Film Stars January/February 2020

August 9th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

Fashion Vision Turns into Window Film Passion

By Emmariah Holcomb

Everyone has a vision of what they want to be when they grow up. It’s not uncommon for that vision to change before a person decides to pursue a specific field. But how often do you run into someone whose passion for fashion and design turned into a window film career of nearly three decades? Well, meet Rose Bartoli, the owner of Sun Control Plus Inc., which has two locations in Pennsylvania.

Bartoli’s business completes approximately 200 installations annually, of which Bartoli mentions includes both residential and commercial. The small 3M dealer has two full-time and two part-time employees. “During the summer months we add additional installers to our team,” Bartoli says.

First Vision

“Did I think I’d be in window film? Oh no, I definitely thought I’d be in fashion. I always had an interest and an eye for it, and with a marketing and business background I thought it would be a natural fit,” says Bartoli.

Although her affinity for fashion came naturally, so did owning her own business. Bartoli’s family has always run businesses of some kind, but one day things changed and she had a new vision.

New Outlook

“We had recently built a new home and we had a skylight that was bright and too much light came in. I was looking for a solution to reduce the glare. I saw an advertisement in Better Homes and Gardens for 3M so I approached them to be incorporated in the job I had,” Bartoli recalls.

At the time she was working in sales for a window cleaning and janitorial company. After she approached 3M she instantly liked the product. She was a visionary who saw potential in window film.

“So it really all started with having the need in my own home from a glare issue. I reached out and we’ve been a 3M dealer since … it’ll be 27 years in August,” Bartoli says.

But there’s a twist – Bartoli ended up purchasing the business while still working for the window cleaning and janitorial company.

“I initially started [looking into] the window film business for another company which was the window cleaning and janitorial company I worked part-time for. After a few months, I bought the business from them with the first sale we ever had,” she recalls.

It’s crazy to think the job you’re in would spark a career move into another industry, but Bartoli welcomed the challenge.

Big Changes

“I think the industry’s changed tremendously over the last 26 years, as it’s gotten a lot more technical. There’s even been a change from solar films to residential and you see a lot more decorative films today,” Bartoli says. “I’ve learned you have to re-evaluate yourself and your business to adapt.”

Being persistent, organized, and thorough will definitely pay off, according to Bartoli. She even recalled how technology has shaped the industry. When she began her company she relied on word-of-mouth and knocking on client’s doors to build referrals.

“Starting a business back then wasn’t easy there was a lot of pounding the pavement,” Bartoli recalls.

Going Forward

So what’s next? Are there any plans of slowing down?

“Right now I’m full force. I still think I have a few more years before I retire. I’ve enjoyed utilizing my design skills while working with clients in their homes and that’s what’s been in my mind for all of these years, since I didn’t go into design in the way I thought I would,” Bartoli says.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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