Artist James Stone in his Escondido studio. Courtesy photo

Award-winning art glass and mixed media artist James Stone said he has overcome many challenges in his business career. However, nothing has been more challenging than this year.

Stone, who owns his Escondido art studio with wife, Carol, said he saw revenue drop by 25 percent overnight.

“At first, we were a little lost,” Stone said. “This is the second time in three years we were forced to close our business due to no fault of our own. The first was in 2017 when a neighboring business caught fire and damaged the building to the extent that we had to move out. That was easy compared to this shutdown (because) we knew we had insurance that would help us recover. This time we had no idea where the recovery would come from. It felt like 9/11, the recession and the fire all rolled into one.”

Stone said he was forced to lay off an employee and seek financial support. Rather than dwell on the new challenges he was facing though, Stone decided to launch a new project.

“COVID Blues” handblown glasses by James Stone. Courtesy photo

Joining the new wave of subscription services, Stone unveiled the Collectors Club where subscribers receive limited edition hand-blown drinking glasses each month.

“Over the length of your subscription, you will collect a unique series of glasses,” Stone said. “Our clients love owning a variety of glasses. It makes it so easy to know which glass is yours.”

To kick off the Collectors Club, subscribers will receive the “COVID Blues” glasses, a piece of art that he hopes will resonate with his customers.

“During these difficult and troubling times, times of turmoil and pain that has seeped into every aspect of our lives here and around the world, we wanted to create an artistic piece that offers hope and inspiration,” Stone said. “We chose various blues to represent the oceans and the air, filled with light, sparkle and hope.”

Aside from the Collectors Club, Stone said he’s releasing a “Play with Fire” face mask and will work on new commission projects. More importantly, he wants community members to know the importance of working together through this difficult time.

“We are all challenged in some way, please keep in mind that there is hope and somehow together we will find a path through these troubling times to a place back to beauty, serenity and love,” Stone said.

For more information about James Stone or the Collectors Club, go to To receive the COVID Blues glasses, subscribers must sign up by July 22.