Our story begins just over 25 years ago in the year 1992. Three artists and a young entrepreneur created a game-changing trifecta – Tile, Glass and Sustainability. Forging into uncharted waters to develop handcrafted tile with recycled bottle glass, Oceanside Glasstile was born…
“It takes a special kind of crazy courage to quit your gig, and live behind the shop in a 5th wheel trailer. The start-up was insanity and hard work with little pay, but the benefits were friendship, tasty waves and a daily burrito from Johnny Manana’s.”
Four amigos paddled into the uncertain waves that only dreamers can ride. An experimental business centered on craft and sustainability with a healthy dose of California beach mojo, this humble backyard operation grew its roots in Oceanside. These glass makers broadened their horizons of artistic expression inspired by travel, nature and modern design. With customers who shared their vision for a renaissance of art tile, they helped pioneer a new era. The adventure was catalyzed by a boundless spirit of innovation as Oceanside made waves across the design and building industry.
Quickly outgrowing the shop on Cleveland St. in Oceanside, we expanded to a funky factory down Coast Highway in Carlsbad. The old barrio WWII era buildings were perfect for a glass production line. With homegrown equipment and a salvaged conveyor oven (lehr), the founders could feel the swell picking up. The housing economy, product desirability and design trends all lined up to produce a perfect storm that propelled the team from a small shop to a more sophisticated enterprise. In 2001 with a continued commitment to innovate, the company bought a much larger building in Carlsbad and outfitted a new manufacturing facility with state of the art equipment.
“Long before the words “green building” were commonly used, Oceanside was up-cycling beer bottles into high-end tiles destined for beautiful homes. This plentiful raw material was and still is our primary glass ingredient. ”
As the market matured and Oceanside wasn’t the only surfer attempting to ride these powerful waves, we faced some important long-term decisions. After 12 plus years of intense work creating a solid product category in our industry, we embraced the opportunity to dominate the high-end glass market and again built a larger factory across the border in Baja California.
The lessons of change and agility were not lost on us as the economy stood still during the radical recession that disrupted so many lives and businesses. We remained true to our vision of tile, art and glass despite pressure from all sides. In 2016, the world of art glass appeared to be the verge of collapse. Renown manufacturers Spectrum Glass and Uroboros Glass announce closure resulting in devastation to the art glass community (including Oceanside Glass & Tile who utilized their glass in many product lines). So with fearless creativity and a hunger to keep art glass alive Oceanside Glass & Tile made a phone call that would change the history of art glass forever …