60 years & counting: Ace Hobby reaches milestone through determination
NEDERLAND — Ace Hobby started in 1960 by Port Arthur native Dick Scully and his two brothers. Since then, the store has changed hands from one family member to another passing from generation to generation as a true family-owned business.
Six years ago, the torch was passed to Felicia Rossi, daughter of the late Dick and Janice Scully.
Rossi is now preparing the store for its 60th year celebration this summer by looking back on all the challenges, cheers and changes that has made Ace Hobby what it is today.
Rossi, 58, chalks up the store’s long tenure to hard headedness and determination.
“We make it work because we want to make it work,” she said. “We’ve been through a lot of changes. Have we gotten out of most hobbies and crafts? Yes. The Internet hasn’t helped, but we never give up.”
At one time or another, every member of the original Scully family has worked at Ace Hobby, keeping its “family owned” tag true to name.
“My kids have worked here,” Rossi said. “My nieces and nephews have worked here. It’s always been a true family owned business. At one point in time we had baby beds in here.
“I also have three other siblings, two sisters and a brother, and we all have worked here at one time or another. To this day, when we get busy, the family always comes out to help.”
The store started as an arts-and-crafts establishment, selling model airplanes, remote control cars and indoor slot tracks.
The original Ace Hobby was located in Port Arthur for 45 years until Hurricane Rita swept through Southeast Texas, destroying the store and Rossi’s childhood home.
“We lost everything in Rita,” Rossi said. “When I say everything, we lost my mom’s house, the business, my dad’s shop — everything. The worst part was we didn’t have insurance. I thought we were done, that was the end of Ace Hobby store.”
But, what seemed like the end was only a new beginning.
“My sister and I lived in Nederland and were out assessing the damage of the store when we saw a building for rent,” she said. “It clicked to both of us; we have to reopen and we have to reopen in Nederland.”
Ace Hobby reopened in Nederland in 2005, outgrowing its small confinements before situating at 1619 Nederland Ave., where it now permanently stands.
The shop sells customized T-shirts, holiday baskets, embellishments, signs and “a little bit of everything else.”
So, while Rossi said she’s seen many hobby stores come and go, Ace Hobby remains and she wants to thank her many volunteers and loyal customers for that satisfaction.
“These 60 years have been hard, but our loyal customers have made it work for me, and our stubbornness has made it work for us,” she said.
While preparing for the store’s big birthday bash in July, Rossi said she continues to work diligently and is preparing for the next busiest holiday — Feb. 14.
Ace Hobby is currently selling specialized Valentine’s Day gift baskets for men, women and kids. Employees will also arrange and package pre-bought gifts for customers and deliver the gift locally.
For more information, visit Ace Hobby on Facebook or call 409-729-4223.
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