A GLASS BLOWN FAMILY AFFAIR: Owning a store is a dream come true for Levitation’s father-daughter team
Levitation Gallery & Smoke Shop opened their doors in a Seekonk strip mall five years ago this month. This half-decade anniversary serves as a testament to Jonathan and Taylor Foster’s dedication to working together as a father-daughter team to provide a comfortable environment and showcase their love of both glass and family.
“It’s a family business,” Taylor says of the store. “We want the colors and vibes of the store to reflect on our love. We are trying to put out love.”
Opening the store was a dream come true for both Fosters. They’ve bonded during Taylor’s adult years and wanted to work together while being an independent family business where they could sell glass and other ‘cool gadgets.’ They tend to butt heads at times, but always even each other out and keep each other grounded.
“The family part was a big deal to me,” Jonathan says. “It’s a joy to own a business with my daughter.”
“When I was growing up, my dad worked in a corporate job,” Taylor says of her father. “He was making good money, but he was never totally happy doing it. He always had a dream of owning a retail store and selling all the cool accessories that he enjoys. It’s both of our dreams becoming a reality together and being able to support ourselves over our creation.”
Levitation Gallery & Smoke Shop prides themselves on having a plethora of accessories to choose from, in addition to tye-dye, T-Shirts, ashtrays and rolling trays. They also sell glass-blown pipes and pendants, including pieces made by Taylor and her boyfriend and mentor, Dan Ottone.
Taylor started blowing glass shortly after graduating high school. With Ottone’s guidance and classes, she became an experienced pipe and pendant maker. Though Levitation Gallery & Smoke Shop carries work by a variety of American glass artists, a lot of the hand pipes and pendants for sale are made by Taylor and Ottone. Ottone also distributes Taylor’s pieces through his wholesale glass business, Ottone Glassworks.
“Dan was my inspiration,” Taylor says happily. “I saw him blowing glass and thought it was really cool. Then we became a family! I love selling pipes that either Dan or I made. I get to see the person that gets to use the pipe.”
“Glassblowing is a skill that takes time and practice to learn,“ Taylor adds. ”It can take many tries to perfect an item. The perfect pipe has proper airflow. The holes have to be the smallest in the bowl, then the carb, and finally the mouthpiece has to have the largest hole. We get the glass up to temperature then shape it, blow an even bubble at the end, then pop a few holes.”
Having strong relationships with customers and local dispensaries is crucial to maintaining and growing Levitation Gallery & Smoke Shop. They want everyone entering the store to feel comfortable and accepted.
“Our business continues to evolve and we have some exciting projects in the works. Announcements will be made in the near future,” Jonathan says when discussing the popularity, growth and evolution of Levitation Gallery & Smoke Shop.
“The goal of opening our business was to create an atmosphere that’s welcoming for any type of person that comes in,” Taylor says. “I have customers from 21-80. I want them all to feel comfortable asking questions. I don’t want people to feel afraid to come in and look around. We wanted to make a place where people could find the new coolest devices.”
Levitation Gallery & Smoke Shop is located at 1200 Fall River Rd in Seekonk, MA.