The Glass Angel is celebrating 25 years of business in downtown Burlington. Visitors can discover stained glass and other fine gifts handcrafted by more than 120 artists. Stained glass artists will find a full line of tools and supplies, as well as a variety of class offerings taught by Lisa Willis, the owner of The Glass Angel.


“I am still excited to come to work because it stirs my creative juices. Teaching is a way to pass the joy of creating along to others. I still enjoy making custom pieces for customers,” Willis says. “When people enter the store, they are delighted by the variety of gifts and the huge selection of stained glass sheets and supplies. Most everyone is amazed at my huge M&M collection, which is displayed on three walls.”


While less common today, working with stained glass is far from a dying art. However, stained glass retail stores have largely disappeared across the country. According to Willis, more than 75 percent of stained glass stores that were doing business just 10 years ago are now closed.


“Customers travel several hours just to be able to purchase stained glass or get advice,” Willis says. ““With over 30 years of teaching experience, I try to provide as much help as I can.”


The Glass Angel has been located at 224 East Front Street in Burlington since August 1996. During that time, Willis has witnessed the revitalization and continued growth of the downtown district.


“I was one of the only businesses on my end of Front Street for a while,” Willis recalls. “Seeing new restaurants and watering holes join our existing restaurants has added a lot of activity.  That activity feeds retail business.”


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