Stained glass art store taking over Kirkwood churchDay Kennedy, right, plans to open a stained-glass retail store called ATL Glassworks.
This story has been updated.
By Patrick Saunders, contributor
Atlanta, GA — A shuttered church at 1511 Memorial Drive in Kirkwood is soon to become a stained-glass retail store called ATL Glassworks.
Owner Day Kennedy fell in love with making stained-glass art on her first piece, “which was absolutely terrible,” she told Decaturish.
“Cutting the glass is so satisfying,” she said. “And soldering, my favorite step, is so relaxing and therapeutic for me.”
“When I finish a piece and see how hours of tedious work turned into something tangible and beautiful, it’s the best feeling in the world,” she added.
Kennedy started the online retail shop Daylight Glassworks in 2017 and quit her day job to pursue the business full time the following year. She was active on the festival and art market scene pre-pandemic.
“I had a show almost every weekend,” she said. “That helped me grow my social media following to allow me to sell on my website and work on commissions.”
Kennedy also has a rotating selection of work for sale at Highland Row Antiques on North Highland Avenue.
“The peach suncatchers are by far my most popular item,” she said. “I can’t keep them in stock. Vulvas and rainbow makers are also popular, and people love the Art Deco-inspired sunburst panels.”
Kennedy was motivated to open her own space after the main glass distributor in Georgia moved out of state last year.
“So now there is nowhere to buy glass or supplies in person anymore,” she said. “I’m trying to fill that void with ATL Glassworks, but also have a space to teach classes to people interested in learning the art. The space will also serve as my personal studio for Daylight Glassworks.”
The store will take over the former Liberty the New Creation Church space.
“Which I think is so appropriate given the centuries-old history of stained-glass and church windows,” Kennedy said. “There is a huge, gorgeous window in the front that lets in tons of natural light. It’s perfect for a glass studio and I could envision how I wanted to use the space immediately.”
Kennedy also partnered with across-the-street neighbors, Unearthing Farm & Market.
“They have two shipping containers in my parking lot that serve as a produce stand for their harvests,” she said. “They are up and running now and have regular pop-ups.”
Kennedy hopes to open by the fall.
“I’m still waiting on my permits from the City of Atlanta,” she said. “I can’t set a grand opening date until that process is done, so fingers crossed that is finalized soon.”
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