According to the latest census numbers (2008), women make $0.77 to every man's dollar (1) and the average revenues of majority women-owned businesses were still only 27% of the average of majority men-owned businesses (2). My hope for Sparking Cinderalla is to foster a community of support for female entrepreneurs as well as provide a little juicy insight into who these women are in their everyday lives. After all, as Mama Gena says, "Women are the greatest untapped natural resource in the world."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stacy Harshman: Andarina Designs

Name: Stacy Harshman
Job Description: Owner and designer at Andarina Designs
Company Info:

All our lamps and chandeliers are made by hand, using glass, metal, and plexi sourced in New York City, and reclaimed water tower wood. We love to customize our designs, and to bring colored light to your special event. I think of them as practical dream catchers, stories told in light through colored glass.


1. What made you decide to start your company?
One of my favorite things is to look at light shining through colored glass. So when I came across some vintage glass swizzle sticks and saw the colors that shone through when the glass was held up to the light I had one thought – I must make these into lamps!

During this time, I was also dealing antique tribal rugs. I lived on the colors, patterns and history; the rugged beauty, meant to be used. And I loved matching the right piece to the right person; meeting and talking with customers brought me out of my shell. But I wanted to make things with my own hands, to add to the stories told by the world of beautiful objects

So for the next year, I kept experimenting with design ideas and started taking classes at a glass studio in Brooklyn. Once I knew I was onto something special, I brought on collaborators and soon my original concept expanded into two full collections of table lamps, pendants and chandeliers, as well as large-scale custom work.

2. Where do you see your business in five years?
I see a beautiful body of collaborative custom work created in hotels, restaurants and lounges. I see Andarina Designs continuing to work with architects and designers to create installations and one-of-a-kind large - scale pieces. I hope to see our lamps and pendants available in retail stores including Moma and ABC Home.  Andarina Designs remains community based and employs local artisans. We use innovative, green materials and seek out inspiring, Earth honoring projects.

3. Who was your inspiration?
The creative, child-like part of me. My company name, “Andarina,” means “little girl walker” in Spanish. This is the place, the little girl explorer inside of me that always takes in the beauty wherever I go and wants to share her gifts with the world.

Overcoming shyness was the big challenge. But the desire to create and the process of creating my lamps was finally enough to push me forward. I feel I owe it to Andarina to conquer my fears and get her creations out into the world.

And my Grandma is always an inspiration. She was the fanciest, most sparkly lady ever.

4. What turns you on?
Color, collaboration and that spark of inspiration. And a man with big, strong hands.

5. What advice do you have for female entrepreneurs?
Double-check your emotions. I found that starting my own company brought up old neurosis. Stuff came up that had nothing to do with the true state of affairs of business. Having a reality check friend is invaluable. Stay positive and stick with it. Even if you do one thing a day to move yourself forward, that counts.

6. Tell us a sexy secret ;-)
I worked and studied in a Mangrove swamp in Costa Rica for 8 months. As a result, I have a sexy little scar on my right leg thanks to an attack of flesh eating bacteria.

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