Raising a Glass to Toledo

Egads co-owner Remy Darby smiles in front of a colorful mural as he holds a set of Toledo Spark drinkware.

 “You’ll Do Better in Toledo.” It’s a phrase that represents the Glass City’s optimism and potential – one that’s endured for over a century. For us, the phrase has been more than a hopeful tagline. It’s kept its promise. And we're hoping to return the favor to the city that’s made it possible in a small, but meaningful way.

Hi! We're Remy Darby and Jeff Ball, co-owners of the drinkware brand Egads, where we specialize in screen printing retro designs on Libbey glasses. We’ve been around since 2018, creating our colorful, kitschy inventory in a former trophy shop in south Toledo. We sell our drinkware online at our website and also on Etsy, where the digital traffic has earned us steady growth over the past few years.

Egads co-owners Remy and Jeff smile as they clink glasses featuring elements of the Toledo flag design.

But for other area businesses, the past few years have been tough. Pandemic pressures and a shift in the flow of workers commuting into the city have forced many Toledo favorites to shut their doors permanently.

It’s important to us that we support the places and the people that are making our community more magical. We want to give our favorite Toledo spots a boost!

To help this goal come true, we're releasing a special drinking glass set named Toledo Sparks, with proceeds benefiting local businesses. The first on the list is House of Dow.

Jacob Parr, Jeff Ball, Remy Darby and Alan Dow pose with the proposed Toledo flag at House of Dow.
"Anyone who’s visited House of Dow knows that it’s more than just an incredibly cool vintage shop – it’s a hub for connection in our city," Remy said. "We want to do what we can to show our fellow small businesses the love they deserve."

Our new drinkware set features two unique designs, inspired by the proposed Toledo flag design by Jacob Parr. A bold grid of yellow sparks framed within blue and white retro lines, and an eye-catching wrap of blue and white triangles featuring the yellow spark. Each set of four includes two of each design. 

The glasses represent the spark of creativity and vitality that we hope to keep going strong for the Glass City.

The proposed Toledo flag is framed by the city's skyline at sunrise.

“This is what the push to reimagine the Toledo flag has always been about. Community adoption that inspires hometown pride and sparks creativity in new and unexpected ways,” Jacob said.

For Jeff, paying homage to his hometown has been a rewarding project.

“We use Libbey glasses. And now, we’re printing new Toledo icons on them,” he said. “It’s kind of a full circle moment, and that feels pretty cool.”

Jeff is a Toledo native, attending Harvard Elementary and Bowsher High School before eventually relocating to Colorado, where he and Remy met and married. When we sold our Denver home in 2016, we saw an opportunity to take their return and reinvest it in Toledo.

“We were able to purchase three properties and start Egads in Toledo. There aren’t many places left in the country where you can do that,” Jeff said. “It’s given us the ability to create a life where we can focus on building our business while still enjoying everything the city and region has to offer.”

A GIF animation of the Toledo Sparks Drinkware set features the city's downtown skyline reflecting in the Maumee River.
House of Dow's owner Alan Dow has been a vital part of Toledo’s Uptown renaissance, both in business and social justice activism. They're a vocal advocate for supporting local restaurants, stores and makers because they say that’s what makes the city great.

"We are super excited to host the launch of Egads' Toledo Sparks collection, because it brings vintage and local design together," Alan said. "And we know the future of Toledo is in the creative endeavors of the people who live here."

Only 200 sets of the glassware will be available and House of Dow gets the exclusive local release! The Toledo Sparks glasses are $50 for each set of 4 in-person or $55.95 online, with proceeds of all sales benefiting House of Dow.

House of Dow is open 12-6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday!

House of Dow
1501 Adams St.
Toledo, OH 43604

Eight-pointed, golden-yellow spark shapes interact with bright blue and white geometric shapes as they wrap around a quartet of drinking glasses.