A Decade in Duluth
A Decade in Duluth
Ten years ago today I unlocked the doors and opened to the world a tiny 700 sq ft shop in the City on a Hill. The days leading up the grand opening of Legacy Glassworks were some of the most intense yet incredible of my life. From a pallet full of unassembled display cases arriving with not one single sentence of directions to finding out the small local musician we booked for the opening was bringing his internationally renowned friend – Eyedea to perform - the fall of 2010 was one for the books.
At 22 years old, having just graduated college (where somehow I did not take one business or accounting class) I moved up to Duluth with a singular goal – opening a glass pipe gallery that focused on the artist. I had spent the previous year traveling the country with my cousin Sloth’s pipes, going to every music festival I could. I would wake up with the sunrise and walk campsite to campsite showing off Sloth’s pieces. From that very first campsite I visited at Bella Madre (Harmony Park -2009) I knew that I could be a steward of happiness. I had no idea that offering folks a super unique and fair priced locally made pipe could spread so much joy!
The most rewarding aspect of the last decade is the incredible people I have met along the way. I will cherish the relationships that I have made through the gallery for the rest of my days on this earth. I could spend the next decade thanking everyone individually who have carried us through these ten years, but I don't think that would make the best reading material. So instead I’m going to thank groups (in no particular order). First, I would like to thank my amazing family, friends and partner! They have all been so supportive in every way. Not one person in my life questioned, tried to talk me out or doubted that I could open a successful headshop. My friends and fam have worked countless hours from building a 1,700 lb steel glassblowing bench to setting up for gallery shows to sleeping in a packed van after tents flooded while vending. Many of them have also put their own hard earned dollars on the line investing in the shop. I am completely overwhelmed with joy and gratitude as my phone has started to buzz with messages from my family and friends. While writing this I got a message that literally made me cry: “Happy anniversary bro...I’m immensely proud that you’ve made it 10 years, I remember those early days and they were so crazy, it’s a testament to your grit, grind and the person you are inside and out. I’ve never seen anyone put everything on the line like you did, literally sleeping on the floor of your shop, or pour more of themselves into making their own success like you did and I’m just very proud to call you my friend and I’m so happy for you guys and how its all worked out my dude.”
A huge thanks goes out to the artists of all mediums. The first shop in Duluth had the perfect stage built in and we used to throw a monthly pipe raffle concert. The local musicians that would come out and jam with us always played our little shop with the passion of a sold out stadium! Of course my glass family always came though - hard. Making difficult custom orders, blowing glass live at events, rushing work to us, helping plan and built out the boro studio and so much more. I am so pumped for our upcoming gallery show highlighting ten of these glassblowers that have been with us since the beginning. Our visual artists throughout the years that have completely transformed the shop by taking over the walls and then the murals that they have created in our neighborhoods – a special thanks to y’all.
My staff! Wow you all have been the engine of Legacy since day 1 (well actually it was just me alone in the gallery for the first year so more like since day 366). Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I am proud to be able to build lifelong friendships with many of crew. The pride in Legacy that my employees demonstrate on a daily basis means the world to me! Also the fierce loyalty is absolutely inspiring.
Then of course we got each and every one of you who has supported Legacy over the last ten years! Even if ya came in that one time and bought a $4 clear glass bat or a pack of papers – every dollar counts. I often use the hastag #LegacyCustomersAreTheBest and it is absolutely the truth. Legacy Glassworks would have never been to able to open our destination gallery in Minneapolis if it was not for the support from the Duluth, Superior and Iron Range patrons. With the age of Instagram and online head shops, the loyalty and support of y’all means everything to me. Thank you, thank you thank you.
Here’s to the next ten years!