Dear Reader January/February 2022

February 23rd, 2022 by Nathan Hobbs

New Spaces and Places

By Chris Collier

My first fall in the film industry involved flying to three shops throughout the country. Traveling to Texas, Georgia, Nevada and South Carolina, I connected face-to-face with owners, installers and apprentices. My most recent trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., allowed me to observe residential projects in the flesh.

Work With a View

Rough ocean waves forcefully crashed against the weathered sea wall as pelicans pierced through the silver sky on December 7, 2021. A light breeze wrapped itself around the Pawleys Island, S.C., beachhouse as I stood on the deck and scanned the ocean. Matthew Yelle, owner of Palmetto Protection Films in Myrtle Beach, S.C., began installing privacy/solar control film with 20% Visible Light Transmittance (VLT) and high heat rejection. 20-year-old apprentice Donovan Whitley peered upwards as his new boss applied film to the main door’s transoms.

An Open Door

Earlier that morning, co-owner Kristy Yelle took stock of their film supply and notified her husband Matthew of upcoming appointments. We loaded up the company’s Ford Transit work van and set out for two residential projects. After a snappy Uber ride, I was standing on a stranger’s driveway for day two of a three-day, residential film crash course. But I felt at home.

The trip’s first stop involved safety/security film in the suburbs. The thickness of Madico’s SafetyShield 800 Optivision 15 PS SR film was noteworthy, but it was customer service that stood out most. Matthew called his client before an early arrival, constructing a professional, yet personal, connection ahead of time. Small talk was made before, during and after the job and it made a difference. The homeowners offered water bottles to Matthew and Whitley in between it all. Kindness is contagious, and its spread was on display.

I had only scanned automotive installations prior, and this experience was distinct. Unlike the drop-off-and-go nature of the automotive film business, I observed lengthy conversations, work throughout the customers’ homes and travel time. But automotive and residential are more similar than not. This industry’s strength lies in what it provides everyday people. Homes and cars have style, security, privacy, temperature and glare reduction and protection because of the industry’s efforts.

As the assistant editor of Window Film magazine, it was a privilege covering that impact in the North, East, South and West. Thank you to all shops who extended invitations and welcomed me into their shops. Here’s to next time.

Chris Collier is the assistant editor for Window Film magazine. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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

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