Valentine’s Day profile

The kilns at Studio 45 aren’t the only things that are burning slow and steady on Lopez Island.

Local glassblower Rahman Anderson and his wife Jennifer Anderson have been going strong for 13 years. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the couple shared their insight on what it takes to maintain a fruitful relationship.

“When I was younger, I think I expected relationships to be perfect,” Rahman said. “But it’s a journey. We were together for many, many years before I ever really imagined that we would get married together forever. It came out of things working over time. Our desire for a specific outcome.”

“Rahman is definitely my best friend,” Jennifer added.

The couple first met in 2009. Jennifer is from Ohio. After graduating from college she made her way north job-surfing through Ferndale and Bellingham. Eventually, she ended up on Lopez Island in 2005 after scoring a job at the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and working at the Galley Bar and Grill. It was at both of those jobs that she had run into Rahman multiple times. For her job at the Sea Shepherd Conservation, she had to buy glass from Rahman for her work, and they began sparking up a conversation at the Galley.

Rahman is from Lopez, where his parents are the founding members of McCauley Farm, which they purchased in 1975. His upbringing on Lopez was a very rural one, as he spent a portion of his childhood living in a teepee with his mother as she built a cabin on the property.

Since, then, he never really left the island, he said. While he moved for college and took some trips to travel, he still would visit periodically, and since 1995 he has made the island his permanent residence.

The couple was married in 2018 on Rahman’s family property and much of the Lopez community was invited.

“We got married at a later age than what is conventional, but you know, I think that made it all the more meaningful,” he explained. “We didn’t get married because it’s what we thought we had to do, we didn’t get married because our family pressured us. We did it because we wanted to, so to stand there together in front of our community was really amazing.”

Since that day, Rahman and Jennifer said that one of the biggest lessons they’ve learned for maintaining their marriage is flexibility.

“To be able to grow and change over time and understand each other while you grow and change is very important,” he said.

Jennifer added that growing along with her husband while he expands his glass blowing business has had a large impact on their marriage as well. While he has been in the business for much of his life, he opened Studio 45 in 2017.

“It’s a huge endeavor to take on,” she said. “So many things can go wrong, so it’s important to be a team.”

Rahman then chimed in and said, “I couldn’t do it without her. She supports my dreams and visions.”

Rahman’s mother passed away about a year into his marriage. He explained what a monumental moment that was in his relationship with Jennifer, as they were able to support each other through their pain, grief and loss.

Moving forward, Jennifer said that she is excited for the years to come, particularly the opportunity to travel more together as a couple.

“It’s been 13 years and it just keeps getting better and better,” Rahman said.

“Yeah, we keep realizing that,” Jennifer laughed.