The Beauty Of Stained Glass
Glass lamps in hues of blue, red, pink, yellow and green radiate at Accents Honolulu, where stained glass is the main attraction.
“I’ve always loved blown glass,” co-owner Faye Ross says. “I had a glass animal collection as a child.”
Ross and her business partner Gideon Naiditch renamed their Honolulu Stained Glass Studio, which was located in Kaimuki, to Accents Honolulu as they moved into a larger space at the IBM Building. Ross and Naiditch both design and make stained glass, and the boutique carries hand-carved and hand-painted drinking glasses, among many other glass items. “I can tell you a story about each of the things in the store because I personally have met all the artists,” Ross says.
There is jewelry from Murano, Italy, for sale, as well as work by various local jewelry makers. Since Ross’ mother was a diamond importer and her father was in the military, the Mid-Pac grad traveled extensively. Therefore the store carries glass lamps from New York, jewelry from Israel, and other works from Oregon and Rhode Island.
The store and studio are set up so customers can observe an artisan in action.
“It’s so interactive to watch things being made,” says Ross.
Their two employees, Michelle Ching and Lauren Shoemaker allow Ross and Naiditch to deal with some of the challenges of running a business.
“One of the challenges is staying focused and keeping the big picture in mind,” explains Ross. “Our goal is to bring in beautiful pieces of glass, to educate and to give back to the community. And we have to remember to have fun among all the administrative tasks that need to be done.” When it comes to glass, “it was an accident” aren’t words you want to hear. But Ross, who is a preschool teacher by trade, says she actually got into the retail stained glass business by accident.
Her business partner was talking about how much fun it would be to have a stained glass shop with her. The idea was that he would do stained glass, and Ross would do something else, like sell her hand-crafted jewelry. Ross ended up taking a stained glass class for fun, however, her hobby began to take over her kitchen, so when things got too messy she moved into a studio. The space she found in Kaimuki was too large for just a hobby, so her husband Ian suggested she teach stained glass classes.
Ross, who previously owned the Snack Hop deli near the airport, started doing stained glass on residential doors. The hobby turned into a growing business, especially after participating in the BIA Home show. Orders for stained glass door panels for residential and commercial use increased.
“All the designs are originals because they can not be reproduced,” Ross says.
To promote art, the store hosts a Wine, Cheese and Chocolate event featuring a different artist on the first Wednesday of each month. HASR Wine coordinates the wine tasting.
Soon a three-hour introductory class will be offered for those who are interested in trying stained glass.
“I love being able to teach, and to share the art with people,” she says, noting that quite a few of the people who take the first class come back to learn more.
Accents Honolulu is located at 1240 Ala Moana Blvd. The hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and starting in September, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 597-1003 or log onto www.accentshonolulu.com
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