Sunday, August 21, 2011

glassybaby founder up for award

Lee Rhodes, who ten years ago founded her highly successful glass candleholder business in the garage of her Madison Park residence, has been nominated for Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur of 2011 Award.  She’s the only woman nominee in the Established Entrepreneurs category this year.

Rhodes is a three-time cancer survivor, whose battle with the disease provided the inspiration for her product.  From the beginning, glassybaby has donated a portion of its sales to charities that support individuals and families who are dealing with illness.  To date, glassybaby has donated more than $600,000 to this worthy endeavor.

But the distinctive glassybaby creation itself has also proven to be a healing agent and source of hope for many people, who see something much more in the glass votive than simply a consumer product. Rhodes’ own story of challenge and survival has been an inspiration to many, becoming very much a part of the aura that surrounds glassybaby.  And, as has been conclusively proven whenever glassybaby has a middle-of-the-night lineup for sales at its Madrona store, there are plenty of fans who just love the product. 

In addition to the original Madrona location, the company now has stores in University Village, Bellevue and New York.  At the studio in Madrona, more than 70 glass artists work at creating the hand-blown product, which is now available in over 400 colors.

You can can see a video about Lee and vote for her as Entrepreneur of 2011 here.

[Photo of Lee Rhodes courtesy of glassybaby.]

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