Meredith Gordon is a person full of color.
Her eyes are full of life, her home is full of sunshine and her stories are full of details that paint a picture of a life meant to be joyful. So it’s no surprise that, in her work, she has found a way to take ordinary objects and transform them into one-of-a-kind keepsakes that bring a little splash of color to every home they enter.
Gordon, a Plymouth resident, owns Wine Flower Glass, a small company that sells hand-painted wine glasses, pitchers, soap dispensers, hummingbird feeders, oil bottles and a dozen other home goods. Each one is adorned with colorful hydrangeas, lilies, roses and hibiscus, and each is personally painted by Gordon herself.
“It’s a very flowy process and I just love it,” she said as she brushed pink hibiscus petals onto a wine glass on a recent Tuesday. “How can you not? It’s so zen.”
There’s a small room off of the kitchen in Gordon’s home dedicated entirely to the art of painting on glass. On a small table in the corner of the sitting room, she has dozens of paint brushes, little containers of paint and boxes full of glassware ready to be spiced up. Each oil bottle, spice shaker and margarita glass gets double coated in paint and baked in the oven before its packaged and shipped out.
She has the painting, packing and shipping down to a science now, but she never imagined Wine Flower Glass would even exist — let alone be her full time job.
Gordon has always been a creative. She paints, sews and describes herself as the “artsy kid in high school,” the one who was always drawing. She started giving hand-painted Christmas ornaments as gifts a decade ago, and one of them eventually put her up for a job painting perfume bottles in high-end department stores. One Christmas, she was tasked with painting wine glasses as a free gift for customers, and that’s what it all clicked.
“Some people were asking to just buy the glasses,” she said. “I’d never painted anything clear, I loved the freedom and I decided to throw up a website. It just grew from there, and has slowly gotten bigger and bigger. It has grown at a rate I can handle. . . I love the process of shipping it out, a customer getting it and saying ‘This is even prettier than I expected.'”
She started her website eight years ago and first just sold wine glasses. She then made a natural progression to other barware like rocks, martini, margarita and champagne glasses, and from there, it was on to oil bottles, bird feeders and soap dispensers.
“I have a group of customers that are my ideal customer,” Gordon said. “They constantly ask for things. They’ll ask for salt and pepper shakers or a tumbler and I’ll go ‘Huh, I hadn’t thought of that.'”
Gordon’s pieces are designed so customers can collect different flowers on the same item. She said when her friends come over for a drink, they’ll go straight to the cabinet full of wine glasses and pick out what matches their mood or outfit that day.
Hibiscuses are her favorite flower to paint — they remind her of time spent in the Philippines and Bermuda when her dad was in the Navy —but she doesn’t shy away from experimentation. She says its not uncommon for someone to request a glass painted with a favorite flower, or a couple to ask for champagne glasses decorated with the flowers they used at their wedding.
“That is the most unbelievable and beautiful part,” she said. “I’ve had people cry. I can’t believe it. To me, it’s just a cute little thing. But to some people, it’s so meaningful.”
Items are for sale on Etsy and the Wine Flowers Glass website. Stemmed wine glasses are $22, a pair of champagne flutes are $34 and five-piece hostess sets are $124. Gordon said she really has no idea how many pieces she’s sold — she has a bookkeeper who manages the business side of things — but Etsy says she’s had nearly 1,000 sales on that platform alone.
“I just can’t believe it. There have been plenty of times when I think, ‘I’m not going to make $8 million doing this, is this still a smart direction for be to be going in?’ But then I’ll get another message that says ‘Thank you for your gift,’ or ‘Thankful for your talent,’ and I realize I couldn’t be doing anything else.”