Small Business Saturday Blog

All fired up and ready to go in Gerrards Cross

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at 13:00

Marie Cavanagh is the founder and owner of Fired Works, a fused-glass art gallery and studio where she creates beautiful glass artwork alongside functional items.
Marie makes glass to commission, which are often sentimental and personal items, for example fusing a loved one’s ashes into glass landscapes or jewellery. She also runs workshops for children, adults and family groups to make their own glass work, for which she has received several Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards. She has taught clients with dementia and children with autism, all of whom have had a very positive experience and made beautiful items to treasure.
Marie hasn’t always worked with glass, spending almost 20 years working in the IT industry. However, she has always had a creative streak, and eventually decided it was now or never to do something that she loved. She found a rundown property in the beautiful village of Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire and made an offer. Fired Works opened 18 months later, in November 2014.
The shop is on the high street, with the studio at the back and the gallery at the front, so passers-by can see her working on her latest projects or commissions and often come in to see what she’s working on. The window display is always a talking point, matching the seasons or local or national events. Marie also says that her Amex signage also attracts customers to the store: she says, “I have gained many new customers by displaying my Shop Small campaign signs and existing customers are always delighted that I take part."
"I always look forward to Shop Small. It’s such a great offer for Cardmembers, but also a huge support for me as a small business, encouraging people to shop small and locally.”
She has also immersed herself in the local community. She is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, holding the role of president for four years, which has included setting up business seminars for local businesses to showcase what they do, setting up a local business directory, and ensuring local businesses were aware of any grants available to them during lockdown and helping many apply. She also takes part in the Amex Shop Small campaign, telling us, "I always look forward to Shop Small by American Express. It’s such a great offer for cardholders, but also a huge support for me as a small business, encouraging people to shop small and locally.”
Marie received Runner Up for Chiltern District Council's Business in the Community Award in 2018, and has raised over £1k for the NHS making glass rainbows and over £1.5k for Ukraine making glass sunflowers and Ukrainian flags.
Caring for the environment is also important to Marie. The business has now been a climate positive workforce for 11 months, and she has planted over 700 trees during this time, as well as offsetting over 21 tonnes of carbon emissions. She also plants an extra tree for every online order. Not one scrap of glass is wasted: even the finest specks are saved for local ceramicists to use in their creations.
Visit Fired Works at 28b Market Place, Chalfont St Peter, Gerrards Cross, Bucks SL9 9DU or shop online here. Click here to find out more about the American Express Shop Small campaign.


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