Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Glassybaby Love

One of my dearest and most talented friends, Maude May of SparkArt presented me and my husband with a beautiful glassybaby for a wedding gift. It was such a thoughtful gesture and as it provides a perfect warm glow at my desk each day. Every time I see it, I think of Maude and her generosity and the light she brings into my world. I also am always touched and inspired by the story behind these lovely candle holders. In the spirit of 'paying it forward' (which I love), many of the proceeds go to various charity foundations. Maude's thoughtful gift came with a note stating that ten percent of all proceeds directly benefit cancer patients at the UW Medical Center. How wonderful to consider such a gift as hostess gifts, holiday gifts or wedding favors. Paying it forward is one of the best feelings I know of.
Straight from their website, here is the skinny:
"Glassybaby came to life at a time when founder Lee Rhodes' life had taken a fragile turn. The year was 1996 and Lee was fighting what would become a 7-year battle with a rare form of lung cancer, and raising her three small children. She had endured surgery, countless rounds of chemotherapy and was searching for a few moments of serenity to escape the fear that had encompassed her life. As a special Christmas gift to her husband at the time, she presented him glass blowing lessons. One of the first pieces he brought home from class was a small, brightly colored cup - almost like a baby cup. As he made more, Lee placed tea lights in them and spread them around her home, feeling the chaos become calm...and was born.

Over the next five years, Lee encouraged her husband to make more so she could give them away as gifts to her friends. Eventually she learned to blow glass and create , and then searched out local glass blowers to assist her with the production. She became driven to spread the light of . To her, they became "that deep breath that we often forget to take". In 2003, opened its first retail store and now resides in its permanent home in the Madrona neighborhood of Seattle, where she now employs 25 people, including a team of dedicated glassblowers.
To honor those who have walked down her same path, Lee established goodwill. Every year, goodwill designates a select group of colors to benefit local and national organizations contributing to cancer patient care and cancer research.

Glassybaby remains an emotionally charged endeavor for Lee. Each day she is moved by the stories of those shopping in her studio, sometimes bringing tears, sometimes laughter - many cancer stories, and many stories of hope and healing. Each is created to be individual and each one is personal to her. As they leave the door, she is reminded of her journey and she hopes that the serenity and calm will remain with its new owner."
Visit them today.

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