Glowing Beauty: Lee Rhodes & Her Gift Of The Hand-Blown “glassybaby”

Lee Rhodes/"glassybaby"
Lee Rhodes/”glassybaby”

The allure of “glassybaby”. A glow of warmth and inviting appeal. What is a “glassybaby”? Beyond its description as a “small, colored glass cup, candleholder or vase”, a “glassybaby” is truly an elegant hand made vessel of stunning color that holds the glow of candlelight. Oh, the simplicity and glowing beauty with a tea light that it holds. A handmade colorful glass votive holder that offers choices of over four hundred stunning colors with which to personally fill your spaces with coordinating glow to your interior display. I will personally add, there is simply nothing quite like the glow of a glassybaby. It is an experience that will lure you. A rainbow of choices for flames to dance within the elegance of a light reflecting colorful glow

Hand-Blown Colored Glass:  "glassybaby"
Hand-Blown Colored Glass: “glassybaby”

Perhaps an brief understanding of the reason behind the creation of this quiet luxury is in order to further appreciation if your interest is piqued….

Based in Seattle, Washington, “glassybaby” was founded by an award winning entrepreneur, Lee Rhodes. A private company with a philanthropic purpose. A quiet luxury with a cause. The cause? In 1995, at the age of 32, the mother of three battled a third round of a rare form of lung cancer. Having given her husband, Emery Rhodes, lessons in glass blowing in the past, Emery created small glass “cups” or “baby glasses” to comfort his wife. Lee would light these glass objects with tea light candles to seek comfort during the difficulty of her cancer treatments. The gift of this small glass vessel produced a life changing opportunity. Rhodes recollections of patients in chemo waiting rooms that struggled to pay basic needs during treatment offered an opportunity to help. In 1998, Rhodes hired local glassblowers and began selling these vessels of molten glass from her garage. The company was officially founded in 2001 with a new glassblowing studio set up in Seattle in 2003. Her mission and intent? Spreading hope while giving back a portion of sales for cancer patients. Rhode’s message has been described as “Perserverance and strength through light”. Indeed, she has succeeded and continues to give the gift of hope. As Rhodes terms it, “Candles for a cause”

“I feel joy that we created something that touches so many people”- Lee Rhodes

“glassybaby allows people to take that 30 seconds of peace and calm to find healing”- Lee Rhodes

Beyond Rhodes appearance in 2008 on Martha Stewart’s television show and the countless accolades of merit the company and Lee Rhodes would obtain, it is her gift of hope that endures to gain attention. By 2011 glassybaby had donated more than $600,000 to various charities, following Rhodes goal to donate 10% of all sales to charities helping cancer patients with costs during chemotherapy. glassybaby has since surpassed its one million donation goal to charities across the country and aims to reach “one million more”. Imagine! Quite an intent of hope. Beauty paired with giving.

“The more glassbaby grows, the more money we will give away”- Lee Rhodes

Lee Rhodes & Her "glassybaby"
Lee Rhodes & Her “glassybaby”

The original glassybaby is a glass votive, roughly 2.5″ in diameter and 3.75″ tall. Given the fact that each is handmade, variations of distinction certainly are bestowed to each vessel of hope. Of interest, to produce one glassybaby is said to take approximately 12-14 minutes by a team of glass artists. Quality in craftsmanship, indeed. The “team” that create these glowing vessels comprise of over 70 artisans. Four artisans and three layers of glass per glassybaby. Imagine. That said, beyond a molten ball of glass on a blowpipe, consider the time, the energy and artful talent of glassblowing that each vessel holds. The beauty of an art form. Beyond the skill and time taken in the creation, it is interesting to note that the European color rods used (which are lead free) are said to be derived from elements of nature, the “recipes” of some of which are stated to have endured for centuries. History and the colorful glow of an art form.

Lee Rhodes/glassy Baby & I November 2013
Lee Rhodes/glassybaby & I
November 2013

In November of 2013, I had the pleasure of meeting Lee Rhodes. Her appearance in our quaint, Northern Illinois town of Woodstock was part of the Woodstock Fine Arts Association’s, Creative Living Series at the historic Woodstock Opera House. Of note, Lee was part of the same series and stood on the same stage that Martha Stewart once stood and presented. History. At the time Lee Rhodes presentation took place we were celebrating our 50th year of a series of inspiring and acclaimed speakers. Another iconic moment for our series, indeed. Her story was expressed so simply and naturally. Sincerity. Warmth filled the air as we journeyed with her through her shared story of hope. Afterwards, the delighted audience gathered closely around her and the amassed collection of her glowing vessels. As a board member of the Woodstock Fine Arts Association, I had the pleasure and the opportunity to meet her and personally express my gratitude for her gift and my adoration for the hand blown vessel I had discovered years prior (And of my newest addition? deep lipstick red in color, of course!). But I must express the genuine joy and sincerity that glows from within Lee Rhodes and spills outward for all who surround her. Pure joy. Upon meeting her and directly experiencing her spirit of hope and joy of life, the impact and my appreciation of her glassbaby’s have deepened. Her joy and effervescence of life is within my interior when I light my vessels of hand blown beauty. Is there any better gift with our lives than to touch others with love? A flame that will endure. Indeed, the new tagline for these vessels of glowing beauty is just that: “glassybaby Forever”. For certain, it is also perfectly quoted as “One Of A Kindness”. Indeed.

Lee Rhodes/Glassy Baby/Woodstock Opera House 2013
Lee Rhodes/glassybaby/Woodstock Opera House 2013

And of the glowing beauty of these vessels within the interior? Beautiful. Whether a single glassybaby or a mass of glowing bliss, the stunning glow warms the spaces it fills….

Glassy Baby Glow Massed Within The Interior
glassybaby Glow Massed Within The Interior
Warm Glow:  glassybaby Vessels Of Inviting Calm
Warm Glow: glassybaby Vessels Of Inviting Calm
glassybaby:  Versatile Vessels Filled With Delight
glassybaby: Versatile Vessels Filled With Delight
Colorful Delight In Candlelight:  glassybaby Style
Colorful Delight In Candlelight: glassybaby Style
Glowing Elegance Of Colorful Allure:  glassybaby
Glowing Elegance Of Colorful Allure: glassybaby

Consider the unique and reflective glow of a glassbaby. Whether filled with the glow of a votive or blooms of fragrant bliss, glassbaby delights. A luxurious element within our interiors that simultaneously brings the gift of hope to others. The mission of giving that is melded into each glowing vessel is forged together beautifully. Consider the glow of inviting appeal that is full of spirt. Hope and love. Beyond the visual warmth on a cold or dark day, the calm and peaceful glow delivers an inviting appeal that gifts back. The “Power of Giving”. glassybaby Forever. “One Of A Kindness”. An appreciation of the gift of glowing beauty, indeed…

Fill your world with the beautiful glow at


PS: To Lee Rhodes…Thank you for your glowing gift of enduring hope and love.


3 thoughts on “Glowing Beauty: Lee Rhodes & Her Gift Of The Hand-Blown “glassybaby”

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