We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexa Adamczyk and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alexa, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think that taking risks is an essential part of success. You either grow or learn from every experience you have. You never know until you try!

My riskiest experience was moving across the country at the age of 23 from Historic Williamsburg, Virginia to beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado – in pursuit of my dreams to be a glassblower. I packed up everything I had and flew by the seat of my pants with hardly any money, and I worked hard to chase my dreams when I got here! It has taught me that if you don’t take risks, you’ll look back and regret never knowing what could have been. No one said it would be easy, but I’ll tell you from experience that it’s worth it!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The road to being a successful glassblower takes years of labor intensive and niche work. I began my story at Tidewater Community College in August of 2016. After deciding that Sign Language was more of a hobby than a career for me, I picked up soft glass blowing, learning how to make cups and sculptures. After about a year, my teacher, Ed Francis, told me he believed I would perform better as a worker of glass rather than as a student of glass – and helped me land a job at Historic Jamestowne Glasshouse. There, I accrued many skill sets, including how to make pitchers, vases, ornaments, tumblers, candleholders, suncatchers and more. Ultimately I didn’t fit in at that studio and I had to take a break for a little while, before landing another gig as a featured artist for Ryan Gothrup’s Mobile Glass Studios – traveling the Ohio fair circuit and performing live demonstrations. It was seasonal, but I learned a lot about sculptural work from Michelle Pennington, my lead at the time, who now runs Sanctuary Arts School in Louisiana. Since then, I moved, joined a studio, and I have obtained a few lessons and attended a few classes in the borosilicate glass industry. Now, I work full time behind a Carlisle CC torch at DBK Glass Creations here in beautiful Colorado Springs! I make jewelry, cremation memorials, and functional glass art. What separates me from others are the techniques I use to draw on the glass art, making it fully customizable. The road has been rocky but it’s made me so much stronger!

A few lessons I’ve learned along the way? Really fully invest yourself into yourself and your dreams and aspirations. Don’t contribute 8 hours a day to someone else’s business just to come home and be too tired to work on your own! You’re not tired, you’re unmotivated! I read that in a book and it stuck to me like glue. Find ways to self motivate!
Another thing is to worry more about what you’re doing than what others think of you. There is a market for everything and a buyer for any art item at the right price point. If someone doesn’t like your work, then it wasn’t made for them!
Finally, some people will tell you that your work is overpriced. There is a difference between something being overpriced or being out of someone’s budget. Remember that you are not responsible for making your work affordable to everyone. It is your responsibility to know your worth.

If the world can take anything from my story, just remember to keep pushing and believe in yourself. You can do whatever you set your mind to, as long as you fully commit to it and don’t look back. Don’t be afraid to take risks to do what you love. It’s always worth the work and perserverance in the end.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a friend come to the area to visit, I would take them to so many cool places! One of my favorite hiking areas to go to is Helen Hunt Falls. It is so beautiful there! I also love to go to High Point Overlook when I need to do some thinking or to clear my head. Some of my favorite restaurants around here include The Omelette Parlor and Cheba Hut! They are local staples. I also love The Block downtown for mixed drinks. Storybook Brewing has the best beer in town!
Now as for shops, everyone loves Manitou Springs. There are a plethora of small business there and that is what I love to support. There are a few business in town however that I love to visit – Buff City Soap, Rocket Fizz, Scheels, and i-Cool rolled up ice cream! Check em out, you won’t regret it! Of course, the coolest place of all to come visit is DBK Glass Creations – call to make an appointment to see live glassblowing or maybe even take a one on one class!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A particular person in my life I have to thank for guiding me to my success is my dear friend Cody Ricketts. When I first moved to Colorado Springs, I had to find a studio space to work from. Cody was the owner of a private studio formerly known as The Glass Grind off of Fillmore Street. She took me in as a newcomer and allowed me to procure my skills within her facility, along with becoming a sort of life coach and mentor along the way. There are countless memories of her giving me priceless advice for how to carry myself as a business person and with my finances, how to set boundaries for my self, and overall just being a genuinely good friend and person to everyone around her. She is absolutely brilliant and her place in my life not only provides a wonderful asset to my business, but an amazing friendship that’s built to last for years to come.

Instagram: Instagram.com/leckie_glassworks

Image Credits
Marilyn De Block Leckie Glassworks

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