Friday, January 05, 2007

Turning a profit with glass animals

If he hadn't discovered glass blowing during his last semester at the University of Kansas, John Burchetta would have been a business major. Instead, he became a business founder.

Today Burchetta owns a studio and gallery in Carmel, N.Y., where he creates, displays, and sells his works, which range from Christmas ornaments to decadent chandeliers. For 2006 he projects more than $250,000 in revenues, up 7 percent from the year before.

Over the past 21 years Burchetta, 46, has handcrafted more than 1,500 glassworks for everyone from individual customers to large companies, including Disney, which contracted the studio to design sculptures for one of its Disney World restaurants.

Among his most popular offerings: a line of 14 farm-animal-inspired nightlights, which retail for $110 each. The lights can also be customized; earlier this year, Burchetta whipped up a hot-dog-shaped version for a local restaurant.

"I love creating something from nothing," Burchetta says. "That's the core of the entrepreneurial spirit."

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