Featured Artist Jake Pfeifer

Artist Jake Pfeifer founded a busy glassblowing studio, and pivoted during a difficult time to keep his business thriving. See more of his work on his website.

 

Artist Jake Pfeifer at work in the hot shop

Artist Jake Pfeifer at work in the hot shop

 

I started my company, Hot Glass Alley (HGA), in 2013. I opened my own studio and gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2018. My goal is to be a provider of innovative handmade glass art products that represent my brand, are of high quality, and are affordable. In addition, my mission is to educate the public about the ancient art of glass blowing.

 

blue tear drop vase by Jake Pfeifer

“Blue DNA” teardrop pill vase encalmo technique with cane 6”w x 10”t

 

Our model includes selling to wholesale customers across the continental United States as well as Hawaii. Additionally, we offer retail shopping in the gallery and experiential activities in the hot shop. These includes make-your-owns, lessons and public demonstrations. We also host events such as birthday parties and team building events and sponsor guest artists. And, we hold art shows and make corporate gift commissions as well as make one-of-a-kind pieces of art.

 

series of blown glass pendant lights for the Arts & Science Council in Charlotte, NC by Jake Pfeifer

“Arts & Science Council Pendant Lighting Cluster, Charlotte, NC” blown glass pendants, including encalmo technique, 7 pieces ranging in size from blue 9” x 9” sphere, to 8”w x 16”t blue cylinder

 

By our eighteen-month anniversary, we had employed seven people and were building a loyal regional following. We were in the black and business was great! Then, the COVID-19 pandemic made its way into North Carolina.

 

pink and gold blown glass bowl by Jake Pfeifer

“Encalmo Bowl” pink and gold glass on clear foot, 12”w x 4”t

 

In early March, 2020, the state appropriately closed and so did Hot Glass Alley. Until North Carolina completely lifts restrictions, we are limiting the number of people that can be in our gallery. This has impacted our revenues.

 

blue blown glass disc by Jake Pfeifer

“Blue Disc” blue blown glass encalmo technique, 19” diameter

 

Our wholesale customers have been affected as well. They needed to push back orders because of the downturn in business. As of May 11, our team was back in the shop working together with precautions.

 

large blue/green blown glass chandelier by Jake Pfeifer

“Blue/Green Chandelier” blown glass (hanging at Hot Glass Alley), 150 pieces on steel cage infrastructure, 3’ diameter x 3.5’t

 

The virus will be around at least until a vaccine becomes available. I knew my business could not hold on long enough to ride out the virus with just gallery sales.

 

bronze hands and dripping glass by Jake Pfeifer and Miles Van Rensselaer

“Glass Dripping from Bronze Hands” (Studio 7 Gallery, Bernardsville, NJ) collaborative project—bronze hands by Miles Van Rensselaer and blown glass using reticello technique by Jake Pfeifer, 12”w x 21t x 12”d

 

I implemented our tagline, “Gather Your Imagination.” We revisited our marketing plan and reset the strategy. It was time to be innovative and agile. I like the quote from Sun Tzu in The Art of War, “Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.”

 

smokey grey blown glass chandelier by Jake Pfeifer

Chandelier in a private residence in Charlotte, NC, smokey grey blown glass, 150 pieces on a steel cage infrastructure, 3’w x 3.5”t

 

I continue to produce my signature series artworks so they are still available; however, our marketing strategy has shifted away from bringing the public into the studio for events. We’ve moved toward home decor and public installations of wall art and lighting projects. We are continuing with corporate commissions, and one-of-a-kind high-end art. In addition, we’re networking with interior designers and architects, placing ads in designer and local magazines and have sponsored an ad on NPR. Our social media presence is ramping up with Instagram and Facebook. And, we deliver a one-page colorful monthly Newsletter called “Alley Talk.”

 

blown glass hearts in shadow boxes - wall installation by Jake Pfeifer

Cardiologist office installation, Houston, TX – blown glass hearts in shadow boxes, hearts are 5”w x 6”t

 

The focus of our new model is reaching out to new markets as well as continuing to strengthen our regular customer base. We are updating our website to reflect these changes. So far, these new strategies are working for us.

 

smokey grey blown glass teardrop base and pedestal bowl by Jake Pfeifer

“Smokey Grey Set” smokey grey blown glass pill vase and low bowl using the encalmo and reticello techniques, vase: 9”x x 12”t / bowl: 12”diameter x 4”t

 

I am personally building my knowledge and skills so that I have more resources to leverage in order to be able to survive through other circumstances that may come my way.

Artist Jake Pfeifer invites you to follow him on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

 

Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Subscribe to our twice-monthly Updates, and get a free e-book on Where to Sell Art Online right now!

YES PLEASE!

Comments

  1. I’ve been collecting glass pieces for years and want to tell you that your work is stunning! Congratulations on being able to change your marketing strategy during these challenging times. I wish you continued success!

    • Dina, thank you so much. Artists need lots of encouragement and good wishes at this crazy time. Being creative around Covid is a challenge. But, we must push through!!! I appreciate your support!!

  2. We had the pleasure of meeting Jake a couple of times At ACRE and Buyers Market shows, where my wife was a jeweler. Our friend Kathleen Palmer of Studio 7 in Bernardsville, NJ mentored Jake early on in his career. We’re very proud of him.

    • Thank you so much, June! Selling art is a tough business! But, there is no place I’d rather be than in the Hot Shop. I’m constantly reading and listening to other artists with more experience than me, trying to learn new ways of thinking to make it all work. I wish you the very best!! Jake

    • Hi Warren: Yes, Kathy has been my champion for many years, and I can’t thank her enough. I consider Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery in Bernardsville my “home” Gallery! Kathryn and Peter are like family to me.
      She has given me good advice and I am proud to have my work in her beautiful gallery. Thank you for reaching out! Best, jake

  3. Your work is absolutely breathtaking! Your article opened my eyes to many possibilities that I can use to promote my ceramic art. Thank you for the insights and also thank you for the Sun Tzu quote, very encouraging!

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.