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Absolute Glass Owner Works Hard to Stay in Business

Chris Burchell: "I’m so happy that I’ve been able to survive.”

Carlye Burchell might not be alive today if it wasn’t for her father, Chris.

Chris owns on Route 23. He specializes in repairing, replacing, and installing damaged vehicle windshields. Carlye’s car flipped over eight times on Route 80 a few years ago. Her car was totaled, but she walked away from the accident because of the work her father did. The windshield prevented the roof from completely caving in and crushing Carlye.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that doing as good of a job as I did on that windshield saved my daughter’s life,” said Burchell, a Wayne resident and DePaul Catholic High School alumnus. “My work is everything, it’s my livelihood and how I make my living. I owe it to my customers, and to myself and my family, to do the best job I can, with every customer, every day.”

Times have been difficult in recent years for Burchell and his wife Jennifer. They have been at their Route 23 location for almost five years. Business used to be booming and he employed 10 people.

National insurance companies have really affected Burchell’s business. They offer discounted rates because they cut a lot of their vendors a few years ago, including Burchell. Since 2008 he’s laid off seven employees and Hurricane Irene covered his business with several feet of water.

Burchell does most of his jobs on the road now with one of his two trucks. He used to own five.

“You can’t cut any more than we’ve cut,” Burchell said.

Instead of using an adhesive that dries in one hour, he uses one that dries in two and saves more than $100 a case. He uses two or three cases of it a week.

Jennifer said that it is difficult to get ahead, and stay ahead, in the current economic climate.

“Every time you get two steps ahead, you go one step back,” Jennifer said.

Burchell and his wife wait as long as possible before they pay their bills so they can keep as much money in the bank as possible, for as long as possible.

Burchell said he largely relies on world of mouth and repeat customers to stay in business. He often puts off paying bills until right before they are due in order to keep as much money in his bank account as he can, just in case something catastrophic happens.

“The revolving nightmare of just surviving here is just incredible,” Burchell said. “But I’m not a quitter, I’m a fighter and fighters are tough guys, and tough guys never quit.”

Burchell family has strong roots in town. His family has lived here since the 1930s. His mother owned the Olde Turnpike Tolehouse on Route 23 for 25 years.

“It means’ the world to me that I’m here in businesses,” Burchell said. “I’m so happy that I’ve been able to survive.”

Sue March 02, 2012 at 09:18 PM
They recently replaced my son's windshield. They did a fantastic job and were very pleasant and easy to work with. I would highly recommend them!
Rob Burke March 03, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Hey Chris -- I'd be happy to help you out with referrals from my customers at my car wash/quick lube. We repair chips but lots of cars have cracked windshields that can't be repaired, so they need someone like you to replace the windshield. Stop by, and I'll do what I can to refer all the replacements from my customer base. (2122 Hamburg Tpk is our address).
Absolute Glass March 03, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Thanks Rob, I will stop by.
chris rowe March 03, 2012 at 04:20 AM
The best there is! Personable, quality work, great prices!!
Bernie Kashmann March 03, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Have always experienced nothing but professionalism and excellent work. Bernie Kashmann
Michele Cantwell March 03, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Chris and Jen Burchell give a new meaning to the term "Family Business" They go above and beyond to provide outstanding service. They are both so loving and caring that it is not just about "Auto Glass"; both Chris and Jennifer will bend over backwards for anyone in the community who is in need. I have seen it numerous times and have experienced their generosity and caring through my own personal tragedy. It is a nice thing to see a small business survive in our community and I know from my experience , that their work it far superior than the large franchised glass shops. My husband is also a self employed small business owner in Wayne and I know that he and Chris do whatever they can to support each others business. Absolutely......Absolute Auto Glass!
Steven Bulatowicz March 03, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Chris Burchell replaced windshields in both my and my wife's cars. No mess, no broken glass in our cars and best of all; no blue tape. No blue tape means no leaks. If you want the job done right the first time your only choice is Absolute Auto Glass
SPIRITWEAR March 04, 2012 at 07:34 PM
This is Larry from Cosmic Promotions. What a touching story and I'm glad to hear your daughter is safe. Jen used our company for Spirit-Wear and Fund Raisers a few years ago at Anthony Wayne. We also supply 1000's of promotional items and I'd be happy to provide Absolute Glass with some Free Pens or Magnets, custom printed with your logo, to help you promote your business. Though I haven't had a need for Auto Glass, as a fellow small business located in Wayne, I agree it is very important in this economy, especially with so much competition, for everyone to support the local companies that provide superior products and service. Call me at 973-872-1600 when you get a chance.
Linda March 04, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Now THIS is what being 'neighborly' is about - and this is what our town should be about. Neighbors helping neighbors. I am not in need of any glass repair work, but after reading this article and the comments, you can be absolutely positive that I will use and recommend Absolute Glass!! Good luck to you and your family, Chris!
RICK BURCHILL March 05, 2012 at 08:02 PM
DID GREAT WORK FOR ME ALSO. ON TIME,FRIENDLY SERVICE
Wayne's World September 28, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I walked in on a Friday and needed some glass for kitchen cabinets that were about to be installed. Even though they were soon closing, Chris took me last-minute and finished my job in less than 30 minutes, ahead of several other orders he had on tap for the following week. It was just an example about how this guy goes the extra mile for people. I wish him the best and will be referring business to to Absolute any chance I get. This is small business at its best.
kat January 09, 2013 at 05:02 AM
I needed my car window replaced after a break-in and called several places in the area. The best price came from Absolute Auto Glass, the window had to be ordered and when it came in Chris installed the glass at my job. I was so impressed with the professionalism shown by him and his wife Jennifer, I will recommend them to anyone needing windshield or glass replacement. Really nice hard working people!

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