20 Under 40: Love propels Andrew Lussie’s glass blowing career
Andrew Lussie is driven by his love of art, of skiing and of life. Opening a glass blowing studio and gallery had been a longtime dream of Lussie’s. In December, Lussie and his business partner opened 39 Degrees North Gallery.
“Andrew’s passion for glass as a medium of artistic expression is inspirational and will continue to connect people from all walks (of life),” his nomination said.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has meant operations have had to be altered for the young business, Lussie continues to pursue his passions with a contagious enthusiasm.
What made you choose to live and work in Grand County?
We moved to Grand County a little more than 10 years ago on a whim. We had a few friends here and we decided to try it out. When we got here, we decided we’d never leave.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
If I can just keep blowing glass and spreading art, that’s all I need to make me happy. I love making new artwork and new glass. That’s the world to me. If I can just keep doing what I’m doing now, I’d love that in 10 years.
What kind of future do you see for your industry in the high country?
I see a bright future for our industry. Something that’s happening in some other mountain towns that are a little bit bigger or more established than us, they’re bringing more art to their community. That’s something we could use a little bit more of here.
With our business being so new, I’ve seen such a great reaction from locals and tourists. I’ve seen a lot of excitement for more arts. More arts people are coming out and showing what they have to offer. I didn’t realize how many awesome artists were in the area until we opened our business. Every community needs an art outlet in their community. It’s nice to see that’s happening here.
How has COVID-19 changed the way your industry does business?
Since we’re such a new shop, it was definitely kind of tough to open the doors in December and a few short months later have to shut down and close up everything. We’re adapting really well. Something that’s really great about the internet is that it brings the whole word to your small little town. We’re finding ways to be creative and still do business. We’re developing some virtual shows to have artists be able to show their work and have collectors and art appreciators be able to see the work.
You have to be willing to adapt to reach the people who want to see these things. If you play the right moves, you can still reach the right people.
Who is your hero and why?
I have so many heroes; it’s hard to choose. My wife, my mom, I have artists that are my heroes. It’s just such a tough one to really nail down. My heroes are the people who are passionate for what they do every day, and they’re supportive too. To me, that’s a huge inspiration.
Every single person, we’re humans and we’re not perfect. We all go through our tough times and to have those people who support you, that’s just amazing. When I see other people supporting others, supporting someone’s artwork or craft, to have someone supporting you — that’s a hero. They give you that spark of fire. It makes you want to go harder.
My heroes are everyone out there that really support others, who are passionate about what they do, and are just all around positive people. There’s so many unsung heroes.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to ski. I’m a backcountry skier. Being on the skin tack is like my church. It can quiet my mind. I love the uphill too. To me it’s all about skiing. I have two malamutes so I love taking my dogs skiing with me. Skiing is my number one fun thing to do.
What advice or encouragement would you offer a young professional trying to make it in the county?
Embrace your mistakes. Too many people tend to really get too hard on themselves about their mistakes, thinking about the negatives but never the positives. Making mistakes is learning and knowledge is power. Embrace your mistakes and push yourself. If I hadn’t pushed myself beyond the brink of no return, I wouldn’t be here where I am today.
Get those dreams locked in and don’t take no for an answer. Don’t let those little things in the middle of the road get in your way. Those things are temporary. They’re there to teach you something. Without making mistakes, you won’t grow.
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