WESTON - Walk into Chip Turner's unassuming building along U.S. 33 here and you can watch him blow glass, buy a glass trinket or handmade item from more than 30 West Virginia artists whose goods he carries, check in a deer you shot, mail a package through FedEx, order a sign or buy some fresh green beans or squash.
The red-roofed building also is home to the Lewis County Convention & Visitor's Bureau. And though there's no sign for this, if you need a kiln of your own built, he can help with that, too. His company designed and constructed the largest glass furnace of its type in Canada.
The big sign on the building says Appalachian Glass Products and Services, but Turner has taken the business he started in 2001 and turned it into much more.
"We're sort of like an old general store," said Turner, a Lewis County native. A lot of folks have wondered why the heck he's an official game checking station for the state Division of Natural Resources.
For one thing, the area needed a game checking station. For another, Turner figured hunters, most often men, would pop in and notice he had nice gift items they could take home to their wives or girlfriends.
"Hey, it works," he said, smiling.
Turner first learned to blow glass, in all places, when he was in high school and it was offered as a class. His dad, Matt, is a retired machinist for West Virginia Glass who can be seen around the shop experimenting with glass himself.
The younger Turner, 46, perfected his craft by working at local factories such as West Virginia Glass, Louis Glass and Princess House Manufacturing, in positions ranging from glass blower to maintenance and sales. By 2001, he was ready to start his own company.
He's moved and expanded three times and the company now makes more than 100 products in 180 colors. Besides popular decorative globes and novelty items such as penholders, the company sells practical pieces such as stemware and vases.
"We're in 37 states. We're in 20-plus state parks," Turner said.
"Every single thing we make every day has a home before we make it," he added. "We make it today and the next morning, it ships out."
He said he has no idea just how many glass orbs his company makes, but it's a bunch. At less than $20 for most sizes, they are popular as gifts and with collectors. Turner recently was licensed through West Virginia University to make an exclusive gold and Mountaineer blue glass ball he expects will be popular during the Christmas season.
Visitors to the store can watch Turner or his apprentice, Sharon Tonkery, make glass balls and explain the process as they go.
Turner loves this part, and customers apparently do, too.
"I could look at this all day long," said a woman who popped in one recent Friday with a group.
Watching molten glass come in a glob from a kiln and slowly be rolled and blown into a colorful globe is inherently interesting, and Turner knows it.