We had the good fortune of connecting with Day Kennedy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Day, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started my business on a whim in 2018. I was miserable in my day job, my dad had just passed away, and I just felt sort of lost. I had fallen in love with stained glass the year before and was having minor success selling on Etsy and at local art markets. I didn’t plan for it to become anything more than a hobby but I needed a change. I decided to quit my job and spend that 40-50 hours a week on glass instead and hope for the best. If it didn’t work out, I could just get another job! I feel incredibly lucky I haven’t had to do that yet. So far it’s still working out and I’m so grateful to my customers who allow me to pay my bills doing something I absolutely love.
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.
Well I am a completely self-taught stained glass artist. Everything I know is from YouTube videos, experimentation and trial and error. I’ve grown a lot over the years in terms of craftsmanship and design style, and I continue to grow and evolve. I love looking back and seeing my progress. I started selling at art markets and festivals and slowly built a large enough following on social media to be able to sell consistently online. It was definitely not easy and it’s still a hustle sometimes to get by, especially during 2020, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that you get what you put in. If you have talent and dedication and a strong work ethic, you can do it! But it is so satisfying when it works out. You are 100% responsible for your own success but also 100% culpable for failures. That is empowering to me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m honestly kind of a homebody and have never liked going out that much, so maybe I’m not the best person to answer this! But every time I have visitors in town they always want to see the botanical gardens so that’s always on my list. Maybe take them record shopping and people watching in Little Five Points. Grab some lunch and walk around Oakland Cemetery. But EAV is my favorite neighborhood and I’d probably try to convince them to just chill at The Earl the whole time! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Umm BIG shoutout to YouTube for teaching me everything I know about glass! And I would never be where I am in my career if it weren’t for the local Atlanta artist community! I’ve met some of my best friends doing art markets and festivals and learned so much from them and gained so much inspiration. I don’t think I would have lasted this long without that community of fellow artists all going through the same hustle and grind together.
Personal photo taken by Atlanta photographer Betsy McPherson