David and Teresa Darby plan to bid adieu to Glass Castles as they pursue retirement from the stained glass studio and gift shop they have operated since 1980. But first they need a buyer.
The Darbys hope to sell the store by December and after receiving interest from a potential buyer who later backed out, they decided to hire a broker.
“We’ve had that one little snag, but so far we haven’t had any true bidders out of the local community,” David Darby said.
While interest from bidders from around the country are welcome, Darby said he would prefer a local buyer. A local would already be established in the community, he said, and have a place to live and know the importance of Nacogdoches.
“An out-of-town buyer could decide they were not making enough money and close in a year or two,” Darby said. “Sometimes that works well and sometimes it doesn’t and you end up with downtown deteriorating.”
Commitment to the craft is important to the Darbys, and so is a commitment to a community that has welcomed them with open arms for nearly three decades.
“I’d like to see someone keep it going for another 40 years,” Darby said. “We’ve become part of the history of it, as opposed to being remembered as ‘Glass Castles used to be there on Main Street.’ We want it to continue and we want it to grow stronger.”
The Darbys started their business in Houston in 1980 before moving to Nacogdoches and opening a shop on North Street. Later, they made the move to East Main Street in 2000 and become a mainstay in the historic downtown district.
Enticed by stained glass, David took classes in Houston before opening a studio in his apartment. David later met Teresa, who was working in etched glass at the time, and the two would eventually get married and combine their talents to open Glass Castles in Nacogdoches.
Glass Castles has become larger than a household name in Nacogdoches and has catered to customers from cities such as Lufkin, Tyler and Longview. The annual Texas Blueberry Festival, for instance, has been a platform that the store has used to spread the name. The Blueberry Festival this past weekend was one of the better festivals in terms of sales including “a lot of credit card sales and a pretty good pile of cash,” Darby said.
Though the Darbys have aspirations of selling the store, they still plan to host their annual Stained Glass Class Kids Camp. Three sessions are scheduled over the summer that consists of three days per session from 10 a.m. to noon. The first session is from June 18-21, the second from July 9-12 and the third from Aug. 6-9. It is offered to ages 9 to 16 and costs $95 plus tax.