We decided a few weeks ago that we were going to introduce our ladies to the wider world by taking ‘SLiB on tour’ (with cake) and visit each wonderful business in turn.
Our first victim/lady we chose was Kate Webb, the founder and creator of Moonlight Glass. So on Friday 9th November we set off in the direction of Puriton to find Kate, with large fruit Danish pastries.
We arrived without too much satnav hassle (we are not known for our sense of direction) to find Kate’s beautiful cottage. She welcomed us in and took us out to her large garden, to show us her beautiful workshop which her husband built her for her business.
Kate’s vocational background was one of nursing, having completed a degree in Children’s Nursing in Oxford, during her career she moved from Oxford to Southampton and finally to Taunton ‘Musgrove’. She continued within this role until she had her first child in 2009, she now has two beautiful sons. However, due to no immediate family in the area she had to leave her job and stay at home to raise them. Kate loved being a mummy, but her brain needed stimulating, she had inherited an artistic streak from her mother and has always been attracted to fused glasswork, buying various pieces whilst on holiday in Cornwall.
In 2012 Kate attended her first course at ‘Warm Glass’, Wrington, Bristol. Where she made her first piece which was a snowflake, similar to the ones that she now sells. She did what we all do, bitten by the glass bug, she posted a photo on Facebook to show everyone what she had created, and instantly got an order for 12 snowflakes from her friends. That New Year’s Eve she decided that she could make a business out of this idea and set up her Facebook business page and thought up her business name.
Laughably enough Kate doesn’t like the sound of glass breaking. Having been warned to be careful of broken glass, when she was little by her Mum, ironically she was now in a class being expected to score and break glass voluntarily.
Learning how to produce fused glass proved to be an intriguing challenge for Kate, one which she loved and thrived on. It wasn’t as simple as buying the materials from local shops and re-producing something which a lot of people make. This was just the craft she had been looking for. She knew she could take this to the next level and focussed on it in a serous way. She was used to studying hard for nursing and so adopted that approach to this. She has attended many classes over the years and has loved meeting lots of people who have the same interest as her and yet have their own styles in the items they produce. She felt motivated to learn and loves the outcomes of her endeavours.
As is the case with many of us, she often worked at night when the boys were in bed and whilst her husband sat with the boys. Her commute to her workshop in the garden was often moonlit and so Moonlight Glass was born.
Kate’s business has grown steadily and she sells her work through her social media platforms and various craft markets which she completes through the year. She also explained that her creations, style and confidence have grown with her, she has been able to establish her own designs and style which are proving to be hugely successful, especially with the help of her beautiful workshop and 2 kilns.
Learning from mistakes always helps and the products she creates now she has got down to a fine art.
She completes commission pieces for celebrations, i.e. weddings, christenings, new homes and general thankyou’s.
Her next goal is to see some of her stock being sold in a shop and is currently trying to find the right outlet. Planning for the future Kate realises that a website is an essential part to help spread the word of her business.
When asked what the best aspects of being self-employed were, along with flexible hours and being her own boss, which is a plus point for us all. She loves making people happy and having people appreciate her work. Kate is passionate about her creativity, loves that it fits in with her family and is growing year on year with the children. Nursing was her vocation and this business is her creation, the creation of her world embodied into glass.
For further information about Fused Glass courses please see their website www.warm-glass.co.uk