1. How long have you had your shop in Thornebrook and what is your favorite thing about being here?
We’ve been in Thornebrook Village for 20 years, and were downtown for 19 years before that. I love everything about Thornebrook! The ambiance, the other businesses and their owners, the convenient location, the relatively sane traffic nearby. You name it, I like it.
2. What is your favorite thing about being a small business owner?
Being a small business owner allows me to connect with my customers in ways working for a large company might not. A surprising number of people who shop with us, or take classes, or work with stained glass as a hobby have become more than nameless faces in a check out line – they really are friends.
3. What makes your store/business so special and why should people come here instead of buying online?
There are so many good reasons to “buy local.”
First for me is the visual and tactile experience of touching and holding the merchandise. (Does the handle on the mug fit your hand well? Is this piece of glass exactly the color and transparency you’re looking for? Does that necklace hit you in the right place and feel comfortable on your neck? Is the painting the right size, and if not can the artist create a custom piece?)
The financial reality of keeping more of the money spent in the local community has been well documented, and it’s even more true in a business like ours which showcases only locally produced works of art.
Personalized service in a small business should be a given and is just not available online.
4. What activities do you enjoy in your free time?
There are 2 of us. Mary likes to work in the yard, go for walks, read, experiment with new recipes, and hang out with friends. Mike enjoys playing guitar, fishing, watching all the gator games (football, basketball, softball, baseball, soccer, volleyball…..) on tv and also hang out with friends.
5. What is your favorite new store item from the last 6 months?
One of our local artists, Laurie Gilson, just brought in some stunning dichroic glass pendants. Frank Digangi’s new glazes on his functional ceramics are beautiful and dynamic. Nan Szypulski-Lewis has been focusing on beach-related imagery in her mosaics. The list goes on.