Like the glass blowing studio she dreamed to open, Rebeccah Byer knew she needed its name to personify a learning place, a teaching hub and a furnace all in one. After reaching out to one of her self-proclaimed “word nerd” friends, she had multiple name contenders that could measure up, but it wasn’t until they landed on “olio” that she knew it was the one.
At its core ‘olio’ means, ‘hodgepodge, a miscellany, or a dish of many flavors. To boot, Byer also just loved how ‘olio’ effortlessly and simultaneously described the perfect balance of uneven symmetry and simplicity. She knew that word would convey the mission behind her unique concept of mixing business, learning, and art.
Today it is not unusual to discover The Olio’s large garage doors opened, revealing the blazing furnace with guests and customers eagerly observing or engaged in a hands-on lesson. No matter the level of participation, onlookers are captivated by easy-going conversations and lessons all while Byer, business co-pilot Sarah Band, and their crew of teenage apprentices twirl blowpipes that will eventually transform red-hot molten glass into pieces of art.
Adjacent to the studio is the retail shop where shoppers admire and purchase ornaments, paper weights, drinking glasses, and keepsakes that are all made from 100 percent recycled waste glass, curated locally.
Just five minutes from downtown Winston-Salem, The Olio is at 840 Mill Works Street, Winston-Salem. To learn more visit online at theolio.org.