The only thing breaking at a local stained glass shop will be the hearts of some loyal customers and students as the store closes its doors for good this June.
After almost 30 years in business, owners Sherry and Gene Brewer plan to retire.
"It's been an absolute joy," Sherry said. "It was like I got to play for a living. We've been very blessed with this business."
Sherry said a higher power guided them into opening the shop in 1983 in Hayward after they took one beginners class together.
"I felt like the Lord gave me the message. I just felt like that was what he wanted me to do," she said.
About 2 1/2 years ago, next to on Castro Valley Boulevard.
Since opening, they've custom built stained glass creations ranging from church windows and lamps to kaleidoscopes and bowls for folks across the Bay Area.
Some of their local work can be found at Castro Valley's and
However, they're not only making stained glass, they're also teaching others how to do it themselves through a variety of classes.
"The day we opened our doors we had classes nicely full," Sherry said.
The classes include anywhere from 12 to 18 students who range from beginner to advanced skill-levels.
Andrew Camp, who lives a few minutes away from the shop, began taking classes two months ago and was already working on his second project — a stained glass window of the Virgin Mary.
"It's for my mom," he said. "We're Catholic."
For Sheryl Michaud, who's been doing glass work as a hobby on and off for the past 30 years, the classes offer her a chance to strengthen her skills.
She was working on a 3-foot window that she is hoping to eventually sell.
Despite the store closing its doors, several of its students are hoping to create a co-op to continue working on their glass work. Though it's still in its early stages, instructor and employee Steve Hill said they want to open in a nearby establishment, perhaps in San Leandro.
Sherry said the store is holding a sale prior to closing. Though she couldn't give a set date on when the store would close for good, she said it will likely be sometime in June.
Fore more information on I Love Stained Glass Shoppe, visit its website at www.ilovestainedglassshoppe.com/