It will be yet another shock in a tumultuous year in the glass industry, but it has become unavoidable. After 43 ½ years of continual operations in Portland, Uroboros will discontinue operations in early 2017. Our closure will be with pride in a job well done, and in an orderly step-by-step fashion over the next 9-12 months. While we certainly hope to negotiate a deal with a new owner to move Uroboros and restart production of its products in a new location, nothing is certain at this time.
First, A Big THANK YOU!
Along with many hundreds of employees over our 43 years, each and everyone one of you, whether in distributorship, retailing, production studios, or as individual artists have played a part making Uroboros the legacy art glass brand that it has become. We have worked closely with many of you for decades, have enjoyed your artistic and business successes, and sympathized with your difficulties. Thank you for your efforts and support over the years. All of us at Uroboros and I truly appreciate it!
Times have changed, and the fact is that the Uroboros business model and location has lost viability for the long term. This situation has developed partly due to the very high costs of meeting many new environmental, fire safety, and seismic regulations now required by our city and state. Also because of market factors, the urbanization and gentrification of our location, and by my impending retirement age. It is not any one of these factors, but a combination of all of them.
You will ask whether the business could be sold, and thereby continued so that you and others could continue their work, and our skilled staff could keep their jobs. This of course is my preferred outcome. I am already in active discussions with credible interested parties. My goal is to find a way to provide a continuation of jobs for our staff if at all possible, continuation of your supply of Uroboros’ unique products, and a continuation of the brand itself. If and when a change in ownership becomes settled, I will of course announce it publicly immediately. The individuals from our staff and I will personally assist the new owners to get up to speed on both the technical and visual attributes of our products.
Timetable (as forecast now):
- Sheet production, on the current limited color basis as required by Oregon DEQ, will continue until at least late-November, possibly longer for some items. We may create some new experimental Art Glass colors to supplement our current limited palette during this time. And, we are already working closely with the new owners of Spectrum to maintain your supply of as many System 96 colors as possible until they are in production in their new location next year.
- Frit, Stringer, Noodle & Rod production will continue from previously made Uroboros and Spectrum color until mid-2017.
- Sales of inventories on hand will continue until mid-2017.
Also, effective immediately:
- Credit sales will no longer be allowed. All purchases must be paid in advance, prior to shipment. We apologize for the inconvenience to many of you who have maintained credit accounts in good standing for many years; it’s not your fault! This is our only prudent option.
- Rationing of individual items is discontinued. Any customer may buy any quantity of any item, while supplies last.
In the remaining months, we will continue to provide you the same great service and outstanding products as we always have, and possibly a few new ones as we wind things up. And importantly, we will continue to actively work to find a new owner with the resources, technical expertise and product awareness to carry on the Uroboros brand for another 40 years!
Thanks again to all!
Eric Lovell, President and Founder