Film Stars September/October 2019August 6th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs
Achieving Your Goals through the American Dream
By Emmariah Holcomb
Most people have thought about the American Dream and what it would feel like for them once they’ve achieved it. It could be owning your own home, graduating and gaining a higher level of education or, it could mean becoming your own boss. The same can be said for Oscar Veyna, co-owner of Oscar’s Tinting Shop Inc., in Alamogordo, N.M.
After spending decades in the business, Veyna says that though his journey hasn’t always been so smooth, he is living the American Dream.
One Roll at a Time
“[My start in the business] … began about 37 years ago; back then I lived in a bordering town in Mexico and would frequently make trips to visit the U.S., recalls Veyna.
During this time he saw window film being installed on vehicles, and it didn’t take long before he realized he wanted to do it too.
“I thought it was going to be easy, so I started tinting cars. The rear windows were so difficult for me at first, when I was done the cars would look ridiculous,” recalls Veyna.
Although he might not have liked how his first few tinted cars looked, he didn’t let that discourage him.
“While I was tinting on the side, I was a full-time teacher in Mexico. I remember when I decided to quit teaching and tint full-time. Wow, that was about 30 years ago,” says Veyna.
But he was a natural around vehicles, thanks to his father, who introduced him to the automotive industry at an early age.
“I learned so much from my dad, especially how to do body work, and actually that was one of my first jobs,” says Veyna.
Claim Your Piece of the Pie
After gaining more experience he and his wife Amanda opened their business in New Mexico.
“A lot of people in the area knew me before we started the business, so we decided to name it Oscar’s. This way people would know who was doing the work,” says Veyna.
Once the business opened it was well-received and was doing well. That is until the terrorist attacks took place on September 11, 2001.
“Everything seemed to be going okay but we had no idea what was in store because we had only been open for a few months before September 11th. We kept faith that everything was going to work out and that we as a community would get through it,” says Veyna.
As years passed things started to look up once again for the family-owned company, but just as things were moving in the right direction, something happened that almost closed the business— the economy.
“In 2008 the economy crashed and we felt it. It got so hard and we didn’t have any work coming in. I remember my wife would get up and go to work every day, spending most of the week in the shop alone,” recalls Veyna.
To make ends meet, Veyna took a job with a rock-laying company Monday to Wednesday, and performed any installations that his business would have on Thursdays and Fridays.
“We almost went under. You see, there’s only about 32,000 people in our city, so once you see someone’s business is starting to slow up we all feel it,” says Veyna.
The business wasn’t the only thing hurting while the economy was down.
“[At the time] we took out a loan and there were several times where we almost couldn’t pay it,” recalls Veyna.
Throughout the difficult times, Veyna says the sacrifices that were made were worth it.
Expanding the Craft
Although Veyna started out in automotive tint that isn’t where his passion currently lies. According to Veyna, on an average day the business can install window film on four cars in the morning and an additional four at night, provided they’re compact vehicles.
“Commercial is my favorite side right now because you make a lot more in the same amount of time. I can do a job [installing film on] three windows that could cover what I do in half of a day in cars,” explains Veyna.
Aside from the more lucrative draw the commercial side also has less bending.
“I’m a 53 year-old man, and no matter what I do it’s difficult and sometimes painful trying to tint the back windshields in certain vehicles. Take the newer Camaro’s —I can’t even fit in the back [of
them],” says Veyna.
Hold Your Head High
Other than being a family that’s constantly on the go, the Veyna’s have remained optimistic even in the most trying times.
“I like to stay positive because there have been times when our faith was weak, but if you can remain positive through those times and keep fighting hard, good things will come,” says Veyna.
That advice is something he and his family of four keep in mind when dealing with customers.
“It’s not easy staying in business when things keep changing in front of your eyes, but no matter what our customers are the ones who have put food on our table for years. This is why we always think of them and their needs,” Veyna says.
The company’s customer service has helped make it a local go-to for a variety of film installation needs.
“I didn’t know how popular we were in town until I was approached by a local high school kid. He saw my shirt and was so happy that I worked there, he was beaming when I told him, I not only work there, but I’m Oscar,” Veyna recalls.
Taking the Next Step
So what’s next for the company? “I really, in my heart want my girls to take over the business. My oldest daughter has mentioned she wants to buy it and take it to the next level. To think I started out tinting in the back of a garage and now I have something to pass onto my kids— priceless,” Veyna says.
Emmariah Holcomb is the assistant editor for WINDOW FILM magazine. Reach her at email@example.com, and follow her on Twitter @WindowFilmMag.
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