The sound of a hammer pounding creations out of iron and the crackling of the fire from the blacksmith’s forge summon the feel of an Old West movie, but spending just a few minutes in the Crow Chandelier showroom, you realize this art is alive and well today. Located in the Dallas Design District, Crow Chandelier has become a staple among Dallas’ elite.
For the last 30 years, Crow Chandelier has been handcrafting chandeliers for some of the most exclusive homes and venues across North Texas, and beyond. “While some are content with lighting fixtures from big box retailers, our clientele requires not just a unique item, but something that is one of a kind,” explains partner John Olvera.
Olvera continues: “When a client approaches us with a new project, we attentively grasp their vision and desires to develop our plan and design. We take into account all aspects of the project: materials, colors, room dimensions. All of these items play a crucial role in the design and manufacturing.” Once the plans and designs are finalized and approved by the customer, then the manufacturing department takes over.
Crow’s designers do not limit themselves to iron; their bespoke chandeliers incorporate wood and even crystals into the designs. And, the company also manufactures fire screens, sconces and outdoor lanterns. Once a job is completed, the team transports the fixture to its new home where, relying on their vast experience and dedication, they install the fixtures to exact specifications.
Along with design and manufacturing, Crow also offers cleaning and restoration for any lighting. This work can be as extensive as electrical and structural modifications.
Founded in the mid ’80s by the late Bob Crow, Crow Chandelier grew out of his home garage and into one of Dallas’ premier destinations for designers, homebuilders and individuals with a keen eye for detail and tradition.
Crow grew up in the small town of Itasca, Texas. He began restoring and selling antique chandeliers, then decided to develop his own products and designs. “He was a very determined individual,” says Olvera. Over the years, Crow Chandelier grew from one man to a team of employees, whom Crow trained to design, build, install and sell his products. This dedicated team stayed with him and became, in his own words, “family.”
Crow’s desire was for his company to continue running and fulfilling his customer’s needs even after his death. Today, Olvera and partners Albert Mendoza, Albert Rodriguez and Roger Guzman have exceeded Bob Crow’s wishes. Mendoza explains: “Eventually Mr. Crow retired, but not completely. I think it was hard for him. While he was ready to take it easy, he was still an artist. He would come by just to check on us and give advice. Sadly, he passed away in 2012.”
The employees who inherited the company were all longstanding members of the Crow team. Each was molded and trained by Crow and had worked with him for 20 or more years.
“Our vision is to maintain and improve on what Bob taught us,” Guzman explains. “It’s hard not having him around, because we miss his eccentric personality and his genuine advice. How he saw things and how he ran the business still lives with us. Each of us was trained by him. He knew we would continue as he had taught us, and maybe improve along the way. We take pride in carrying on his name, and we handle each client with the same attention and respect he did.”
Bob Crow trusted his team to continue his legacy. Olvera, Mendoza, Guzman and Rodriguez continue to build on that trust and to make Crow Chandelier the best in its class.
Rick Villa is a freelance writer based in Dallas.