After working as a sales representative for several glass companies over a 20-year period, Dennis Rusk
fulfilled his dream of becoming an independent business owner after he and his wife, Lori, purchased ABC Glass Co. in 2001.
ABC Glass Co., which was originally founded in 1973, is a full-service glass shop in Phoenix with both residential and commercial divisions.
Services range from custom shower doors and glass tabletops to custom
mirrors and windows.
“We’re an old-fashioned glass shop,” Rusk said. “Windows are actually a small part of what we do,” he said — although repairing broken windows caused by golf balls or children’s toys isn’t rare.
People often bring in items that need glass replacement, such as curio cabinets, patio tables, lamps and end tables. They also repair single pane windows and patio doors.
“We don’t just fix the glass, we fix the rollers and clean them up to make them work better,” Rusk said.
People also often come in to purchase parts or to have them drill holes in glass for a variety of projects; one customer even brought in his bong.
The company has often made repairs at synagogues after acts of vandalism.
Occasionally, ABC Glass Co. helps preserve a piece of history, such as when they worked with Kimber Lanning, founder of Local First Arizona, when she moved the historic Wurth House across Roosevelt Street in downtown Phoenix. The house, built in 1911, was renovated and now serves as offices for Local First Arizona.
The house had old wood window frames that were damaged by termites, Rusk said. So everything came out, including the windows. ABC Glass installed new fiberglass windows that matched the house’s time period.
“We are very proud to be part of saving a bit of Arizona history,” he said.
What services do you provide?
“Our residential work includes mirrors, tabletops, window repair, window glass and full-window replacement, patio door repair and replacement and custom glass for kitchen cabinets, tabletops, shelves, etc.
“Our commercial work includes T.I. (tenant improvement) remodels and new construction. We have done many of the commercial buildings made out of red brick in downtown Phoenix. They mostly want a more modern look and to make them more energy-efficient. Our staff can also install storefronts and doors and we offer a 24/7 emergency board-up service for commercial customers.”
What do you think makes you
successful in this industry?
“Being part of the ‘glass community’ for 45 years certainly helps.”
How has the glass industry changed over the years?
“Glass has become more energy-efficient in the window world, with the new energy code helping to save money on utilities and energy.
“Because of the recession, different types of glass, such as colored glass, have gone away so we’re back to basics again. After the Environmental Protection Agency shut down one of the largest suppliers of stained glass, one of the largest distributors in town closed their doors nine months later.”
What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
“There are too many to just pick one! Customer referrals and repeat business, which helps us get to know a customer, is probably the most fulfilling.” JN