By Elton Callwood
When it comes to needing windows, doors, and anything else needed for a commercial or residential customer in a fair turnaround time, Wells Glass Shop, locally owned and operated, is the place to call.
Tough Love – was the start
Becoming an entrepreneur for most of us is a dream. We think it, study it, research it, prepare for it, and then with courage, like Nike we, ‘just do it.’ This was not the case with Ludwig Wells.
He was quite content working in his father’s carpentry shop in Pock Wood Pond. He thought that maybe one day, just like his father Luis Wells who took over his father’s carpenter shop, he too by the inherited expectation of his parents, take over the family-owned and operated business. The carpentry shop continued to grow, and other dimensions were added, such as glass cutting and fabricating, a task that became the sole responsibility of Ludwig and which he mastered.
One day without any warning, his father told him to pick up the glass and go on his own, for he can’t be under his wings anymore. Leaving the cushion of parents, an already established and successful business, to be on his own seemed a bit harsh and scary for the young Wells, but his father was serious. With no choice in the matter, he took what supplies and tools his father had and left. He found a little space in Purcell Estate, where he still operates from 15 years later, and set up his shop, which he calls Wells Glass Shop.
“Leaving from under the umbrella of my father’s business and setting up was a very slow and rough start”, Ludwig said. “No one knew I was here. Competition was stiff plus there was not much of a demand for glasswork,” he added.
His regular customers were persons in need of a car mirror or broken window and door repairs, which came in every now and then. However, with a small crew, he was able to stay afloat.
Then two years ago hurricane Irma struck the BVI. It is said, “In the midst of difficulties, there are always opportunities.” “So many people were looking for glass, windows, doors and the business picked up,” Wells said.
A well-rounded Shop
Ludwig said with a serious continence, “It gives me great joy as a Virgin Islander to say to my customers, that my stuff is made right here in the BVI.”
Wells Glass Shop now services the needs of residential, commercial and individual clients. “Any type of glasswork you need, windows and doors glass replacement, tabletop, glass partitions, vision panels, glass tinting, picture frames, rearview mirrors, bathroom glass enclosures, mirrors, mirrors closet doors, you name it, I can fix it, replace it or repair and install it,” he said proudly.
Wells Glass Shop is now heavily into aluminum fabrication of doors and windows.
After the hurricanes the demand grew, so Mr. Wells linked up with three overseas companies to supply materials. At first, they were reluctant to do business with him because they saw him as competition, but with the amount of materials he was ordering, they soon had a change of heart.
“The advantages of fabricating locally are great. I can go to your property or place of business, take measurements and fabricate windows and doors that can take in excess of 200 ml per hour winds. In addition, we fabricate kitchen/bathroom countertops, custom-made bathroom glass, and mirrors that fit perfectly every time and in good turnaround time,” He said.
In contrast, he added, “When you order [off-island], you have to wait which slows down construction time. You stand the risk of measurements being off when the product arrives or receiving the wrong product. The cost of ordering or travelling to purchase, shipping, clearance, transportation, at times storage, downtime and installation can be a bit much.”
Modern design and a dream come true
“It might have been a rough start, but I must say I respect my father and his vision. I now have a lucrative business because it deals with an essential element in building construction. Any home or commercial space is incomplete without properly installed windows, doors and glass accessories,” said the now more mature, seasoned and experienced entrepreneur.
In the past windows and doors were predominantly made out of wooden panels and glass. The windows, although trendy, had a few challenges. They faced termite infestation including the ravages of weather often rot the wood causing structural damage and expenses.
Wells Glass Shop aluminum frames provide a safe and more beautiful aesthetic. They are durable last longer and they offer a wide range of designs. No modern house is complete without aluminum-framed doors and windows and some creative glasswork.
Come into Wells Glass Shop in Purcell Estates or call us 284-540 6480. Email us at email@example.com, because, “Glass is our business.”