Thursday, June 14, 2012

Where Inspiration Leads

glassybaby founder and 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year Lee Rhodes

I had breakfast with 100 inspiring women this morning, including one extra special, inspiring woman, Lee Rhodes, founder of glassybaby! Lee shared the story of how she became an accidental entrepreneur at the Women’s Business Exchange (WBE) monthly breakfast today. I know her story and I love glassybaby so I invited several friends, and even a reporter from the Seattle Times, to come and hear it firsthand and to meet the colorful creator of this wonderful product that brings so much light and hope to people around the world.

the comforting glow of my glassybaby collection.

Lee emphasized that the idea for glassybaby was practically an accident that came about while she was fighting cancer. She dropped a tea light into a glass votive her husband had blown and the simple combination of color and light was so inspiring to her and those around her that the idea took off. She said the color and flickering light had a profound, instant and undeniable effect on everyone who saw it.

To this day, that emotional response that people have to glassybaby is what has driven the company’s success. And now I more fully understand why I love glassybaby so much. I have a visceral, emotional response to not only the color and flickering light but also the story of how the company gives back to nonprofit organizations ($925,000 to date), employs local artists and seeks to bring more light, kindness and happiness to the world.    

From left to right: Elizabeth Roberts, Lee Rhodes, me and Lara Anderson - we are a colorful bunch!

WBE's tagline is "where inspiration leads," which was especially fitting today, although I am always inspired after attending one of their events. This morning I was thrilled to host a table of amazing, inspiring, creative, beautiful, entrepreneurial women representing several facets of my life. From my best friend from childhood, Lara Anderson, whose new innovative home d├ęcor product line was inspired by glassybaby's business model, to Elizabeth Roberts, founder and creative director at Wraphabillement, to my dear friend Eliza Kelly from my high tech days and also a childhood friend of my husband (talk about small world!), to my next door neighbor, Laura Gardner, an architect, and a couple of new friends, Graciela Rutkowski, an interior designer, and Lauren Burman of Material Good.  And, last but not least it was a big treat to introduce Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur to WBE.
Each of these women is doing different things but all share a passion for supporting and elevating women, bringing more beauty to our lives and doing business in a more responsible way. I invite you to visit their websites to learn more about each of their stories. I promise you will be inspired!

Fresh green, yellow, blue and white glassybaby lit up the tables at the breakfast.

Sometimes I get teased about my obession with color and my crush on glassybaby. But that’s ok because I truly believe they both have the power to connect people in a unique and positive way. As Lee pointed out this morning, everyone is touched by cancer in some way. And I believe we are all touched by color too, even if we don't realize it. If these tiny vessels can bring hope and joy to people touched by cancer and support organizations working towards a cure, then I am proud to continue spreading the word about the power of glassybaby to bring comfort, peace and hope to our world.

"Evelyn" glassybaby sold at Nordstrom.
And to wrap my morning up into a pretty bow, after the breakfast I stopped by the Estee Lauder counter at Nordstrom only to found out that they are selling the "Evelyn" glassybaby in honor or Evelyn Lauder, with 10% of each sale going to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation that Mrs. Lauder started. I have been a lifetime customer of Estee Lauder (yes, that's my secret, hah!) and I was thrilled to see the lovely pink glassybaby at Nordstrom today.
Thank you Lee, WBE and all of the inspiring women who joined me bright and early this morning! You made my day!



Related posts:


  1. Oh Rats, I can't believe I let this one get away from me. Glad to hear it was such a success! XO

  2. My favorite post yet, you truly captured that amazing event. Thank you for sharing.Love you,