Name of business: Studio Mod Glass
What does your business do? (For example, cut hair, paint houses, cook food, cut grass, write grants, help people get in good physical shape, etc.) I create hand fabricated fused glass set in sterling silver jewelry and mixed media wall work.
How long have you been doing this? I have been making art and selling it since 1986. I have been working with glass and metal since 1991.
Why are you doing this in Athens? I live in Athens for the convenience, cost and lifestyle. I sell my work nationwide and can live where I want, and I think Athens is a perfect place for creating and living. It's easy to be here! Also, I think the people in Athens are really good people who are there for you when you need them.
What are the advantages of owning a small business? To create my own agenda and be my own boss. My creative endeavors are based on my time and energy. I've been doing it so long it's just what I do and can't imagine doing anything else.
If you could change one thing about owning a small business, what would that be? I guess I don't think of it as a business like everyone else. It's just who I am and what I do and changes happen whether I see them coming or not. I'm not blind to the facts of surviving off my art work is a gamble I constantly face and I wish it wasn't so hard.
Do you have employees? Are they temporary, part-time, full-time, new or long term? No, I do it all. And I mean everything. Concept, creation, production, promotion and sales.
Do you own the place where you do business, or do you move around (like maybe a dog trainer would do) or rent space (to store your equipment)?
I travel nationwide and sell in art fairs or occasionally in stores. I am just starting to build an online store on etsy but have my own website I built, too.
Is anyone else in town doing what you do?
Is there another self employed fused glass artist? Not that I know of. Are there self employed jewelry artists? Absolutely.
Do you like what you do? I love what I do. It's who I am. My art is a lifelong process that tells the world, this is me.
Do you have a story to share about how your started your business. (“I realized one day that, yes, I could actually design websites myself. So I started doing this and never looked back.”) Way back in 1985, after I graduated from college in art and then studied ceramics in San Francisco, I moved to Chicago. When staying with an art school friend while looking for a place to live, I saw she had a business painting portraits of people’s homes. I thought, I want to make a living selling my work, though I did not know what that would be. I had a turquoise blue bag I had gotten at Macy's and the strap was broken. I had a bag of leather scraps from a summer job I had in Manhattan sewing for a leather designer. My mom had given me Matisse's Jazz book for Christmas and the book was blue with a circus character on the front. I copied that design in leather and stitched it on the bag after I had reinforced the straps. I was looking for a waitressing job in Evanston and people were stopping me in the street asking me where I got my bag. That's all it took. I was on my path. I created one of a kind leather applique bags and belts for six years. It was in 1991 when I moved to Los Angeles and decided to create glass jewelry set in sterling silver.
What are your plans for the future (regarding your business), the future being the next five years? I want to continue making my glass jewelry and mixed media work. The mixed media is so new that I have a lot of ideas to explore. I am constantly seeing new ideas in the jewelry too. The beautiful thing is can move around these mediums and never get bored. To be making art everyday is all I can ask for.