I don’t always write the lead story for the daily USGNN e-newsletter, but the past couple of weeks have had me pulling double-duty. In addition to my USGlass editor responsibilities, I’ve also been compiling the USGNN lead stories. Sure, it’s added to my daily workload, but it’s also given me a chance to step back and look at the industry through a different set of eyes.

First off, let’s talk about kitchen and bath trends. This is a market segment that saw a good bit of activity over the past year, as many homeowners took on DIY projects to make updates and improvements to their homes. We all know that kitchens and baths help sell houses, so it’s not surprising that homeowners are finding ways to spruce up these rooms. Bathrooms continue to become increasingly lux, and a high-end, all-glass shower enclosure certainly adds to that.

Speaking of the kitchen, an AIA survey also found that homeowners are looking for ways to bring more light into their kitchens. The survey of residential architects found that 41% of respondents are seeing demand for more daylight/natural light through larger windows in the kitchen. Larger windows means large lites of glass—and that’s certainly good news.

310 Tempering based in Louisville, Ky., is one company that’s involved with shower door fabrication. The company has only been in business since 2015, but just recently announced its expansion to a second location, this one in Maryland. I’ve had the chance to speak with company President/CEO Greg Abrams for a few different articles over the years, and I’ve been impressed with how he and his team have been focused on slow and steady growth, serving their specific niche. I think they may be a company to watch, so keep an eye out for where they go next.

I also had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Norman Foxworth, founder of Dependable Glassworks in Covington, La. He is almost 80, and still goes to work every day, the first one in and the last one out. We had such a nice conversation, and I loved hearing all about how he’s grown the company and the way he’s so dedicated to still learning every day. He also praised the glass shops around the country he’s visited when traveling, and how they were also so kind and welcoming, sharing with him the things they were doing. Visiting with others and sharing knowledge is a great way to get a new view and perspective on the way things are done.

And speaking of new views, by way of this blog, please join me in welcoming our newest team member, Luly (pronounced Lou-Lee) Hernandez. She will be taking the reigns as the USGlass assistant editor/USGNN editor and we are so excited to have her with us. Luly is a University of Florida graduate and absolutely wowed us throughout the interviewing/pre-hiring process. She will be taking over the daily USGNN leads, so you could get a call or email from her soon. And, hopefully, as we continue to make our way to the other side of the pandemic, we will all be traveling again by the fall and you can meet her in person when we gather again in Atlanta.