74ºF

"True Colors Neon" keeps Houston lit

A craft like no other, a local Houstonian has bent glass for almost 30 years

HOUSTON

True Colors Neon has been busy at work creating custom signs for 27 years. Owner, Dan Dobelmann moved to Houston in the late 80’s and took a job working for a neon shop on the north side of town. It was one of three jobs he was working at the time to make ends meet, including working at Kroger. He decided glass bending was a better career path and hasn’t looked back ever since. “If you work hard you can make a decent living, and this one’s a little different. If you like getting cut and burned and shocked neon is the perfect trade for you,” said Dobelmann. 

 

Like any craft, bending neon took Dan some time to master, “It takes some practice to learn how to bend neon. Usually about a year of practice before people start to get good at it. It’s similar to learning how to play guitar. You practice it every day and after about a year you can play something that people might want to listen to. So it’s just a matter of practice to get the motions, technique and handling down.”

 

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is one of the busiest times of year for Dan and his business. Many participants in the Barbecue Cook-off order personalized signs from Dan to light up their tent at night. True Colors works on about 20 different customized signs a month and additional work for the sign industry. “A lot of the signs you see as you’re driving around town, you’ll see big outdoor neon signs, and we’ve done quite a few of them that are out there. So just driving around town I’ll see a sign that we’ve made and it’s a good feeling,” said Dobelmann.

 

True Colors Neon is located in Southwest Houston at 9242 Monsey Drive.
You can check them out on Instagram here