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At Home Business Opportunities - Stained Glass

What It Takes to Start a Stained Glass Home Business

By Ron Dicker

(LifeWire) - Overview of this Business

Starting a stained glass is one of those specialty at home business opportunities that requires good hands, an eye for color and the patience to endure the vagaries of an enterprise with more practitioners than demand. A mere 10% of craft artists, like those who practice stained glass crafting, earn more than $46,700 ($24,090 median), according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. And that's the salaried ones. Anyone considering at home business opportunities such as stained glass artist should be in it for the love of it -- and have the business acumen to make it profitable. But this is definitely one of those at home business opportunities that can evolve from a hobby to a business.

One way to enhance the chances of success with a stained glass business is to turn part of the business into stained-glass repair, rather than creation. Checking out your competition's inventory and pricing is critical to gaining a business foothold. And deciding on an emphasis, whether stained glass for windows or handicrafts to sell in galleries or custom installations, will also influence income flow.

Pros of Stained Glass at Home Business Opportunities

  • The art and craft of stained glass is artistically satisfying.
  • No formal stained glass training is required -- but a class at the local community college and an apprenticeship couldn't hurt to give you some hands-on experience that will become invaluable.
  • A stained glass business can be operated right out of one's home -- with an initial investment of about $2,000 for basic tools and supplies.
  • You can display samples at crafts and home shows. Trade shows and art fairs can be fun, leading to more business.
Cons of Stained Glass at Home Business Opportunities
  • It's one of the tougher craft pursuits in which to make a full-time living.
  • More sophisticated tools, such as a glass kiln ($2,000), can be pricey.
  • Replenishing supplies needed for making and repairing stained glass can add up as well.
  • Stained glass creations can be imitated, so practitioners are encouraged to engrave a copyright sign on the work.
What You Need to Get Started with Stained Glass at Home Business Opportunities
  • A business license and other licenses, depending on location and scope of your business. Be sure to check your local laws about operating this type of business out of your home, even if you do not invite customers to your home.
  • Relationships with contractors to develop the installation and repair side of the business, as well as with churches, museums and galleries that may need stained glass services.
  • A sturdy table or work bench with hand tools, glass, lead, solder and other supplies, as well as room to store supplies and finished works and a first-aid kit as cuts are not uncommon.
  • Sample works for potential customers to see, and the space to display them, or a vehicle that's suitable for transporting stained glass samples to customers' homes and businesses and job sites.
  • Affordable crafts in a variety of sizes for art shows, if you want to create and market stained glass crafts.
  • Advertising in print and online to promote your stained glass business, as well as a website to showcase your work and clear photographs of your best stained glass pieces.

Stained Glass -- At Home Business Opportunities Real-Life Example

Once a novice, Hal Williams of Eagle Mountain Stained Glass Studio in Ridgecrest, Calif., now earns $3,000 a month on custom orders and supply sales, according to an article at stainedglasssaws.com. "To make a decent wage you have to charge a decent price," he says of the stained glass business.

This article is part of the following home business idea collections. Use the corresponding link to return to those collections:

LifeWire, a part of The New York Times Company, provides original and syndicated online lifestyle content. Ron Dicker is a New York-based freelance writer who covered sports for the New York Times from 1996 to 2005.
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