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A Glass Act

Who says art and business don't mix?

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This story appears in the January 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Making a living as an artist is a balance of talent, luck and the creation of a marketable product. Erica Anenberg found her successful balance in her unique glass giftware collection that incorporates traditional stained-glass techniques with funky designs.

Anenberg, once a photography major at California State University, Northridge, shifted gears after taking a glass design class. When she gave her newly created stained-glass boxes as holiday gifts, they were a big hit with her friends: Through word-of-mouth referrals, Anenberg garnered $13,000 in sales by the following December. "A light bulb went off in my head," remembers Anenberg, now 29. "I realized I had something here." So she invested her profits in supplies and a catalog, turned an extra room in her parents' house into a studio, and went into business as e-glass inc. in early 1995.

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