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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tabbiglass Making A Splash with Beautifully Hand Painted Glasses

By now, you’ve surely seen hand painted wine glasses in your local gift shop, at a party you’ve attended, or on the Internet. They seem to be everywhere...

By now, you’ve surely seen hand painted wine glasses in your local gift shop, at a party you’ve attended, or on the Internet. They seem to be everywhere nowadays and there is no indication that their popularity is waning. One particular company has gotten off to a fast start since starting online operations just five short months ago.

Tabbiglass.com started selling hand painted wine glasses on the Internet in December, 2009. However, that date is a little deceiving. Owner/artist Tabatha Hobbs actually started making hand painted wine glasses in 1989. Back then, she painted glasses for family and friends who gave them as bridesmaid gifts. According to Tabbi, “It was just a hobby. Something I did to keep busy when I wasn’t taking care of babies.” It wasn’t until 2006 that Tabbi realized the potential of building a business. “I started seeing hand painted glasses in gift shops and thought, ‘hey, you’ve been doing this for years!’.”

So why did it take another three years before Tabbi made her hand painted wine glasses available to the public? “Well, mainly kids and not having time to do it right”, said the mother of seven children. “When you have to be at football practice, soccer practice, teacher meetings, etc. there just isn’t enough time in the day. It just wasn’t the right time to try and build a business when there was so much other stuff going on.” In addition to a lack of time, there were also some technical issues. Her husband of 23 years, Tom, built the website and it took him over a year to be satisfied enough to make it public. “Tom did a great job on the site, but it isn’t his area of expertise. He’s a router, switch, server guy by trade, so web developer was something new to him. He didn’t build it from scratch, but some of the integration work was pretty challenging for him”, said Tabbi.

Almost immediately after going live, Tabbi had second thoughts about the commitment she had made. Within just a couple of days she was getting orders that were going to keep her busy through the Christmas holiday and beyond. “The first two weeks I was in business were extremely surprising. I had no idea it would take off like it did,” said Tabbi. But, with reassurance from her husband that things would die down after Christmas, Tabbi stuck with it and was able to fulfill all but one order. “I got it to the post office by the cutoff date, but it didn’t make it to the customer in time. She sent me an email on Christmas Eve letting me know that they didn’t arrive. I felt absolutely terrible about it and I refunded her payment in full and, of course, let her keep the glasses.”

It seems as though customer service such as that mentioned is what has helped to launch Tabbi and her work so quickly. When you read the reviews for products on her site, one thing seems to stand out time and again. Not only are Tabbi’s customers happy with her work, they are most impressed with the customer service they have received. It is obvious that Tabbi pays attention to detail and goes out of her way to make sure her customers get what they pay for. It is also obvious that she is proud of her track record so far. “It is important to give the customers what they are looking for. They usually know exactly what they want. I listen to them, maybe share an idea or two, but ultimately it is the customer’s glass. I just provide the talent that God gave me.”

I asked Tabbi if she had a favorite glass to paint and she answered without hesitation. “I really enjoy doing the custom glasses most. I get to work closely with the customer and provide them with something they want. It is so rewarding when I can deliver a customer’s vision for what they want. Don’t get me wrong, I love painting the stock glasses as well, I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t enjoy it. But when I get to paint a custom glass, I don’t know… there’s just more of a connection with the customer. It’s more personal.”

You can see all of Tabbi’s current hand painted wine glasses at www.tabbiglass.com. There is also a link to email her directly if you’d like to have a custom glass made.



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1 comments on Tabbiglass Making A Splash with Beautifully Hand Painted Glasses

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By JJFCPA on June 21, 2010 at 04:54 pm

My wife loves this form of art. She tailors the art work on the wine glasses to whatever the occasion is. She gets oohs and aahs when she presents them as gifts.

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