glass half-empty/glass half-full

We’re having a half-empty moment here in Reach glass-land. While we’ve got some great designs set for the holidays, and have backed up to some amazing things for spring and Easter, we are STILL down to a single large kiln and one very small kiln, with “Christmas in July” staring us in the face. We lost two kilns to burnt up elements during the holiday season, due to age and extremely heavy use. It’s been 3 months since we ordered the parts. The company is not known for their customer service, and we’re experiencing it in a very big way. We have glass stacked everywhere waiting to be fired. Our volunteers can’t cut, and our clients can’t work until we can clear space on the tables. It’s come to the point where I’ve called upon a dear friend to see if he could order a new kiln for us. He thinks he can get an enormous, custom kiln for us that, while ridiculously expensive, will probably beat the repair parts here, and he can get us a good deal. He loves Reach. And THIS kiln company IS known for it’s customer service. So we’re edging back to glass half-full.

Wood Texas w Lone Star Heart inset

Wood Texas w Lone Star Heart inset

Pushing us even closer was SpringFest! We had a wonderful time, selling so much glass, it was reminiscent of the holidays! People seemed to enjoy the new Easter glass and Spring glass. The Cattails collection got a lot of attention. It’s a personal favorite of Eleticia’s and mine. We love the different colors, and the dragonflies are gorgeous! A huge hit was the debut of the Wood Texas with Reach glass inserts! We sold out of our samples before the doors were officially open and were taking special orders all day. It was so unexpected. Adam Foulkrod, the wood artist, was on-hand and has been building Texas shapes non-stop! Ok, now our glass is seriously filling up!

Aside from fusing, the crew has been working diligently on holiday glass, cutting, gluing, etc. Wait till you see the designs we have come up with for 2019! And this year’s Limited Edition ornament is so adorable, yet so amazingly complicated, that it may be limited to 12, so buy yours early!

There has been so much laughter and fun in my office, the glass studio and the gift shop as we design, cut, create and sell. Everyone of us love what we’re doing. Underlying it all this year is a little bit of panic and hysteria, however, as we try to deal with broken equipment and lack of kilns and try to catch up. Pray for us!—Colleen

OFF AND RUNNING!

First, THANK YOU! Thanks to all our wonderful customers who made this past holiday season the very best ever! Thanks to Eleticia and our amazing volunteers who worked so hard in the studio with our client-artisans, and thanks to our gift shop and craft show volunteers who help sell the finished product! We were BUSY! So busy we burned out three of our five kilns. So busy that our end-of-year week-long inventory took only took one day because we’d sold out of almost everything in the shop!

We’ve been working hard making glass to refill.. We’ve already got some very cheerful Spring glass out, featuring a Bee motif. St. Patrick’s Day Shamrocks are also out, so get your Green while you can. We’re planning our Holiday collections now, and they’re going to be fabulous.

Other excitement:

We’re partnering with Cy Fair Federal Credit Union, and they are generously displaying and selling our glass at their new location at the corner of SH 6 and FM 529. Please check it out and let us know what you think! And we’re collaborating with a local artist who is making wood pieces into which we’ll insert our glass….look for more about this soon. WOW! So many good things in 2019!

St. Patrick's Day 2019.png

Celebrating our "Napkin Queen," Beth Wood

Along with fused glass, clients in the Enterprise program at Reach Unlimited imprint napkins to earn a paycheck.  Our unchallenged "Napkin Queen" is Beth Wood, an extraordinary Reach volunteer in many capacities.  Beth is also a former board member, wife of a glass volunteer and sister to beloved client Marguerite (sadly now deceased.)  Beth volunteers in many other areas of the community, including her church, but joins us weekly for several hours to help the clients imprint hundreds of napkins special ordered for weddings, bridal showers, birthdays, baby showers, parties, clubs, or just because!  She knows all of the clients by name, and we look forward to seeing her walk into the studio every week.  Thanks, Beth!

Beth & Marguerite.png

Beth and her sister, Marguerite

A Grand Re-Opening for the Reach Unlimited Gift Shop!

Many thanks to the Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce for a wonderful Ribbon Cutting Ceremony as we "officially" re-opened the Reach Unlimited Gift Shop!  We had a big crowd of Chamber members, Reach staff and board members, Gift Shop regulars, friends and family as we celebrated with food, fellowship, and of course, shopping!  Special thanks were given to our Reach Angels, the donors, volunteers and hard workers that made the rebuilding and renovations to the shop possible:  Carmen and Steven Shell, Terri Zacharias, Don Graff, Philip Blair and Erin Gilligan, and Karen Forde.  We also announced that the studio where our fused glass is made is officially being named the Dr. David N. Shell Memorial Glass Studio, in honor of the man who helped to develop our Enterprise program.  A fused glass plaque, created by his son and grandson will be mounted at the door of the studio.  

It was a very special day!  The Gift Shop has a new, clean look inside and out, and will hopefully be able to withstand the weather that Houston can dish out for at least 10 more years!