Dear Reader November/December 2021

December 6th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

Fresh Perspectives

By Chris Collier

I traveled from my office to yours and saw you in your element. I observed how you handle the demanding customers who haggle over minor pricing differences. I peered through the newly-tinted glass after you finished bottom-loading a modified 2019 Ford F-150. Customers chatted with me about their reasons for tinting—medical, style, privacy, heat and glare. All of this took place when I visited Pro Window Tinting in McKinney, Texas. Jose Chimal shared his career with me so that I could further my own. Thanks to generous invitations, my travels are at their onset.

Lone-Star Learning

I scanned the shop’s walls, lightly reading his copies of WINDOW FILM magazine. Supplier banners, heat lamps, lanyards from past International Window Film Conference and TintOffs™ (WFCT), squeegees and peeling boards entered my sightline. After a cross-country flight, I took in this industry’s gasoline—the owners who tint the cars, take calls and book appointments, manage supplier relationships and balance the books. I witnessed busy days, slow days and everything in between.

It was a first-person industry perspective that will further my ability to provide nuanced, insightful coverage. I took my hands off the keyboard and placed them onto auto glass—a 2018 Honda Civic Type-R backlite, to be exact. Chimal guided me as I applied a roll of window film with 15% visible light transmission (VLT). Heat-shrinking the film, I simultaneously marveled at the challenging task in front of me. I gained immense respect after attempting (keyword, attempting) a routine install.

I’ll never be a “Tint Pro” like Chimal, but maybe—just maybe—I can be a pro at my gig with enough travel. Today’s all-digital age allows us to learn anything from afar. But there are different levels of understanding beyond the screen. I strive to exceed expectations for what this role entails. How do I make it happen? It starts with packing my bags, boarding planes and visiting your shops. It continues by befriending each business’ process, absorbing your career and helping in any way I can. It concludes by piecing together what I’ve picked up and packaging it into published content that engages and resonates.

A Multiplier

Chimal treated me like family when I visited his shop, but there wasn’t a shock factor. From Facebook Groups to WFCT to phone interviews, industry professionals have never shown me anything less. Thank you to the shops that have had me and will have me in the future—it’s great to be playing for your team.

Chris Collier is the assistant editor for WINDOW FILM magazine. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Facebook.
ccollier@glass.com

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

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