The Bauts know a thing or two about glass.
That knowledge helped them walk away $5,000 richer last Friday after the first-ever NEPA Sharks event at The Woodlands Inn.
Based on the ABC hit “Shark Tank,” seven area business owners were invited to compete against one another for the $5,000 as they dished details on their companies, finances and more. A panel of business experts sat in judgment of the presentations.
Golden Mile Funding LLC, of Kingston, along with the Times Leader Media Group were behind the event.
Swoyersville-based The Baut Studios has been serving the area’s glass needs for nearly a century, said studio president Conrad Baut. His grandfather started the business in 1927 after a decade of apprenticing with other companies and his father joined the family business after World War II. Conrad is now preparing his own children to run the business, two of whom made a pitch to the “sharks.”
“Since I was a little kid, I have been involved with the business. My father taught me everything I know about sales, art and engineering,” said Conrad. “Now, I am teaching my four kids the same.”
The Baut Studios specializes in various types of stained glass. The company designs and manufactures both leaded and lead-free stained-glass windows, restores historic glass pieces and creates high-end aluminum entrance and doorways. Its clients range from schools and churches to businesses and homes.
“You can see our work all over the Wyoming Valley, throughout the country and in several foreign countries,” Baut said. “We have received multiple Keystone Awards for Outstanding Projects from the Home Builders Association of Northeast Pennsylvania. However, our greatest honor is having our work in the Vatican’s art collection.”
Baut said he wanted the $5,000 to help fund the architectural testing of his firm’s aluminum doors. Now that he’s won, the company can do just that.
“A successful architectural test will demonstrate our doors’ resistance to air leakage, water penetration and structural wind loads to certify that they are weather tight and structurally sound,” Baut explained.
For those looking to start their own business venture (and stay in business), Baut said the most important step is to always have a plan.
“We would just like to say that it is such an honor to be recognized by the local business community. We feel like there were so many great businesses involved in (NEPA Sharks) and we hope that even more will compete next year.”
Visit Baut.com for more information.