Dominique Caissie Jaffrey-Rindge Lion, New Hampshire Dominique Caissie signed up for a glass blowing class as an artistic stress-reliever during college and discovered a passion that took her career plans in an unexpected direction. Now co-owner of the family-run Terrapin Glassblowing Studio, Caissie loves being creative every day, while also building community—and even providing a unique Lions club meeting spot. Won the New England girls’ one-mile swim championship at age 14 Is board president of Jaffrey’s downtown improvement organization Volunteers to foster dogs before they are placed for adoption The Perfect Study Break In school I always excelled at academics. I didn’t take art classes because I didn’t think they would help me get into college. I was intimidated walking into my first glass blowing class during my senior year. But it was so fun being creative, and it was a great outlet for me as I prepared for grad school. An Artist Emerges I signed up for more classes, and then found myself trying to go to a glass studio whenever I had free time. I realized I wanted glass blowing to be more than a hobby. Incredible Art Form Everything happens at the end of a five-foot rod. The 2,000-degree furnace holds 135 pounds of glass and never shuts off. It’s like a sport—it’s a test of endurance. If something I try to create fails, I just try again. A vase takes me an hour to make, but it took me seven years to get to that point. I teach classes to people of all ages, and I love that they leave with the sense of appreciation for glass and accomplishment that I feel every day. All in the Family I went into business with my parents. It can be scary running a business. I worry that something will go wrong with the equipment or that people will stop coming, but we’re in this together. Unique Relief I come from an animal-loving family, and we’ve had a lot of pets. Sadly, we’ve lost a lot of pets. We started making little keepsake glass memorial balls with their ashes. People noticed and started asking for them. They’re now the most popular items we sell. I work with people to make custom items like paperweights, jewelry or sun catchers. It’s rewarding to help ease their grieving. Good for the Soul The studio is already bigger than I ever imagined. I’m tired, sweaty and dirty, but happy. I wake up every day and do what I love. It’s a lot of work, but satisfying. I just want to see a studio full of happy people being creative. Do you know a Lion who you think has a great story or deserves a bit of recognition? Email us a brief description of the Lion and the reason you’re making the nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “One of Us” in the subject line.
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