By Reginald Hall
Examine the glass designs decorating your nearest church or workplace. Perhaps you’re staring at glasswork created by Mark Kidd, 53, owner of Majeki’s, a stained-glass studio at 7212 Germantown Ave. in Mt. Airy. Majeki’s sets itself apart from traditional stained-glass businesses by also carrying distinctive gift items from American artists.
“We have sculpture work from artists in Maine, pottery from artists in South Carolina, and I create glass handbags that are one-of-a-kind,” Kidd said.
The majority of requests for Majeki’s services come from people desiring home restorations and improvements in churches and synagogues. Majeki’s created its largest window at Mt. Airy’s Enon Church. Majeki’s local success has also allowed for an expansion of its stained glass services to residential homes in New York and Washington, D.C.
Kidd is responsible for a large part of Majeki’s success. Interestingly, the decision to create a stained-glass business originated from something that many people relate to — corporate burnout and a desire for self-expression.
“I was working for corporate America, and I wouldn’t get off from work until 2 a.m., and all my friends were asleep,” Kidd said. “I was walking in Center City one day and saw a store selling stained-glass supplies. I had an artistic background but could never make a living from wood sculpture, painting and living sculpture. After a while, I started just making things, and my friends would say, ‘Hey you should make that for me to give as a gift’, and it evolved.”
Kidd’s artistic talent gradually developed after being noticed by a teacher while in 4th grade at Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. Saturdays found Kidd spending his time learning at a free art school sponsored by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“Upon graduating public school, I wanted to be an art teacher”, Kidd said, “but I went to school and went to corporate America. I was able to get out of it and do what I love to do.”
Majeki’s hasn’t escaped America’s struggling economy. This has forced Kidd to evaluate his business and examine some new methods of sustaining business.
“In the last couple years it’s hard with the economy, and business can take you south. You have to be creative to find new ways to generate business. But by the same token I’m right doing what I want to do.”
The name Majeki comes from the first two letters in the first, middle and last names of Kidd. The style reflects the personal commitment Kidd has put into his business. In a perfect world, Kidd would open another Majeki’s.
“I would love to have more than one Majeki’s, but because it’s such a personal, of-the-heart business, it’s hard to find people who are willing to put their heart into it. I can bring helpers in all day long, but you have to feel it and have passion behind it.”
For more information, call 215-242-1586.