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Monday, March 1, 2021

Top 100 Woman-Owned Business: Nix Door and Hardware: In second career, Nix finds door to success

Nix Door and Hardware

921 E. Waggoman St.

Fort Worth 76110



Whether it’s her love of vintage cars or a sunny, upbeat outlook, Diane Nix has an ability to successfully roll along.

Nix, who is about to turn 61, admits her life hasn’t always been predictable or easy. As a young single mother she left her hometown in Ohio and moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where she started over with a new career in real estate.

After marrying the owner of a Fort Worth door and hardware business, she continued to navigate the competitive world of commercial real estate. After she retired, her husband, Michael, asked her for help with a project at Nix Door and Hardware.

Happy to oblige, she soon found herself back at work in another career. When her husband died suddenly at home six years ago, Nix became owner of the business and helped shepherd it to become one of the most successful door and hardware firms in the state.

“After Michael passed away in 2011, the team at Nix pulled together through our personal losses and through one of the toughest construction periods in our history,” she said.

Since then, the economy has improved, construction has resumed, the firm’s sales force has expanded and business has never been better, she said.

A Fort Worth native, Michael Nix started the company in 1983 with five employees operating in 1,500 square feet of rented space in South Fort Worth. At the time, Diane had been living in the area for about two years.

“I came to Fort Worth for an interior design convention and fell in love with the area, the people and all the growth here,” she said. “I don’t miss the snow and cold at all.”

With the move, she started a career in commercial real estate management, working first for a company in Dallas and then for Woodmont Properties in Fort Worth. She met Nix in 1985 and the two married in 1987, creating a blended family with his daughter and her son.

The project that drew her into her husband’s business was to help set up computer automation of business operations.

“I’m a fixer,” she said. “It was one project after another and here I am 21 years later.”

Nix’s experience in commercial real estate has been a boon to the business because she has a 360-degree view of the construction and real estate industry, she said.

Most of the company’s business is in residential real estate, serving individual homeowners, remodelers and homebuilders. Customers include D.R. Horton, Grand Homes, Kensington Estates Custom Homes and many more.

Besides selling products on the market, Nix works directly with manufacturers to create new and custom products for customers.

The company has grown into a 50,000-square-foot showroom space with nearly 50 employees.

In addition to doors and hardware, the business offers fireplaces and windows. The company sells an array of products to savvy customers who have identified what they want through internet searches, she said.

As a result, customer service is a top priority for Nix and her employees.

A source of pride for her is working alongside her son, Brian, who runs the fireplace division for Nix.

When she is not working, she enjoys time with her granddaughter, Sarah, a graduating high school senior, and indulging her passion for vintage cars known as street rods.

Collecting and selling these cars was an interest shared by Nix and her husband throughout their marriage. They travelled across the country in search of vehicles to add to their collection.

“There’s no telling how many we owned over all the years,” she said. “Over 100 for sure. You buy one, then two then three … it goes on and on.”

The couple’s collection included refurbished cars dating to the 1930s, some with souped-up engines that were very fast. After her husband’s death, she moved from their home on acreage with a large garage and sold most of the collection.

For a while she hung on to her favorite, a 1947 Ford Tudor, but recently sold that, too. Now she’s in the market for something new.

“I’m searching for a ’65 [Pontiac] GTO,” she said. “Preferably black on black.”

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