Cancer survivor’s efforts brings glassybaby to Bellevue

Lee Rhodes is a cancer survivor. Lung cancer. Three times.

Lee Rhodes is a cancer survivor. Lung cancer. Three times.

During her fight with the illness, she searched for a way to help others. The result was glassybaby.

A glassybaby is a small colored, glass cup, candleholder, or vase. Glassybaby ITEMS are hand-blown in Seattle by glass artisans in a myriad of seasonal colors with names like Wet Dog, Seattle Sunset, Comfort and First Kiss.

The glassybaby goodwill program donates 10 percent of sales from select colors to cancer related charities, and to date has donated over $350,000 through the program.

The goodwill programs donate to organizations like the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Seattle Humane Society.

Rhodes picks each charity. This year, one of those goodwill programs is the Cancer Center at Overlake Hospital Medical Center.

Ten percent of all sales from the company’s new temporary location at Bellevue Square will benefit Overlake.

The temporary location actually is part of Rhodes’ business plan.

“We don’t pay rent, so that is why we can donate the 10 percent,” she said.

Since each candleholder is $40, it means that $4 will be donated for each one purchased.

The Bellevue Square store is located on the second floor of the mall, near the Southeast entrance to Nordstrom. The store will be in this location through December.

Melanie King, an employee of the Bellevue glassybaby, said many customers know about the product already because the company has a store in Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood. Within the first week of being open, King already had a customer come in and share about how she is a cancer survivor.

Jeanine Green, the chief operations officer, said that all of the colors on the current palette will be available in the Bellevue location. This will make it easier for Eastside customers during the busy holiday season, because they won’t have to travel to Madrona to shop the glassybaby collection.

Green also said that in addition to the colors on the fall palette, some winter reds, greens and blues will be available. Gift-wrapping also will be available, for an additional charge.

Glassybaby in Bellevue will be open during normal mall hours and can be reached at 425-256-2927 or on the web at

Alison Ingham is a student in the University Of Washington Department Of Communication News Laboratory.