published Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Discarded plates create Dayton business opportunity

Kimberly McMillian
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    Doris Ables of Art Crafters in Dayton. Photo by Kimberly McMillian

* What: Salvaged glassware used to create tiered-dessert serving pieces.

* Company: Salvaged for Service

* Location: 1356 Market St., Dayton, Tenn., 423-290-0319

* How it’s green: Doris Ables fuses discarded glassware that she finds at estate sales, yard sales and thrift stores for her creations.

* Why do it this way: Ables’ love of quilting inspired her to reuse glassware into a unique patchwork of art. The result inspired the company’s motto, “Just like the Creator made us.”

* What’s the cost? Most pieces cost from $10 up to $20 for a two- and three-tier server. A four-tier server will cost $35.

* Advice for others considering green initiatives: Ables said people should begin with what they have on hand, if they’re considering reusing items to create salable artwork. “Do something for yourself, and don’t worry about what others will think” about your work, she said.

Target market: Couples and families typically buy her products, Ables said, but others purchase them for anniversaries, birthdays or for other occasions.

* Biggest hurdle: Transporting the glassware without breakage remains a concern, if she brings prepared items to the store.

* Biggest reward: Ables said she enjoyed the validation that came from others' appreciation of her pieces.

* Is environmentalism an essential part of the business and why? It is not essential for her serving trays, Ables said, but she has collected plates for years and decided to reuse them. She said she’d love to encourage others to rethink remnant glassware and plates before discarding them and would love to create a piece for their families.

* Lesson learned: Ables said that “creativity comes from different sources,” and everything has a purpose, or in her case, a repurpose.

— Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@bellsouth.net.

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