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February 04, 2016

Valentine's Day - An old fashioned one

So let me tell you about my mom.  She sends cards.  For everything.  I mean everything.  She'll send a thank you card for your visit, for your card, everything.  If you visited her and brought cookies, she'll rave about those too. I don't know if I've ever met a woman who was more thankful for the small gifts and graces in her life.  

Here is the funny thing, it makes you feel special. Indeed, it may seem over the top to receive cards from her for so many occasions.  I thought she was strange until I grew up, I grew up late, what can I say.  You see, she doesn't take life for granted.  She celebrates all of the small things.  This, more than most expensive diamond can make you feel cherished.  We all like to feel special, cherished.  I now realize that I am doubly lucky in that my mother cherished me so, but also that she taught me the importance of making those around me feel special.

So remember, on this valentines day, there are those out there that may not hear how special they are every day of the week.  This is your chance.  Remember to make them feel cherished.  It doesn't have to be a diamond bracelet or a fancy Eglomise Gift.  I does have to let them know you are thinking of them.  Do something that makes them feel special, or something that makes them laugh if they need cheering.  If you want something small we have occasion cards and if you want something larger, more permanent, we recommend a mirror.

But above all, do something, remember to make your loved ones, including your sweetie if you are lucky enough to have one, feel special.


February 04, 2016

Throwback Thursday

We're looking at some old pictures from Eglomise over 50 years on Throwback Thursday.   We do hope that you enjoy the traipse down memory lane and share some of your own old pictures of Eglomise Designs products.


January 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday

We're looking at some old pictures from Eglomise over 50 years on Throwback Thursday.    We do hope that you enjoy the traipse down memory lane and share some of your own old pictures of Eglomise Designs products.

January 21, 2016

Throwback Thursday

We're looking at some old pictures from Eglomise over 50 years on Throwback Thursday.   We do hope that you enjoy the traipse down memory lane and share some of your own old pictures of Eglomise Designs products.

January 20, 2016

Customer Comments & Compliments - Some Customers Are Great Fun!

This is another delightful tale of Fun with the Customer - from Sherri, our Customer Service Representative here at Eglomise Designs, Inc.


His name is Edward R. and here is his story as told by Sherri:

"He married his Yankee wife over 57 years ago and moved her to Virginia – but she is still crazy for Boston!  She is from West Roxbury and he is from Worcester. They have our Boston scene pieces all over the house, which seems to bug him a bit, but he tolerates it. They have lived 'in Virginia for quite some time now.'

 So, he called about two months ago looking for a box of 24 note cards for the swan boats, which of course, I had to tell him were discontinued.  I started suggesting other items, which they already had, but I got to the charms and he gave them some thought.  He called a couple of weeks later to order the charm in 24kt gold plate - 'because she costs me enough already.' We placed the order, and then he called on Monday worried that it wasn’t going to arrive for her 80th birthday coming up on Wednesday. I verified with Sandra and we determined that it would get there in time by ground delivery. He took me at my word.

 Well, he called back today to thank “the girl,” because not only did it arrive on time, but it was 'very lovely, and they were both very pleased.' He's really pretty funny reported Sherri, 'I said I liked that size charm because it is petite yet sparkly, and he retorted that she just  likes expensive!' When I asked if I could use him as a reference, I also asked if we had permission to say it was her 80th. birthday gift, and he said that 'she is so old, she won't remember!'

And strangely, he remembers our location at the "Old Army Camp Devens" because he remembers coming here as a child, to see the German Prisoners of War singing together. That would have been in 1944-46, perhaps for a Christmas Concert.


November 10, 2015

New Minimalist line

For the past year we have been working on developing a new line for Eglomise Designs.  We aren't finished yet but we have a sneak preview available for you.
Eglomise Designs Minimalist Boston State House
We would love to hear your thoughts.  This is our new paperweight.  We are working on a black box with a black and gold cover, yes reverse painted glass on all of these.  We are also working on a set of mirrors and pictures in this new style.  It is such a change from our old styles we have yet to be able to decide on the frame style but we can guarantee it will not be all silver or all gold.  We're looking for something different, something that appeals to the person with the sleek and understated office or decor.
We're quite excited about this new line.  All of the men at the factory are oohhing and ahing over this new line.  Drop us a line info@eglomisedesigns.com and let us know what you think.
Eglomise Designs Minimalist paperweight Boston State House at angle
October 29, 2015

Martha's memories ~ Travelling saleswoman

In the first decade of my business, I was the only salesperson. I researched retailers all over the country that I thought would be a good match for college products, and off I went - driving, or flying to rent a car at my destination. All of this to connect with new customers for Eglomise Designs. I had already made my best effort to interest different professional representative in selling my college mirrors and pictures. Unfortunately, the idea of selling college memorabilia was novel, almost strange, at that time. Much of what was available was very inexpensive, perhaps poorly made plastic, key-chain type mementoes. Better college merchandise did not exist and most sales"reps" did not want try their hand with college merchandise. I became my own "rep" discovering different regions of the country, different accents and different diners. But after traveling from Maine to Florida I longed to discover the west coast, especially when I heard there was a cluster of charming towns north of San Fransisco that had groups of enchanting retail stores.

I bought a ticket to San Fransisco and was scheduled to arrive in the afternoon. As it was then and as it is now my plane was delayed until 10:00PM. I still had to rent a car, drive to that little region, and find a room. To this day I can't understand why I didn't reserve a hotel room in advance but I didn't. By midnight, I found myself crossing the Golden Gate bridge. I was alone as usual, it was pouring rain with a storm that I hadn't experienced before in New England. I was terrified. I could hardly see the road and desperately needed to rest. I spotted a hotel sign in the distance from the bridge and headed there. It was a sort of bed and breakfast and I knocked on the door. Hesitatingly a woman answered and let me in after I told her my story. Not too many women from Boston showed up at midnight asking for a room, but she must have decided to help and gave me a room.


When I think of that night I am once again reminded that I didn't have a cell phone. They weren’t invented yet. I was on my own, and couldn't call the police or get directions from my GPS. GPS hadn't been invented yet either. I had put myself in a risky situation, and managed to have it turn out OK. That first California trip was very exciting and the stores that I visited then continue to buy my college products to this day.

October 22, 2015

Martha's Memories ~ "I'd like to speak to the owner" being a woman owned business in the 1960's

I'd Like to Speak to the Owner

Officially, I started my business in 1965, in the basement of my parent’s home in Hyde Park, MA. - a humble beginning. Once I had an office, I always hired and worked with several other staffers. I preferred to help answer the phone and answer questions. And I genuinely enjoyed greeting any visitors that came by or those that came for tours.

Early on, a little drama occurred that was to repeat itself again, and again. It’s strange to think this happened in similar variations for the next 50 years. I'd often talked about this happening, and would comment to staff, asking them to watch and wait for when the next visitors came. Watch and wait for the "expected" comments, and the familiar scenario set to play itself out.

The first experience, that I encountered like this, was perhaps the most memorable! I was sitting in the front office when a gentleman came in, and without a single sentence of greeting to anyone, he abruptly said, "I want to see your owner." When I told him “I am the owner,” - the little drama began. He repeated that he wanted to see the “real owner” and it certainly wasn't me! Finally, I convinced him that my title was president, by showing him my business card, but that meant nothing to him, as he continued to insist on speaking to my father. To make a long story shorter, this same man had traveled almost 100 miles to complain that my company, Eglomise Designs, had refused to sell our products to his Cape Cod retail store. I struggled to catch my breath, as I told him, “I am so sorry that you are so angry!” I further went on to explain that we were very particular about the stores we partnered with, and that another store nearby already was our customer. I did tell him that we were extremely careful not to saturate any sales area but realistically, we could not sell to another. Although, eventually we did resolve the issue to our benefit, we unfortunately, watched this same scenario play out repeatedly over the next 50 years.

Before I retired recently, I was not only asked about my husband, but how could it be possible that I was the “real owner" or the "sole owner?” That was something that needed to be examined, as far as guests were concerned. The question about ownership usually came after a little tour around the factory. About 15 minutes into the tour, the question dropped, “So, is this a family business?” Or "who are your partners " or " Wait a minute, you said you started this business in 1965? That can’t be quite right." Or, “ I don't quite understand," and then I would be corrected with a comment like this, "a woman couldn't have started this business in 1965, because that didn’t happen in those days,” etc., etc., etc.

I know that women owners today experience some faint echoes of these questions, but as each year goes by I know this conversation will diminish.

October 20, 2015

Martha's memories ~ Big changes in the business

And then one day I said "Enough"!!......... and nothing happened. #3

I made a bold step in 1996 and I thought my world would come to an end ...but it didn't. In fact it was the best decision I ever made. When I told colleagues and staff what I was going to do, I was greeted with disbelief and cautiously advised to avoid taking this step at all costs.

 Here's the story. Back in 1965 I had started a small business in the basement of my parent’s house. I had collected reverse glass paintings since childhood, and was crazy about eglomise work, - that is the 18th and 19th century art of applying paint directly to the underside of glass. I would commonly find and buy pieces in antique shops around Boston for practically nothing. No one wanted reverse glass paintings. It was a dated art, unknown and under-appreciated at that time. But I bought pieces whenever I found them.

In a moment of inspiration and perspiration, I decided to create my own glass paintings and sell them. I was single, living with my parents, and I didn't have a job, so why not? I felt like I couldn't paint or create artwork, but I plunged in and began to produce little “primitive paintings,” such as could be found in 19th century America. They were charming and I sold a few at local retailers. Due to a strange sales call, where a retailer told me exactly what would sell in his shop, my little paintings of flowers and birds soon evolved into paintings of colleges, and their main architectural landmarks. I, and eventually my staff artists, painted pieces of hundreds of different colleges all across the country and a new business was established. Early on, I though it made sense to call my business “Eglomise Designs.” After all that's what the company was all about. I knew all about eglomise work and that painting on the reverse side of glass gives a certain three-dimensional look to the finished piece. I had majored in French in college so the pronunciation came easily to me. Eglomise Designs was the perfect company name, I was making “art” of sorts, and the name had a little panache - from my perspective. Why didn't somebody tell me that eglomise designs was a very, very poor choice. Just try to open a credit card account with a major firm and mention your name! Everywhere I went, I had to spell the name and share pronunciation strategies. But I couldn't change the title. Glass painting had become the focal point and reason for the actual existence of my company.

Sales were great. I employed more and more staff, and eventually bought a factory to house the ever-increasing supplies of glass, frames, shipping cartons, etc. Yes, sales were great but it became obviously clear that profits were not! Paying an increasing number of artists to paint individual landmark scenes of an exponentially growing number of colleges was clearly a giant money pit. Every painting completed was plunging the company into further debt. It wasn't possible to short-cut the paintings. It wasn't possible to ask the staff to paint faster or with less detail. And then the epiphany came - as a question: Why not photograph the artwork?

I decided to reproduce the very best example of each painting I owned, in a state-of-the-art photographic printer. I began with some research to find the best printer in America, and at that time it was made by Kodak, and was an enormous machine. We had to remove the front of the building to get it into our office, work done by giant cranes, but it was well worth it. When I took one of our best paintings and made a "copy," it was impossible to tell which was the original and which was the copy. We tested painting after painting, and the results were all the same. No one could tell which was which - what was original and what was the copy. In fact, the colors in the reproduction were so beautiful and so true, that the reproduced picture became the favorite among myself and the staffers.

That was the easy part, but I dreaded the next step - telling our loyal customers that we were no longer actually painting on glass. And then came the shock! Over and over the same comment repeated itself: "what do you mean by glass painting?" "I didn't know you painted these college scenes on glass." Or, "I like whatever you're doing now so I hope you won't go back to glass painting,” or “Don’t change a thing - we like what you are doing right now!”

It was a revelation that I'll never get over. People didn't care about glass painting. What they wanted was a nostalgic landmark scene of a particular college or alma mater that was in good taste. Further, they wanted the scene to be housed in a product that would be traditional, and of heirloom-quality, finely-detailed, beautiful workmanship. In a frenzied few months, we chose the best of each college painting and stored it as a digital, permanent record. I’ll never regret starting to make the reverse glass paintings. There is a certain "look" to glass painting that cannot be compared to other techniques, and we will always seek that "look" in our art work going forward. It clearly says "Eglomise Designs.” We love that eglomise look and will never change it.

Copper's note:  Ironically we have returned to painting on the glass.  A portion of every design goes onto the glass and for those of you who have had a sneak preview of our new minimalist line it is all painted on the glass.

October 15, 2015

Throwback Thursday 10/13/15

The U.S. Military Academy, also known as West Point, has the motto: Duty Honor Country. As we are looking at some old pictures from Eglomise history, we came across this exquisitely detailed paperweight. We do not guarantee that we currently carry products, images, schools nor can we guarantee a current license on this product shown on Throwback Thursday.  We do hope that you enjoy the little side-track down memory lane. Perhaps you wish to share some of your own old pictures of Eglomise Designs products. Send to : info@eglomisedesigns.com