About the Artist, Susan Jablon
"The feel of running my fingers through loose tiles, it's like no other experience. It's like running your fingers through gold coins or precious stones. There's a certain beautiful quality in glass tiles, a unique vibrance that can't be found in any other material."
Many years ago, a young child sat in a third floor play room, enraptured by a mosaic art kit given to her by her grandmother. A strip of warm light spilling in from a nearby window illuminated the tiny tiles, as small hands pieced together the first in what would become a lifetime filled with mosaic creations.
Susan Jablon, mosaic artist and founder of Susan Jablon Mosaics, can't recall a time that art wasn't a huge part of her life. Her first encounter with mosaics came as a child of five years old. She remembers fondly her grandmother's gift; a small moment in a child's life that would have such an impact as the years progressed.
Born in New York, Susan was raised in a large family. She attended Wells College, a (then) all-women's college in Aurora, NY where she studied English. After graduating in 1972, she moved to Binghamton and worked with the English Department at Cornell. It was during this period that Susan Jablon met her husband.
In the following years, Susan Jablon entered the business world, working as the Assistant Director of Personnel and later the Assistant Director of Sales and Promotions at a local hospital. She used her spare time focusing on her artwork, painting, drawing, sculpting, and mosaicing. Through mosaics, she became a collector of sorts, holding on to broken dishes and found objects that could eventually be incorporated into her art.
In 1984 Susan's first child, daughter Emily was born; two years later, son Samuel followed. Wanting to spend more time with her children, she took a break from her career and spent the next ten years raising her children.
In the mid-nineties, Susan Jablon once again entered the world of business, this time working in management for Barnes and Noble Booksellers. Susan recalls a point, when working for the large bookseller, that she realized she was ready to leave the corporate world behind. "The creativity was going out faster than it was coming in. I was at a point in my life that I was ready to reevaluate, and decide what I really wanted to be doing."
Not surprisingly, she began focusing on art. She started to teach mosaic classes out of her home. Her 'non-judgmental' art classes re-introduced adults to the creative process. "As children we are encouraged to create art, but as we get older things change." As class enrollment grew, Susan started to look for materials. Unhappy with the selection she could find and wishing to accommodate both her classes and her own artistic passion, Susan began buying in bulk on eBay and mixing the tiles to create her own unique blends.
Realizing that there was a market for glass mosaics, Jablon drew upon her experience in business and, with a good deal of help from her husband, started her own Internet-based company in 2000. Susan Jablon's knowledge of mosaics and her artistic flair made her blends easily stand out in the crowd. Taking a personal approach to Internet sales—focusing on her customers and treating her product as art—Susan Jablon Mosaics began to grow. In six years, her company has transformed from a self-run business based out of a guest bedroom in her home to a 12 staff operation run out of a 14,000 square foot factory.
From 2000 on, good business decisions (and a few lucky breaks) have helped Susan's business expand. In 2002, Susan Jablon was approached by TLC network producers and asked to help design for a few up-and-coming home renovation shows. One she hit the airwaves, demand for her product and reaction to the episodes that featured it attracted the attention of programs like Trading Spaces and Hell's Kitchen, which have since exposed millions of viewers to her artistic flair and shown all of America the beauty of glass tiles.
Why has Susan seen so much success in her years as a tile designer? "The business, the tiles, they're the my love and my life at this point," she says. "I take particular pride in the relationships I develop with my clients." Answering her own phone, she's involved in every project from start to finish: creating unique blends, making suggestions, and offering design advice. It's this personal touch that keeps Susan Jablon, the artist, and Susan Jablon Mosaics, a force to be reckoned with in the world of glass tile mosaics.