Interview with Gail Small - Owner and Founder February 17, 2016 11:53
I recently got the chance to sit down with our owner and founder, Gail Small, and get a little peak of what Last Call Glass means to her. I was excited and inspired by her answers, and could not wait to share them with all of you!
Hi Gail, and thank you for the chance to let our supporters learn more about Last Call Glass. First thing’s first: can you give us some background on you and your work?
Hey Lauren, I’m so happy to have this opportunity to connect more with everyone! I always had stressful jobs in corporate environments and often day dreamed of being an entrepreneur. Twenty years later and after obtaining a MBA, I finally had the opportunity to start my own small business. The opportunity of operating a successful green recycling business is very rewarding!
Speaking of green recycling businesses, can you tell us a little more about your materials, what makes them sustainable, and where you find them?
I use only discarded glass bottles. Glass is all natural using 3 simple ingredients: sand, limestone and soda ash. Glass leaves less of a carbon footprint and protects food and drinks. Glass doesn’t break down into harmful chemicals that damage our oceans and planet. Because glass recycles endlessly, making new bottles often requires fewer raw materials and less energy.
I find my materials everywhere. To begin with, you must create relationships with local bars and restaurants to collect their discarded glass bottles. Friends, neighbors and customers often donate their used bottles. I do a lot of custom requests out of bottles for customers. For instance, the champagne bottle from a honeymoon.
Some of your pieces are truly inspiring in both design and look. What is the inspiration behind the pieces?
The natural beauty and colors of glass provides the inspiration to create unique and amazing items that are fun and fashionable. Our glass products are not tumbled or put into a kiln (melted) thus creating a very natural authentic look.
Since your company is based so heavily on recycled products, I can imagine that you have some thoughts on a personal relationship with recycling?
Everyone should have a recycling plan established at home. I even shred paper to use as package stuffing. If I receive a package at home, I reuse the box. I believe it is extremely important for every individual to have their own recycling plan. There are so many resources available that recycling is almost too easy to do these days.
You mention that everyone should have a recycling plan. Can you give an example of three things people can do to implement a more eco-friendly lifestyle?
My first recommendation would be to stop using so many plastic water bottles. Purchase a reusable drinking bottle and refill. Secondly, find natural beauty in items you would normally throw away. For example, can you learn to make your own drinking glasses from an empty vodka bottle? Thirdly, share your ideas for recycling with others. There are a lot of opportunities on line to post pictures, ask questions or inquire about recycling daily items. Incorporate these into family crafts. When I was a girl, I made noise makers from burnt out light bulbs, newspaper and glue.
Those are some great suggestions! What about the individual looking to start their own business; do you have any eco-friendly tips for them?
The biggest tip I can give is to do your research! Running a small business successfully is not an accident but the results of hard work. I had years of management and business experience before I created my own company. If you think you have a great product, test the market and confirm proof of concept. You may have good ideas but being able to implement and sustain a profit is a different story.
Gail, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. It has been a great time getting to know you and your brand more, and I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we cannot wait to see what Last Call Glass has in store for the future!
To read more about Gail and Last Call Glass, visit the about us page here: http://lastcallglass.com/
To see the unique process of breaking apart the glass bottles, watch this informational video on the Last Call Glass Youtube page here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?