To honor the untimely passing of her mother, Brooke Weidenbaker moved the family business to Dallas, leaving her career in digital marketing and advertising to reinvent the LMB Art Glass gallery, which opened in the Design District in November. Founded by her mother, Margie Weidenbaker, the nearly 20-year-old business originated in Topeka, Kansas, and was later run as an online business when Margie semi-retired.
“When she closed her store in Kansas we had briefly talked about the potential for a Dallas gallery with me running it, but I was 28 at the time and fairly new to the city…and never followed through,” says Weidenbaker. “I decided to do it pretty quickly after we handled all the services.”
LMB Art Glass, formerly Glass Expressions, will continue to carry the same tried-and-true designs that made the business a success in Topeka, including glass sculptures, vases, bowls, perfume bottles, jewelry and ornaments.
“My mom really wanted to make sure she had a mix [of pieces] so people who couldn’t afford a $1,000 piece could still buy art,” says Weidenbaker, who is looking forward to adding large-scale sculptural pieces by glassmakers Markow & Norris, which she feels will appeal to the Dallas market. She’s also hoping to incorporate some of her older sister’s paintings. Weidenbaker has rebranded the store to appeal to a more metropolitan crowd, while still maintaining its personal sentiment.
The business began somewhat on a whim nearly two decades ago when Margie fell in love with glass art while on vacation with her husband, Larry, in San Antonio. She brought back five pieces from that trip according to Weidenbaker.
Larry had just built a commercial building for his business, and Margie, who was involved in interior design and art, had always wanted to own her own business, so she set up shop.
She eventually built her business into a large network that sourced glass art from artists around the country.
“I grew up with the gallery in my family. I actually came up with the name in eighth grade,” says Weidenbaker, who decided to use Larry’s, Margie’s and her own initials “LMB” for a more contemporary feel.
Weidenbaker looked to open in the Design District specifically because she saw a need in south and east Dallas for specialty glass. She says she fell in love with the Irving Boulevard location after seeing the windows in the front of the building.
“The Design District is really coming back, so I thought it was a great neighborhood to get started,” she says. “My brother and I were looking at spaces and just stumbled across the location and thought it was perfect. It’s actually happened quite a bit quicker than I initially planned, but I thought it was something that we shouldn’t let pass by.”
Weidenbaker, who holds an MBA from TCU, says she’s had a great career, but is thrilled to embark on this new endeavor.
“I’m always excited to learn new things, and I think this is the best opportunity for me to do so,” Weidenbaker says. And, she knows she already has a large backing behind her, including her older brother and sister, the artists, and all of the clients who have expressed support after her mother’s death.
“So many people who have purchased from her say when they look at their glass they’ll think about how beautiful it is and remember my mother,” Weidenbaker says.
Alaena Hostetter is a Dallas-based journalist who writes about all of her favorite things: art, fashion, culture, music, entertainment and food.