Unless you've been living under a rock lately (and with the state of current events, I don't blame you), you've probably come across at least one image of dreamy colored glassware on your Insta feed. Chances are, the vibrant collection you were drooling over was from Estelle Colored Glass.
Founder Stephanie Summerson Hall affectionately named the brand after her grandmother Estelle, who loved antiquing in South Carolina and collecting pieces of colored glass for her home. During the summers, Stephanie was able to join her grandmother on these quests to find new additions for her collection. These treasured finds were often used during Sunday dinners for family and friends to share and enjoy. Luckily for us, Stephanie felt so inspired by her and her grandmother's fondness for colored glass, that it led her to create heirloom pieces that could become a part of everyone's cherished family memories.
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Each piece is handblown by artisans at a glass-making company in Poland that's over a century old, which only adds to the rich history and tradition of the brand. The timeless collection of cake stands and glassware flaunts a fun range of colors that will easily make every use an unforgettable fête. I recently caught up with the busy wife, mother, and serial entrepreneur and convinced her to hunker down with me and chat about her personal style and life at home in the midst of a global pandemic.
Hunker: What inspired Estelle Colored Glass?
Stephanie Summerson Hall: My love for colored glass started as a result of antiquing trips with my paternal grandmother, Estelle — the namesake for the brand.
Hunker: What motivated you to change careers from an attorney to an entrepreneur?
SSH: I changed careers because I wanted a different quality of life for my family and wanted to be present on my terms to raise my children.
Hunker: Has being a woman of color influenced/affected your experience as a business owner in the glass industry? If so, how?
SSH: Being a woman of color has affected my overall experience being a business owner not just in the glass industry. I have to overcome numerous obstacles dealing with the reality of the double whammy — being Black and a woman. This has lead primarily [to] two recurring outcomes — being discounted or being dismissed altogether.
Hunker: How would you describe your home's decor style?
SSH: Minimalist, streamlined with pops of color.
Hunker: Other than Estelle Colored Glass, what are some of your favorite home decor brands?
SSH: I love vintage finds and artisan one-of-a-kind goods — really don't have favorite decor brands that come to mind.
Hunker: Many people are working from home right now. What are some of your WFH must-haves?
SSH: I am just used [to] a comfortable side chair and ottoman, and have all [of my] paperwork organized on my desk at home. I am back in the office currently, but did work from home for four months.
Hunker: With everything going on in the world, what do you do to relax and decompress?
SSH: I just nap which usually happens on Saturday if I can fit it in, and it is a must on Sunday afternoon.
Hunker: Do you have anything in your home that has been handed down? Would you mind sharing the story behind it?
SSH: I have several pieces from my grandmother Estelle's dishware/glassware collection. When she passed away, all the granddaughters were given the chance to pick several of their favorite pieces. I have a glass green pitcher and green colored glasses.
Hunker: Where do you go for inspiration?
SSH: For inspiration, I go to social media mostly and follow inspiring people and groups with a variety of backgrounds.
Hunker: Describe a typical Saturday morning at home.
SSH: Saturday mornings at home are usually lazy mornings with no agenda at all lately. Maybe sleeping an hour later and then just letting the day evolve. My elementary and middle school age kids take up lots of my weekend time these days.
Hunker: Looking ahead to the day when we can safely host get togethers, what are some of your hosting must-haves, tips, or tricks?
SSH: I love natural elements, outdoor al fresco evenings, good home cooked meals with local and in season ingredients. Nothing fussy and good company.