And Caid's cash register. With lamps priced from $1,000 to $8,000, she expects her 12-year-old business to top $1 million in sales this year. "No one is making anything that is as unique and outrageous," says Manhattan interior designer and antique-store owner Alan Turak, whose tony East Coast clients are among Caid's coterie.
Caid was 25 in 1977, when her husband, Patrick, died of an aneurysm at 26. Grief-stricken and raising sons Cassidy, then 2, and Jesse, 6 months—Caid, an art school grad, supported herself by making one-of-a-kind hats she sold to L.A. stores. In 1981 a client suggested she create lamp shades in a similar vein. "I didn't have to worry about fit," says Caid, "and no one will sit on it in a taxi."
Married since 1998 to video producer Tim Melchior, 56, Caid, who lives in a Spanish-style home in Glendale, Calif., mines flea markets for material. "I only do this work," she says, laughing, "so I can go shopping."