In today’s world, it is easier than ever to get one’s name out there. Social media and other websites have given artists the ability push their names out there with only a click of their mouse. One local shop going against the grain in that regard is Majeki’s Stained Glass Works.
The “Majeki” from the shop name is owner Mark Kidd. Originally created as a pseudonym in high school, Kidd has kept the Majeki name wherever he went. He soon realized the name Majeki had its advantages.
“The good thing about the name is that, in this day and age, it gets me in places that I might not be able to get into being an African-American artist,” Kidd said. “I want people who get a flyer in the mail or something to look past the name and see the art. It is all about the artwork.”
Kidd started Majeki’s Stained Glass Works 25 years ago. Before he opened his shop and began working full-time with stained glass, Kidd originally had been making small stained glass projects in his spare time for his friends and family. Through word of mouth and appreciation for his art, Kidd cultivated a small following of people who enjoyed his work.
“Ironically I used to come here for stained glass supplies,” Kidd said. “Then one time I came in and the owner told me to set up some of my things outside since it was Mt. Airy day. I sold everything I had in that one day. It was huge for me.”
Once the owner of the previous stained glass store retired, he made the store available to Kidd who opened the doors back up to his fans both new and old.
At the start of the new business, Kidd was attending up to 40 craft shows a year, in addition to restoration projects and creating his own hand-made pieces. The craft shows, Kidd said, served as a way to find out what people were really interested in buying.
In the future, Kidd said he hopes to come full circle with his business and help facilitate other stained glass artists with supplies, just as the shop provided him when he was starting out as an artist. In doing this, he hopes people can pursue their passions and be happy with what they do.
“To be able to do what I love and what I want for a living, at the end of the day, I am cool,” Kidd said.
Photos and text by Matt Snider and La’Rene Cassells