How This Idea Went From the Founder's Kitchen to a $20-Million Company

Glassbaby Founder Lee Rhodes speaks on the unique challenges facing female entrepreneur, and how she overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

It all started in a kitchen. While in the midst of her third battle with cancer, Lee Rhodes dropped a flickering tea light into a hand-blown glass vessel. The serenity in that moment inspired Rhodes’s life mission to create an exceptionally beautiful product while providing resources to help others on their journey to health and healing. That altruistic spirit would be the secret sauce which catapulted glassybaby to international notoriety, and earned Rhodes Entrepreneur magazine’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2011, becoming the first female to be honored with the illustrious title.

Rhodes’s success was hard-earned and well deserved. With 30 percent year-over-year growth and 2016 revenue projections of over $20 million, glassybaby is a serious contender in the experiential/retail space. But, it wasn’t enough for the philanthropic entrepreneur to settle for pure profit alone. Rhodes wanted to give back in a big way -- 10 percent of her gross revenue big! As a result, glassybaby has donated more than $5 million to date.

Rhodes speaks on the unique challenges facing female entrepreneurs, and how she overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We break bread at Skillet Diner in Seattle, where Chef Nick Novella has prepared a stunning fennel crusted fried chicken sandwich as well as a custom heirloom tomato and caramelized onion veggie-burger. Mmm! Are you ready to make a difference? Start by listening to this moving interview with glassybaby founder and chairwoman, Lee Rhodes.

Related: Building a Fan Following by Tapping Into Customers' Passions

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