Store lets anyone create art for home
By Shir Haberman
Hampton Union, Tuesday, July 24, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- Passing the unimposing store front on High Street, few would realize the depth and breadth of activity going on inside Accents In Glass.
"The business is growing and growing rapidly," said owner Christina Eadie. "Now I'm trying to figure out how to manage it all."
Accents In Glass is the core of a business that revolves around stained glass. However, thanks to the skill and talents of Eadie, a San Antonio native, it has developed into much more than a retail shop selling supplies to hobbyists and a place where locals can learn the art of making stained glass creations.
The uses for stained glass are endless, Eadie said. She is working with cabinet companies, architects and home decorators to incorporate stained glass into their projects.
Usually, these bigger jobs involve much more than creating a stained glass accent piece, Eadie said.
"Kitchen cabinet doors are huge these days, for example," she said. "I love to work with people who have a specific situation, such as a bathroom window that they don't want to cover with curtains. You can make half the window stained glass and the upper half translucent glass to maintain privacy, but still let light in."
Eadie also sells specialty-cut glass items that she calls "beach kaleidoscopes" to specialty stores, such as Stonewall Kitchen, Plimoth Plantation and the gift shops at the New England Aquarium, as well as shops on the Cape. These multi-faceted boxes contain pure, beach-quality sand from Texas with shells, star fish and sea horses, and are signed by the artist.
Accents In Glass employs local, stay-at-home moms to cut, foil and solder the glass used in the kaleidoscopes, and Eadie and her small staff fill the pieces with sand and other items. The kaleidoscopes are so popular that Eadie can't seem to create an inventory of them.
Accents In Glass opened about two years ago, but actually began as a hobby Eadie took up when she was 17 years old and continued through college. After getting her degree in accounting, Eadie did tax work for 17 years, but kept up with her stained glass work as well.
After moving to Portsmouth, she decided to make her avocation her vocation and contributed her work to a designer's show house in Hampton Falls.
"That turned out to be the beginning of a highly successful business," she said. "Working with stained glass in my passion."
The High Street business fulfills many of Eadie's needs, she said.
"Part of the joy is working with a huge variety of people and that each day is different," she said. "It also gives me a chance to be creative and get paid for it."
While Eadie would love to have her shop in Portsmouth because of the tremendous amount of foot traffic, she is finding ways to make her Hampton store, which offers her a great space and much cheaper rent, more visible. She has placed some of her pieces in the Me & Ollie's store across the street and in the High Street branch of TD Banknorth.
She has also put a rack outside her store to display some of her wares.
"That has been very successful," she said, for the small retail business she runs there.
Equally successful has been her stained glass classes. She has three beginner classes running in July and four already scheduled for August. Those classes include eight hours of instruction and rental of a kit that contains everything needed for stained glass projects. The total cost is $129.
Eadie also offers advanced courses on stained glass theory, and copper and lead foil techniques. She sells all the materials necessary to create almost any stained glass piece.
Eadie said the most satisfying part of owning Accents In Glass is using her creativity to help others determine what they will make or have made for their homes.
"Almost anything is possible with glass," she said. "It has unlimited possibilities."
ACCENTS IN GLASS
Owner: Christina Eadie
Location: 70 High St., Hampton
Phone: (603) 929-9113
Web site: www.accents-in-glass.com
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and by appointment