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

Hi Connie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process was this: I really don’t play well with others. Especially bosses. I don’t like that feeling that someone owns my time…or at least they think they own it. I want to be in charge of my own schedule, time, hours I work, etc. Also, being an entrepreneur just appeals to me more and being my own machine instead of being a cog in someone else’s wheel.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve never considered myself to be an artist…I think a lot of artists say that. I feel like what I do is more of a craft and what keeps me inspired daily is a desire to keep what I do alive. What sets me apart from others is that I am the only practicing neon tube bender in Wyoming. I always say that my talent is mediocre at best but I’m willing to try anything…any design that a customer desires. I hardly ever say, “I can’t do that”. I arrived here starting with a trade school that was located in Benicia California, outside of San Francisco. I worked for 3 years in Detroit, 7 years in the Seattle area, 2 years in Bozeman, Montana, and now 11 years here in Casper Wyoming. I did take time off because I was raising my kids but tube bending was always a constant in the 26 years since I’ve been in the trade. It wasn’t always easy. There’s a huge learning curve to bending tubes, it’s a very difficult craft to get good at and you need to be in the fires constantly. That’s why I say I’m mediocre at it. Overcoming the challenges simply requires not giving up. Taking your bad days at face value and celebrating your good days. The lessons I have learned are to keep my circle small. Keep people I can trust close. Be gentle with myself and give myself a lot more credit than I do. Perseverance is the key in this business so you can weather the difficult times. What I would want the world to know about me is that I’m honest and always trying my best. I try to stay in my lane and I don’t bring others down. I’m a one woman show most of the time, so I always want people to know that I might take a long time but I always get my work done. I would like people to know that I’ve been through some rough times but I never use it as an excuse…I only use it as a way to build my life up to be better.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m an outdoors person so we would be doing a lot of mountain biking on Casper mountain, hiking the Bridle Trail, kayaking one or all of the reservoirs or the North Platte River, walking our wonderful river path, and visiting Thermopolis or Saratoga to soak our tired bones in mineral water. I would probably take them to the Trails Center Museum to learn about the history of the area and drive out of town to see and climb around on Independence Rock. Coffee would probably be a must so definitely stopping at Scarlows Gallery or Metro to grab something to go or stay and enjoy the art. I actually prefer to cook at home (or have my boyfriend cook is probably best, ha!) But if I’m going out I really enjoy Pho Saigon for their Bun. Also, I’m addicted to tacos so definitely hitting up Don Juan’s. I don’t do chain restaurants because I believe in eating out at places that support local one of a kind establishments.  A definite must see is my friend Rachel Hawkinson at T. Hawk Studio and her one of a kind jewelry. She is an awesome person and an amazing artist. One of my favorite stores in Casper is Funky Junk, with all of their awesome handcrafted items and good vibes is a must. Plus they have put on a festival 2 times a year with music, vendors, and Casper food trucks. Casper is really starting to come into its own with breweries and an amazing distillery called Backwards Distillery… I would be willing to be a designated driver for any friend if they wanted a truly unique experience visiting one or all of them! I’ve lived in Casper for 11 years and have seen it change a lot in that time. Casper is a city unto itself. There are no feeder communities if you will…we are a good 2 to 4 hours away from anything in any direction so we are required to make our own fun.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow, this question requires a lot of shoutouts to be honest. I didn’t get where I am on my own. My landlord John Huff deserves a huge shoutout! He believed in me right from the gate that I could take this craft of mine and do something awesome. He’s given me a leg up and I couldn’t have done it without him. My sons Angus and Griffin deserve the next shoutout. Being a single parent requires a lot of understanding from them. The time that I need to put into my business means I’m with them a lot less. But they are teenagers so it probably works for all of us! My boyfriend Wes deserves a HUGE shoutout. Without him my business would not be where it is today. He’s helped me with so many different facets of what I do. He helped streamline my products… making them easier to assemble, look cleaner, and more professional for my customers. Next, my friend Anthony Stengel has helped my business ten fold. Anthony is a filmmaker and has featured me in two of his films. The first one was “Make Art Wyoming ” that featured 5 Casper artists and their stories. The other one that he made was an 8 minute documentary for Wyoming PBS, called “Dying Light” , which just won an Emmy Award! A lot of people stop by and tell me they have seen me on TV, so that is a definite change in my life.  Last and certainly not least would be a huge shoutout to myself…I couldn’t have done any of this without believing in myself, endurance, a strong work ethic, and a will to survive.

Website: www.glowneonlights.com

Instagram: instagram.com/glow_neon_signs

Facebook: Facebook.com/glowneonsigns

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