by Libby James
photos by Libby James
Every day its business as “unusual” at Northern Colorado Stained Glass Supply in Laporte. Owner Ruth Wallick has operated her eclectic business since 1976 when she brought her expertise in stained glass with her when she moved from Colorado Springs.
Today her expansive shop provides stained glass, supplies, crystals, and beads to customers from all over the area. The shop offers classes and does repairs on stained glass lamps, a specialty for Wallick. For many years, until she could no longer compete with Chinese products, she made and sold lamps. While she has no formal training, she took to the work easily. Her mother was a seamstress and she learned to work with her hands early in her life.
For ten years now, Wallick has been working on a large panel and many windows for the First Presbyterian Church in Sterling, Colorado. The central panel is completed and Wallick anticipates completing the project within the year.
As a resident of Laporte, she has been a strong supporter of NoLaPorteGravel, a non-profit organization formed to oppose a gravel pit and concrete batch plant coming to the quiet rural community. To help fund the organization, Wallick has come up with a unique way to donate to the effort.
Customers who arrive with a broken item for repair may decide they don’t love it enough to spend the money to repair it. When they are unsure of what to do with it, Wallick suggests they donate it to the cause. She repairs the item, quite often an antique stained glass lamp, and then sells it for the cost of repairs. The money she receives she donates to NoLaporteGravel. The life of the item is saved and the non-profit benefits. A beautiful transom with two sidelights removed from a Fort Collins residents will be a real bargain for the buyer and at the same time contribute $1,000 to NoLaporteGravel. The non-profit also has a GoFundMe site: Help Save Laporte from the Pit.
Wallick is assisted in her shop by Trish Ruble who teaches classes and has been a volunteer for 12 years and Nan Mooney who has been with Wallick for 30 years.
Northern Colorado Stained Glass Supply is located at 3000 N. Overland Trail and is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. Ask about classes at (970) 482-7655.