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B2B ID: Noah Rockland, Rockland Glassworks, Montague

NAME: Noah Rockland

JOB TITLE, COMPANY: Self-employed glassblower, Rockland Glassworks, Montague

WEBSITES: www.rocklandglassworks.com, www.rocklandglassworks.etsy.com

AGE: 22

WHEN THE BUSINESS STARTED: 2006

WHAT YOU DO: I am the owner, designer, artist and glassblowing instructor of Rockland Glassworks. I specialize in whimsical and bold jewelry, perfume bottles, miniatures, wine glasses and bottle stoppers, marbles, guitar picks and more. I also operate a glassblowing studio near the center of Montague, which offers beginner-advanced level glassblowing classes, torch rentals and a small gallery space.

EXPERIENCE: At 16, I had the opportunity to see a glassblower at work, and it was a life-changing experience. I started taking lessons right away, and my business began to blossom. Glassblowing has been my passion ever since. I have been completely immersed in learning and perfecting my technique for the past seven years. Initially, I apprenticed with several local artists for years at a time. More recently, I’ve taken advanced courses with notable glassblowers across the country, such as Milon Townsend and Roger Parramore.

THE MARKET: I sell my wares through galleries and arts and crafts shows across the East Coast as well as locally. You can find my work at stores such as Don Muller Gallery in Northampton, Sawmill River Arts in Montague and Nash Gallery in Easthampton. I also sell my work on the online marketplace Etsy. My glassblowing classes attract locals of all ages, professions and levels of experience.

HOW YOU REACH OUT TO IT: Mostly word of mouth and personally seeking out gallery and show opportunities. Watch for a big “Rockland Glassworks” sign on Route 63 in Montague this spring.

WHAT FINANCING HURDLES HAVE YOU FACED AND HOW HAVE YOU HANDLED THEM? I feel lucky to not have had many large financial hurdles. I started small by supplementing my art income with working as a barista for the first couple of years of my art career. Now that the business has taken off, I’ve begun to branch out, creating and opening a large state-of-the-art studio in Montague.

KEY TO SUCCESS: Love what you do and fully devote yourself to it.

CHALLENGES: Running your own business can be overwhelming, and I often feel like I don’t have enough hands or time. The key is to jump these hurdles and never look back.

WHAT OTHERS COULD LEARN FROM YOU: Pursue your dreams! Anything you want to do in life really is possible. I knew from a really young age that glass was my passion and that a self-employed lifestyle is what I wanted. I feel grateful to have maintained my headstrong 16-year-old self’s attitude throughout the years and really believe that that persistent attitude has been the key to my success.

TOP GOALS FOR 2013: My main goal in 2013 is to spend more time teaching glassblowing classes, which is another huge passion of mine. I am so excited about my new studio space because it is able to facilitate larger classes in a beautiful environment.

PARTING THOUGHT: I’m holding a grand opening of my new studio on Sunday, Feb. 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 17 North Leverett Road in Montague. Glassblowing demonstrations will be offered, and items will be on sale. The event is free and open to the public, and anyone interested can RSVP at www.facebook.com/events/195217307285411

B2B ID is compiled by Janice Beetle, owner of Beetle Press in Easthampton. Beetle Press offers writing, editing and graphic design services. www.beetlepress.com. To suggest a subject for B2B ID, email Beetle at beetlepress@charter.net.

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