A Film Shop Making its MarkJune 8th, 2016 by Casey Flores
In Costa Mesa, Calif., there’s a cutting-edge tint shop that’s been making its mark since its 2007 inception.
Known for customer service of literally the highest quality (its Yelp ratings are the highest of any tint shop in North America with 300 or more reviews), Signature Glass Tinting and its owner David Read have made quite the name for themselves.
Read is a lifetime member of the window film industry, having worked as an installer, manufacturer’s representative and now as a company owner.
The name Signature Glass Tinting came to him during a trip to Las Vegas.
One of Read’s friends took him on a luxury tip to Sin City, during which they flew on a first-class airline called Signature Air.
“We went with them and they had all these beautiful desserts, pastries and coffee for us,” he says. “They gave us wonderful customer service, and I went home and said, ‘That’s it! I want to be that for the window film industry.’”
“We’re not a lick-‘em-and-stick-‘em shop. I don’t want to be the biggest—I want to be the best.”
And it’s worked. Besides his unmatched Yelp ratings, Read’s company puts film on some of the nicest cars in the Los Angeles area.
“We cater to a very exclusive crowd,” he says. “We do a lot of Mercedes, Rolls-Royces and Porsches.”
A Curve Ball
But Read hasn’t always been flying high, and successful business ownership has not come without struggles.
On October 21 2014, National Mammography Day, his wife and co-owner Kerri, was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.
“My world stopped,” Read says. “Most window tint shops are family-owned. It’s really scary when your family is faced with a life-threatening disease like my wife was.”
Nearly two years later and after radiation, chemotherapy and a double mastectomy through multiple surgeries, Kerri is now in remission.
“We prevailed because of my faithful employees, loyal customers and the support from the manufacturers,” Read says. “I wouldn’t be able to run this business without my wife.”
Kerri is back to working part-time for the company, primarily keeping the books in line.
Flat Glass: Sold
Last year, Read re-organized his business and sold his flat glass division to a former employee. He did it “so we could focus on the automotive, family and get my wife’s health back 100 percent.”
Whereas most people sell their automotive division and keep their flat glass going, Read did the opposite because he enjoys the high-end cars that come through his shop. So far, he’s stayed busy.
“We are booked out three or four days in advance all year long, seven days a week,” he says. And while he lost some employees during the transition, much of the sales remain.
Last year, with flat glass, the company did just under $890,000 worth of business. This year, Read projects the company will bring in $650,000.
“We do 60 cars a week,” he says. “We’re not a lick-‘em-and-stick-‘em shop. I don’t want to be the biggest—I want to be the best.”
With superior reviews, repeat customers and a full schedule, it looks like he’s succeeded.