Behind the Glassware is an opportunity to hear from the people
creating the artwork we like to drink from daily!
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RELOCATING THE STORE 06/01/2018
An Interview with Amanda Lee
Q: Amanda, what initially made you choose to relocate the store?
A: We've really outgrown the space we're in now. It's been wonderful for five years, but we're really on top of each other! We also want a facility to host more guests.
Q: What is your ultimate vision and potential for this new space?
A: It's going to be more like an arts center and a jumping off point for young female artists. I want to help them start their art careers and encourage them to pursue a career in the arts. It's not something I was pushed to do as a kid and I want them to know that it IS possible.
Q: Talk about the artists currently working for you:
A: I originally called my old high school art teacher and asked him to send me a couple of girls he would recommend. Kaitlin started with me a little over three years ago when she was fifteen. She's a very talented young artist. She brought her portfolio to the interview and I just loved her. About nine months ago, I asked her if there was anyone in her class that would be a good fit here and she sent Danica to us. Danica is from Russia, she is very talented, and has been in the US for five years.
I'm still paining every glass in some way, the girls are filling in or following my designs.
Q: What excites you about this new space?
A: Being able to do cartwheels and drink wine! But really, to have more room to paint, to hang my own and the girls' art work, and to have sessions once a month to check in about their future art careers. I'm excited to hang my own artwork in a gallery setting and work in a studio to create my paintings that I'm really passionate about.
Q: When the customers walk into the new space, what do you want their experience to be? What do you want them to feel, to look at?
A: I think it's going to be an amazing experience for people. You're not just shopping, you're walking into an arts center. You're going to get to tour the studio, see us painting, see art installations, and all the eye candy.
Keep me up to date with Behind the Glassware:
"It's not your typical job a high school student gets. It's more challenging and nice to have the opportunity to do it as a job. I like how unique it is as a product."
Kaitlin is 18 years old and has worked for Amanda Lee for the past three years. Her current plan is to attend CCAC in the fall of 2018 and study zoology & art. As a side project, Kaitlin sells her digital artwork which centers around animals and cartoon style prints.
What she paints: mostly flowers & snowflakes, polka dots
What do you like most about Amanda Lee? "It's very impressive she started her own business, specifically in the art field, despite people telling her not to. I feel motivated to paint more and create more ideas when I watch her. It's also super impressive how fast she paints...despite being here for three years, I could never keep up!"
"This place is amazing... It's got great music! I love to paint and it gives me an opportunity to be who I want to be...from an expert in the field."
Danica is 19 years old, a recent graduate of Penn Hills High School and originally from Russia. She migrated here in 2012 with her family and found ALG through her fellow co-worker, Kaitlin. She has worked for Amanda Lee for almost a year and plans on starting a mural business.
What she paints: new lines, flowers, birds
What do you like most about Amanda Lee? "That each glass is hand made and unique. It takes a long time to make...and the designs are beautiful. Amanda's marketing and painting skills and that she takes care of her customers. I like how there is an 'artist helping artist' vibe here. I didn't know that was a thing."
"I like the supportive encouragement Amanda gives her employees. It is an awesome space to be in. She creates a really beautiful working environment."
Shana is a dancer and choreographer based here in Pittsburgh, PA, and has known Amanda Lee for the past ten years. After a suggestion from her parents, the two met up in London, where Shana was pursuing her Masters. She decided to go full time with Amanda Lee, becoming her Retail & Marketing Director. Future goals include developing a movement and arts center together and inspiring art in all bodies.
What she does: keeps Amanda in check, spreads the word, dances while she works
What do you like most about Amanda Lee? "I love the Mix & Match mentality of the glassware. Amanda is consistently coming up with new ideas and designs. She shapes her designs around thematic content and it's like choosing your identity for the evening when you pick which Amanda Lee glass to use. I admire Amanda's perseverance, she is extremely talented, she is a risk taker, and she creates beautiful art."