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Hobby turns into business

What started out as a hobby for Maureen Overland has turned into a successful business.

Overland owns Maureen's Glass, which specializes in custom stained glass, classes on how to build stained glass pieces and retail stained glass.

The business recently moved to a new location, from the Washington Square Mall spot where it was for a year, now to 515 Washington Ave., across the street from the VFW.

Overland began doing stained glass for fun about 10 years ago. Eventually, though, she needed to do something to support her burgeoning hobby, so she began participating in art fairs like Detroit Lakes' Art in the Park and selling her wares to different stores.

She did that for about four years before finally opening her own retail business out of her home, and doing a little teaching.

After being in the mall for a year, the new location is "three times the size for the same amount."

"We would have had to rewire the other location to bring in the kilns, but they fit in here just fine," Overland explained. She had been fusing all the glass at home before moving to the new location.

Now, she has two kilns in the new location, and two at home (her husband likes to do projects at home from time to time -- "They're his toys," Overland said.)

Overland grew up in Bedford, Mass., and came to Detroit Lakes when she was 25 for her sister's wedding. It was there that she met her future husband, Mark.

The lived in Minneapolis, and learned to do stained glass together before moving to Detroit Lakes about four years ago, when Mark got a job at SJE Rhombus in town. They both worked there until Overland left to do stained glass full time -- "that, and raise my family."

The couple has two girls, Alitia, 14, and Katie, 9, and it's because of their girls that Overland is glad they moved out of the metro area.

"We're so glad we moved," she said. "The schooling is so much better."

One of Overland's favorite things to do at the shop is teach classes.

"It's a really fun business, and I hope people will take the chance on doing it," she said.

Even her daughters are learning to do it. Some of Alitia's projects get sold, and she gets the profits, and Katie is a year away from using the big tools, too. (Overland won't let her until she's 10).

"People say it's therapeutic, they can relax, it takes them away from the problems at home or work," Overland said. "I've even had people come in that have sons and daughters in Iraq, and this is where they come in to relax."

Classes are generally held every Tuesday and Thursday, but Overland said it depends mostly on how many people sign up, and when. She also offers classes through the Lincoln Education Center.

Other than that, she sells studio time by the hour; either $10 an hour or $40 for an eight-hour punch card. All supplies for projects are sold by retail or wholesale at her shop, so visitors can get all they need in one spot.

Regular business hours are from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, but Overland said she'll occasionally make exceptions for people scheduling private classes.

She also does custom work for windows, doors or otherwise, and sells many of her smaller creations, like Christmas ornaments, business card holders and other small gifts.

"They make perfect little gifts that don't break the bank," Overland said. "Or for those people with 13 grandkids."

Overall though, she wants people to be open to a new hobby.

"You don't need to be an artist to do stained glass," she said.