Today’s guest is Michelle, she has created some beautiful stained glass artwork and has some great dreams for the future.
Tell us a little about your journey…
As a child, I spent a great deal of time in my father’s workshop. He owned an interior decorating store, but had a hobby creating unique items out of Plexiglas (a clear acrylic glass). His hobby later became and still is his full time profession. So a passion for working with glass was instilled in me at a young age.
Then after college I was one day having tea in this gorgeous tearoom in an old church with a dear friend. We were surrounded by beautiful stained glass windows. She said to me she really wanted to learn how to make stained glass and I mentioned that I would pray for a way to open up for her to do just that. Then just a short time later, my husband and I were speaking at a church (we do some mission work). I was a bit nervous and was in the hallway praying when I looked up and there was a room marked “Stained Glass Lessons” with dates and times. So I let my friend know and we both went. She dropped out after just a couple of lessons, but I got hooked. I then went to be trained as a stained glass teacher as well as continuing to learn everything I could from the teacher at the church. And what would you know, my husband and I were sent as Missionaries to France to work in a Convention Center that specialized using the arts! I was able to have a workshop there and teach this art, as well as black and white photography, cooking and more. It was an incredible experience and I am so blessed to have followed God down that path. As we pray and move, God seems to bring training in things we’d never come up with on our own. I’m in AWE.
So now, once again God has led me to do something I never dreamed of — own and run my own business. Right now I’m wearing all the hats: designing, marketing, creating, shipping, accounting, buying supplies and more, but my husband and kids have been so supportive. We have had some big financial needs, which led me down this path, using the talents I have. Discouragement kept lurking and doubts crept in but God has continued to confirm and bless my artwork.
One day this past spring I was reading from my favorite missionary, Elisabeth Elliot. In short, she reminded me that we often pray as if God had the resources we have, instead of remembering that He has infinite resources and is fully capable of providing for our needs. I continue to pray and trust in God’s provision and timing and will in my life.
I must say too, I love to be home and be available for my children. I consider that “job” as my first priority. Having a stay at home business has been so incredible, allowing me to fluctuate my hours. The stained glass has also been such a fun way to enhance my creativity, while making money.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned while doing stained glass?
The first window I ever made, I stood up with the light shining through it and begged God to teach me what He wanted me to see through it. I waited…and then it came. Each piece was carefully cut, ground and fashioned in it’s proper place. Some light and some very dark. While I had worked on it, it lay flat, the colors were very dull and hardly noticeable. But when it was finished and I held it up in the light, it was breathtaking! The dark pieces(our trials) were what brought so much beauty and all the pieces were necessary to make something so beautiful. And suddenly an overwhelming sense of pride came over me that I had made “this work of art”. Then God whispered that someday when I am finished and He holds me up and the light of Christ shines through…..God will say “I MADE YOU!”
Another thing I am finally getting is that with a home business you are always at work. I have to limit myself and get away. I’m an avid bike rider, generally riding or exercising daily. This helps but I’m learning to set certain hours and allow myself to rest. It’s just about a year and a half since I started More Than Colors. The learning aspect is slowing and production and sales are increasing. Yet there is still so much to learn!
What are some of your favorite designs?
What are some of your future plans?
I recently opened a second store, More Than Treasures, a vintage shop. I am just getting this store started, but loving it as well. As I said my parents were interior decorators, so hopefully I’ll be able to get some great decorating finds to share on there.
I’m excited about the future and have some great ideas that I don’t want to share just yet until they are in motion. So check back often with More than Colors to find out!
What words of wisdom or encouragement would you share?
I would like to encourage you all to follow your dreams, be in prayer about everything and pray for others. You just never know if something you are praying for someone else might lead to something big for you!
Thank you Michelle for all that you do! You have done some amazing things with glass and metal, so beautiful! Thank you for sharing your inspiration, and I look forward to seeing what comes out of your shops in the future.
The first window I ever made, I stood up with the light shining through it and begged God to teach me what He wanted me to see through it! I waited …. and then it came. Each piece was carefully cut, ground and fashioned in it’s proper place. Some light and some very dark. While I had worked on it, it lay flat, the colors were very dull and hardly noticeable…..BUT when it was finished and I held it up in the light….it was breathtaking! The dark pieces(our trials) were what brought so much beauty and all the pieces were necessary to make something so beautiful. And suddenly an overwhelming sense of pride came over me that I had made “this work of art”. Then God whispered that someday when I am finished and He holds me up and the light of Christ shines through…..God will say “I MADE YOU!”