Film Stars November/December 2020

August 12th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

Blessed and Humble: How one encounter led to nearly three decades in the industry

By Emmariah Holcomb

It’s interesting how your view of yourself changes over time, especially with respect to your career. David Williams Jr., owner of Dave’s Tint, located in Shreveport, La., is living proof of it. And he’d be the first to admit that sometimes you have to be pushed in the direction that will ultimately be your future. He’s spent the last 26 years in the window film industry he now loves.

He currently has six employees: one full-time tinter, one tinter who is training, two receptionists and two who specialize in body shop work. Dave’s Tint generates approximately $15,000 a month in billing. But how did he get his start?

“Well I was actually blessed because I learned paint and body work right after I graduated from high school,” says Williams, who went to a technical school and did paint and body work at a dealership. One day the gentleman who tinted the car windows at the dealership offered him a job. “They needed someone to help out with the accessories part of their business like spoilers, running boards and things of that sort,” says Williams. “I accepted the job and worked there for about a year before they asked if I wanted to cross train and learn how to tint windows.

Williams was hesitant at first because he thought of himself as a paint and body man. However the gentleman insisted he learn the skill because it was valuable. “I gave it a shot and it took about a good two months before I became interested in it,” says Williams. “At first, I was just killing time so that I wouldn’t lose my job, but after a while I applied myself so I could learn the skill. I was fortunate and at the time I had no idea I would be doing it as much as I’m doing it now and that was 26 years ago.”

Leaping Forward

After focusing on the craft for a few years he moved onto a number of other window film businesses before deciding to work for himself in 2012.

“I got to have a lot of experience in working with all types of film, because I moved around to so many shops,” says Williams. “At first I was doing mostly cars and then I got into commercial, residential, security and decorative work.”

Before he stepped out on his own, Williams was working for a small shop and was making decent money and couldn’t really complain, except for one issue – the owner. “The owner was always busy and not really there,” explains Williams. “It turned out that, for the most part, I was running his business. One day it hit me—‘why don’t I just do this for myself?’”

He always knew he wanted to be in business for himself but needed a nudge. He had a lot of concerns about making enough money and having enough business to support his family. “I took the leap and, trust me, there have been some rocky moments,” he says.

“There were times in the beginning where the sales just weren’t big enough and I was thinking about shutting it down, but I kept my foot on the gas and kept pushing,” Williams adds. “I moved to another location and things started to smooth out.”

Staying Current

Williams has always been the type of person to approach a challenge head on and likes to do things to stay educated about the industry. “We have to evolve because things change with time just like films and techniques. The moment you decide that you know everything is when your growth stops.”

Speaking of growth, Williams is in the process of getting a plotter for his business. He says he’s been a hand-cut guy for the longest time and didn’t believe in plotters. “I’m learning that if I want to keep up in this game I have to get a plotter, all of my competition around town have them and I have to evolve with the industry,” says Williams.

Expanding Further

Williams says he’s always looking to grow and can see himself hiring a few more tinters so he can take on more commercial and residential projects.

“Between now and the next ten years I expect to grow and maybe open up another location,” says Williams. “I look to expand as much as I possibly can.”

Since he’s looking to expand further, it’s no surprise that his wife, Tina, calls him a workaholic. In the off chance that he’s not tackling a window film project Williams enjoys shooting pool and hanging out with his family at home. “I don’t really get out and about like I used to, I kind of got old because a good time to me is getting to sit in my recliner and enjoy my time with my wife and kids.”

Lasting Gratitude

“I feel very blessed and humbled for what this industry has done for me, by no means am I conceited, this industry exceeded my expectations and it’s changed me,” says Williams. “I appreciate all of the people who have supported me and for what they have done for me over the years. I’m blessed to be a part of this industry and I’m all for contributing to it in any way that I can to keep it going.”

Emmariah Holcomb is the assistant editor for WINDOW FILM magazine. Reach her at eholcomb@glass.com, and follow her on Twitter @WindowFilmMag.

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

Leave Comment