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Conversations with Jacob Preston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacob Preston .

Hi Jacob, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Ever since I was a kid, I remember my dad making stained glass windows in his basement workshop at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Soulard. My dad was the caretaker there before starting Preston art glass Studio in 1995. My dad was very creative, and I think creativity lives strong in me. During high school, I worked a little bit with my dad off and on and didn’t think it would be my career choice. After high school, I started working full-time with my dad making and restoring stained glass windows. After a few years of working, I still wasn’t sure I wanted to be in this business. Slowly but surely, I fell in love with the craft, and I was obsessed with it before I knew it. I took over the business with my mom after my father passed away in January 2021.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nothing about stained glass is easy. My dad would say you could learn it stained in a day, but it takes a lifetime to master. Learning the craft and being good at it takes a lot of practice, blood, sweat, and tears. The last few years have been especially difficult. Of course, the pandemic slowed down the business during the shutdown, but once things started to open up again, we were nonstop busy. Also, taking over the business after my dad passed has had challenges. But I’ve also grown a lot in the past few years and am ready to take on any challenge.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
We specialize in restoring and making custom stained glass windows at Preston art glass studio. We work closely with our clients on the design and glass choices for custom windows. St. Louis is blessed with many old homes with original stained glass that has been broken over the years. We do every type of repair, from replacing one piece of glass on-site to fully restoring the Stained glass window. We are a small company but fortunate to have amazing employees. My brother Elias Preston Has been working with us for over 10 years, and Dani Collette has been with us for a little over a year.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role you feel it’s played for you?
I’m lucky to have worked with my dad. He taught me a lot, even if I wasn’t listening at the time. I picked up my dad’s work ethic. I feel very fortunate to love my craft. Every job has its challenges, but I feel fortunate that I get to make and restore Beautiful works of art that can last hundreds of years.

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