Meet Your Maker-Sunday Morning Glassworks

This week on MYM we have Emily from Sunday Morning Glassworks.  Emily makes lovely stained glass artwork that is inspired by nature. If you are looking for a beautiful gift for someone these works of art are perfect.

Introduce yourself and your business.

My name is Emily and Sunday Morning Glassworks is my stained glass business. It’s inspired by nature and all things that light up the soul. In the past I’ve sold tons of small sun catchers, but I want to start moving towards bigger home projects.

How did you launch your business & what made you want to start a small business?

I started my business right after I finished taking a stained glass class at my local art center. I didn’t really know I wanted to start a business until it happened and all of the sudden I was releasing things to sell! I sold to a lot of friends and family first. I quickly got on etsy and was surprised to have them feature me on Instagram a few months later which really got my name out there and my account flowing with orders.

What are some struggles you had starting your business and how did you over come them?

Getting people to know me and getting my name out there. As weird as it is, a lot of business depends on social media. The internet is a constant struggle for me and anyone who maintains business heavily though online sales. Etsy’s algorithm is always changing and so is instagrams. I’ve had periods of time where I have so many orders I’m drowning in them, and then randomly my account becomes a ghost town. It’s scary! I’ve learned how important it is to invest in my local community and get my name out through local art shows, in-town home projects, and through selling my glass at the flower shop where I have a full time job as a florist as well! I’ll be moving away from Etsy soon and creating my own website.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from mainly nature.. but through style and design as well. I have an idea of a certain mood I want to create and it ends up translating in the design and subject matter!

What motivates you as a maker?

Being natural with creativity. Last year I pushed myself to the point of utter exhaustion. I had a list of commissions waiting for me and it was never ending. I also had made-to-order items on Etsy that were very robotic and draining to make. I’ve done less work this year and allowed myself to breathe and just let my work happen as I’m feeling inspired to do it and I think it’s really kept my motivation going instead of letting myself get so tired out. I owe it to having a steady full time job I can depend on when I’m not doing glass.

What is a goal you set for yourself as a maker/artist and how did you achieve it?

A goal I set for myself was to have my things in a retail location. I applied for a florist job at the shop I work at called Strawberry Fields in the fan of Richmond, VA. My boss saw my glass work and wanted it in the gift section of the shop as well!

What is your favorite part of being a maker?

My favorite part of being a maker is when a customer comes to me with an idea that inspires me. They have an idea what they want but also don’t fully know. They trust you and leave room for you to make magic. Those are the best moments of working for people and the outcome is cherished by me and the customer!

Do you have any tips for new makers/ small business owners?

My tip is to start selling to friends and family first! They will always support you. After that, friends of friends will start buying your work and before you know it your customer base will keep spreading and growing.

What are some hobbies or interests you have outside of your small business?

Floristry! Flowers are another form of creativity for me and I couldn’t ask for a better full time job.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I’m getting married next year and I’m creating a stained glass piece to hang from the arbor! I’ll also be making tons of little candle holders for the reception area. Super excited!

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