Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in glassware but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Darian Maurer, President of Hip House Collective, located in La Jolla, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

As the owner of a unique handmade Japanese glassware business, we specialize in crafting exquisite and intricately designed pieces that showcase the rich tradition and artistry of Japanese glassmaking. Our products range from functional glassware, such as drinking glasses and serving bowls, to decorative items, like vases and ornamental pieces. The skillful techniques and attention to detail involved in our glassmaking process reflect the authenticity and quality of our offerings, making each piece a true work of art.

Our customer base is diverse and spans the globe, as we cater to individuals who appreciate the beauty and intricacy of traditional Japanese craftsmanship, as well as those who seek unique and sophisticated additions to their homes or business. We have built a strong reputation among collectors, interior designers, and enthusiasts who value our glassware for its artistic value and functionality. Additionally, we often collaborate with high-end restaurants and hotels looking to elevate their tableware and overall ambiance. Our commitment to quality and the preservation of the Japanese glassmaking tradition continues to attract a growing community of discerning customers who cherish our pieces for their timeless beauty and elegance.

Tell us about yourself

Last year in May, I embarked on the journey of establishing my handmade Japanese glassware business. My initial inspiration to start this venture came from my deep appreciation for the artistry and tradition of Japanese glassmaking, combined with a strong desire for freedom of expression, time, and the ability to build something of my own. The concept of merging my passion for this intricate craft with my entrepreneurial aspirations struck me as the perfect opportunity to create something truly special.

Each day, I am motivated by the knowledge that I am not only preserving and promoting the beautiful and intricate art of Japanese glassmaking but also carving out a space for myself in the world of business. The freedom to express my creativity through this craft and the opportunity to manage my own time have been incredibly rewarding. Furthermore, witnessing the growth of my business and the positive impact it has on both my customers and the artisans I work with fills me with a sense of pride and accomplishment. This continuous drive to innovate, share this exquisite art form with the world, and create a lasting legacy for my business is what keeps me going every day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As a business owner, my greatest accomplishment has been achieving both financial freedom and the flexibility to manage my own time. This has allowed me to focus on what truly matters to me, both personally and professionally. Being able to pursue my passion for Japanese glassware and share it with others has been incredibly fulfilling, and I am grateful for the opportunities that have arisen from this venture.

In addition to personal achievements, our business has also celebrated some significant milestones. We have successfully secured deals with renowned restaurants, which has not only expanded our reach but also elevated our brand's reputation. Additionally, one of our proudest moments was when our glassware was featured in the Netflix movie "Glass Onion Knives Out." This exposure brought our exquisite pieces to a broader audience, further solidifying our presence in the industry. These accomplishments are a testament to the hard work and dedication I have invested in this business and serve as a constant reminder of the impact we can make in the world of art and commerce.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

One of the most challenging aspects of being a business owner is the understanding that both the successes and failures of the business rest squarely on my shoulders. This level of responsibility can be daunting, as every decision I make has the potential to shape the company's future. The knowledge that everything bad that happens is my fault can sometimes weigh heavily on me, but on the flip side, it also means that all the good outcomes are a result of my hard work and determination.

Embracing self-reliance and a self-fulfilling mindset has been both a blessing and a curse. The fear of failure is an ever-present concern in the back of my mind, but I've learned that it's crucial not to dwell on it. Instead, I focus on the positives and strive to learn from any mistakes or setbacks that may occur along the way. This approach has allowed me to grow as an individual and as a business owner, turning challenges into valuable learning experiences. It's this resilience and adaptability that help me overcome obstacles and push forward, continually striving for success in both my personal and professional life.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

If I were to give my top three tips to anyone looking to start, run, and grow a business today, they would be as follows:

  1. Just do it: One of the biggest hurdles many aspiring entrepreneurs face is taking the initial leap into the world of business. It's easy to get caught up in overthinking and over-planning, but the most important step is to just start. There will always be challenges and uncertainties, but you'll learn more from taking action and refining your approach as you go than from endless preparation. Trust yourself, and don't be afraid to dive in.
  2. Believe in yourself: Confidence is crucial when embarking on any new venture, and this is especially true in the world of business. Doubt and fear can hold you back and prevent you from taking risks, which are often necessary for growth. Believe in your abilities and your vision, and let that belief guide you through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Surround yourself with positive influences and be your own biggest supporter.
  3. Make it count: Remember, you only have one life, so it's essential to make the most of it. Consider what you have to lose if you don't pursue your dreams and weigh that against the potential gains. Starting and running a business can be challenging, but it's an opportunity to create something meaningful, leave a lasting impact, and live a life you can be proud of. Embrace the journey, knowing that every experience, whether it's a success or a learning opportunity, contributes to your personal and professional growth.

By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to building a business that not only brings you success but also allows you to live your life to the fullest.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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