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Life & Work with Glen Oglesby

Today we’d like to introduce you to Glen Oglesby.

Hi Glen, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Critical Conceptions is a small Etsy shop that I started back in May of 2020. I was working from home for a few weeks at this point and thought to myself, “well, I’m saving about ten hours every week not having to commute, so why not use those hours for something worthwhile?” My first set of products were probably the most difficult to make and the least desirable. I made these fun little fantasy world maps for people who were into Dungeon’s & Dragons, but after a few months, I realized that probably wasn’t going to be my niche. I started really thinking about what I wanted this shop to do, who it was for, and what my interests could do to help meet those goals.

I’m an avid environmentalist and player of Dungeon’s & Dragons, so I figured that’s where I should really be starting for this business, with those things I’m passionate about. From there it was a pretty quick move from those original maps to the upcycled glasses, 3D printed dice towers, and digital PDFs that I have now. It was definitely shaky towards the start of Critical Conceptions, it took about six months for me to make my first sale and I ended 2020 with five total sales. Now, even though I still consider Critical Conceptions a really small shop, I’m happy to say the shop has already made 55 sales in 2021, 11 times what was sold last year. I believe in the power of consistency and am excited for the next milestones that Critical Conceptions is going to push beyond in the coming months and years!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not and will not always be a smooth road for Critical Conceptions. There were times when I considered just calling it quits and living with my losses. This was probably the most at the forefront of my mind back in April. I accidentally cut myself working with some slippery glass and needed to get stitched up as a result. The medical bill was definitely more than what I had made up to that point… Fortunately, I have healed and because I kept at it (and included more rigorous safety measures for cutting glass), I’ve been able to recuperate those costs and move forward with better processes for handling the dangerous stuff I do. I’m sure that there will be more roadblocks along the way, but I’m sure that with perseverance, I can handle them.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Of course! Obviously, I am not making a living off of the couple dozen sales that Critical Conceptions has made. Fortunately, I have a wonderful job as a Researcher for the Florida Center for Environmental Studies (CES). I’ve been working at CES for a few years now and have had the opportunity to work on several research projects that have helped in our understanding of how people here in Florida think about and react to environmental hazards. While working with the CES, I was also pursuing my Master’s degree in Geosciences, but I am happy to say that I defended my thesis in June and have since graduated! I’m very eager to use my experiences and degree to advance my career in the coming years. Beyond my recent successes and position with CES, I’m an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, a Certified Habitat Steward with the National Wildlife Federation, and as we’ve discussed, an avid fan of Dungeons and Dragons.

How do you define success?
In Critical Conceptions, I define success as positive feedback from my order. The number of sales isn’t nearly as important to me as it is to hear back from customers and know that I was able to meet or exceed their expectations. Making people happy, helping them make sustainable decisions, and hearing how much they love their glassware, that’s success to me for Critical Conceptions. Unfortunately, personal life doesn’t come with a 5-star system, so success is a little harder to define. For my personal life, success is doing a little bit better than I did yesterday, a consistent pursuit of just being a better version of myself than I was the day prior. Whether this is in my exercise routine, personal education, or some other facet of my life, to be successful I feel the need to continue pushing to be a better version of myself.


  • Small Upcycled Glasses start at $12
  • Large Upcycled Glasses start at $18
  • 3D Printed Products start at $5
  • Dungeon’s and Dragons PDFs start at $2
  • Shipping is free in the U.S.!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Haley Stuart

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