The Founder Of Glassybaby Brightens Her Home With Simple, Meaningful Beauty

By Sandy Deneau Dunham
The Seattle Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Lee Rhodes started “Glassybaby” in 1998, when she was recovering from lung cancer. She had three children; the oldest was 3 1/2.

SEATTLE

Elves arrived early to help Lee Rhodes decorate for the holidays. They’re expertly stacking and unpacking boxes and bins, harvesting and draping homegrown cedar boughs, and we’re all keenly aware it’s an unseasonably sunny October day, but … deadlines.

Rhodes is the founder of glassybaby, those gloriously vibrant votive holders (and drinking glasses) you’ve certainly ogled, if you don’t already own a few dozen.

Rhodes owns a few dozen dozens herself, possibly many, many more, and she and her extraordinarily deadline-accommodating team are putting together the perfect palettes for room after room of perfect holiday tableaux.

When you’re the founder of glassybaby, we’re guessing, you really can’t prop up a Charlie Brown tree and call it good.

Literally in minutes, Rhodes’ already-beautiful living room, overlooking oodles of trees and one major lake in Washington Park, is magically transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland of more than 100 glowing glassybaby, in seven specially selected, nature-themed shades.

“These colors have great names,” Rhodes says (“wise,” “dream,” “starry night,” “peppermint patty,” “silver lining,” “soul,” “flawless”). “The neutrals bring the outside in, they’re understated, very Northwest.”

Ahhh. Yes. All is calm, all is bright and, O, holy night, did it just get warm in here? (There are also more than 100 tiny flickering flames from more than 100 tiny votive candles; you’ll welcome that cozy bonus during the real winter holidays.)

That’s what glassybaby do: They spread warmth. And light. And healing.

Rhodes started glassybaby in 1998, when she was recovering from lung cancer. She had three children; the oldest was 3 1/2.

“When I was sick, I would say to the kids, ‘We need to live in the White Light,’ ” she says. “Just like the glassybaby, it just works.”

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