material, glass. They say a calm sea never made a skilled sailor, right? Resilience has always been my family's motto. Each difficulty was seen as a challenge and an opportunity. It was then that we invested in new materials, initiating the Alabaster Era. The use of this new material in Serip's pieces opened doors to the world, leading to our presence in international fairs like Paris and Valencia, and, consequently, the exportation of our products.

"I always loved to provoke, to trigger mixed feelings. When people saw the pieces they didn't know if they liked it or not. When that happens, it's because you're messing with people's mentality, it's something new that people haven't seen yet and then they need to assimilate it, you learn to like it." said Ilda Pires

What was the impact of internationalization on Serip?

The beginning of internationalization was a bridge to innovation that propelled me to break all patterns and start creating and setting trends. Nature had always been my great inspiration… and at this time, around 2000s, I finally had the courage to start drawing and producing new collections all nature’s inspired and that aroused so much curiosity and controversy! The organic typology and grandeur of the pieces intrigued people, who only with time learned to appreciate and understand this out of box concept. I always loved to challenge people's mindset, to show them something disruptive and observe their evolution and assimilation. As I used to say, "We learn how to appreciate it!"(she laugh).

And they learned? Was it then that Serip embarked on its most significant stride foward?

Definitly that this courage to dare marked the transition of the company to the second generation, to mine and my brothers generation, and was undoubtedly a turning point in Serip's story. The most irreverent ones understood and fell in love with the concept, becaming customers, followers and lovers of the brand, pushing the brand to develop new collections, more evolved both technically and in terms of design. New surface finishes have been created for the metal colours and a variety of glass colours have been made available, opening up the possibility of customising and personalising the pieces. The adaptability and versatility of the lamps has allowed us to step ahead and enter in new markets, embracing new cultures and traditions.

That adaptability and versatility helped Serip opening new doors?

Allowed us to step ahead and enter in new markets, embracing new cultures and traditions. Our irreverent designs inspired by nature, tailormade and customizable, with a variety of metal finishes and glass colours, with a totally handmade production process, a family business spirit full of history, values based on perseverance and resilience, studies of market trends and a bet on fairs in the right cities at the right time, gave us the chance to position Serip in various corners of the world.

And how can you describe the brand nowadays? In what phase is Serip currently in?

After over 60 years, Serip has flourished, expanding its reach with more than 70 employees, over 50 retailers, and participation in numerous decoration projects worldwide. Currently, Serip embarks on an exciting journey, entering its third generation and embracing the future with a significant step. This moment of renewal sees Serip undergoing a complete rebrand, redesigning its identity, and adopting a new image that reflects its evolution and contemporary vision, always drawing inspiration from Nature. This transformation is a testament to the brand's resilience and creative spirit. Like Nature itself, we want to show that Serip is a cyclical being which has the ability to die and reborn many times over this lifetime, taking each end as a chance for a new opportunity. Because, like every turning of the page, every breath is a new beginning!

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Sign Up for updates from Serip