In honor of Small Business Week, we’ll be shining a spotlight on a local business owner: Jennifer Harris. Jennifer is a self-taught lampworker (a form of glass blowing) who started her first business, Voodoo Vixen, in 2013. She was inspired to branch out into engraving after meeting a fellow engraver at a crafts show, and that eventually became her main business. Her current business, Glass Blasted, creates unique engraved items out of glass, stainless steel, ceramic, wood, and plastic.
While engraving wasn’t her original plan, the business has taken off and she has come to love the work. “Being able to make items for business customers to give to clients and/or sell to grow their brand recognition and increase sales is a wonderful feeling,” Jennifer said. “However, even better is the knowledge that the personalized items I make for my retail clients make them look and feel like a gift-giving rock star.”
Rim Technologies CEO Sara Kinney had the pleasure of commissioning a custom name tag from Jennifer recently. “Jennifer made a beautiful, customized name-tag for me. It was wonderful to be able to support a local business owner and receive something that’s hand-made and individualized.”
Jennifer has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. She credits her mother, who also had her own business, as well as her own “artistic and headstrong” nature. From lampworking to engraving to henna tattoos, Jennifer has been selling her art independently for a long time. She was very positive about the support for small business and buying local that she has encountered in Colorado Springs. “I have done a lot of networking events and have typically had a great reception to what I do,” Jennifer said. “I have quite a few cheerleaders for me out there from people who have seen what I do and know it can be a value to clients and loved ones.”
Jennifer is always looking for ways to streamline and improve productivity in her business. She has been working to further improve her business skills through an 8-week course offered by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) called Leading Edge. “The course and the SBDC in general has been such a great source of figuring out what I can do to grow my business and make it flourish,” she said.
In addition to her online stores, www.glassblasted.com & www.hennajunkie.com, this summer Jennifer will be at the farmers market at Pioneer Museum on Wednesdays from 3-7 and at the Briargate Promenade shopping plaza on Sundays from 9-1. If you’re interested in purchasing her engraved items or henna tattoos for yourself, you can stop by and see her in person. Some examples of her work are pictured below.