The Women of Window Film: A Women’s History Month Spotlight

March 16th, 2022 by Chris Collier

WINDOW FILM Magazine celebrates Women’s History Month by profiling some of the amazing women of film.

Bernice Berry, Pure Luxury Tint and Detailing Services, Chandler, Ariz.

Bernice Berry was a divorced, homeless mother of two who, by the age of 23, had endured and ended an abusive marriage involving drugs and violence. Berry then began working in the field of commercial real estate, where she says three different male bosses subjected her to sexual harassment. Stepping away from it all, she turned to a book that altered her life’s trajectory.

“I was reading Tony Robbins’ Awaken the Giant Within, and it said to interview 10 people of potential occupations you would enjoy doing in your life,” she says. “I interviewed several people—an attorney, a judge, a registered nurse (RN), a brain surgeon, and an anesthesiologist. The last one I interviewed was a detailer.”

Bernice Berry has overcome it all.

Berry was seeking happiness; and a lifelong occupation her children could shadow. The final interview was her answer. “He was happy. He pulled out a wad of cash from his pocket and said, ‘Everyone loves me when I go to the bank.’”

Her interviewee guided her to a detailing supplier and said, “This will help you be successful.” But she only had $50 in her pockets for her initial supplies.

“It came out to $49.98, and I dropped to my knees and started crying,” says Berry, who had purchased a vacuum cleaner, buffer, and various cleaning chemicals. “It’s like, ‘Wow, God wanted me to do that.’”

Berry called family, friends, and neighbors, snagging one-off projects and extensive work on company vehicles at her father’s place of work—State Farm Insurance. She added tinting to her repertoire after six months of detailing.

“It wasn’t that I got to do it; I had to do it,” she says. “If I was not going to work regular jobs because of sexual harassment, I had to learn how to tint. I said, ‘I’ll do your car for $75. If I mess up, wait until I get better and I’ll come back and do the windows I messed up [again].”

Adrian Ussery has excelled with his mother.

Berry had escaped an abusive work environment, but her ex-husband continued to pursue her fraught with violence. Her haven came to be detailing and tinting.

“I surrounded myself with people who would protect me,” Berry says. “I went to the police station, fire station, judge’s chambers, and took care of people at the jail; I did their cars. If I needed a helping hand, I knew I could call one of them to help me out … My kids would [detail] the tires and grill, and I would do the rest of the car. They would vacuum, and I would clean the interior and windows.”

Today, Berry owns Pure Luxury Tint and Detailing Services in Chandler, Ariz. Her son Adrian Ussery was only four months old when his mother’s two-month homeless stint at a local park began. Adrian is now 30 and the shop manager for the company, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in February. The brick-and-mortar business represents more than revenue generation for the duo.

“I never thought I’d have a building,” Berry says. “I look at it as a shelter, a house, and a secure environment.”

Erin Plumer, Elite Auto Salon, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Erin Plumer is a 19-year-old general manager for Elite Auto Salon in Colorado Springs, Colo. She joined the company as a receptionist in June 2020, transitioning from the front desk to the shop’s bays as an installer that fall.

Erin Plumer is proof that age is just a number in the trade.

“I’ve always wanted to work with my hands,” says Plumer, who earned her current title just four months ago. “I’m [constantly] working on my car. The owner saw I was dedicated to working on cars. He gave me that role, helped me out, and got me to this point.”

She works with a film installer and an audio specialist at the shop, which offers PPF, tint, vinyl wraps, and car audio. “I love seeing all the different cars come in,” she says. “I have my favorites, but it’s cool to see a variety of trucks, SUVs, sedans, and coupes. And to meet people that are genuinely interested in the same field you’re in.”

Plumer is currently in college studying business administration and strives to open her own company someday. The film industry is a male-dominated space, but that isn’t slowing her drive down.

“It’s 2022—we’re all interested in different things,” says Plumer, an XPEL certified installer. “The woman can be the bread maker in the family, and the husband could be the stay-at-home husband. We’re all equal; we all have different strengths and weaknesses.”

Marissa Ashley, Exoshield, Ontario, Canada

Marissa Ashley is the territory manager for ExoShield, a windshield protection film provider in Ontario, Canada. Ashley previously spent 10 years in the cell phone industry and is no stranger to providing clients with product protection. She says, “I went from putting screen protectors on cell phones to putting screen protectors on cars.”

Marissa Ashley’s role allows her to be herself.

“Working as a female in a male-dominated industry, I’m treated equally by my peers,” says Ashley, who currently manages 30 U.S. states. “I’m well-respected within the community, and my customers are respectful and supportive. Cell phone [retail] wasn’t necessarily a male-dominated [area], but I didn’t feel the same support I feel now.”

Ashley is pleased that females hold various C-level corporate roles, but would like to see more women in territory management roles like her own. The four-year industry veteran takes pride in knowing both sides of the trade.

“Being a rep’ that can also install the product—I think that’s my biggest accomplishment,” she adds. “It’s not an easy product to install, and it’s something I’m passionate about. I want to be able to be hands-on with my partners and help them in every facet of their business.”

This article is from Focus on Film, the weekly e-newsletter that covers the latest news regarding window film and related products, including paint protection film. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Window Film magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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  1. As a woman owner and as a fellow tinter I feel very proud of this women , I’m just starting and sometimes I feel discouraged in a male dominated industry, but I look forward to getting better y becoming and inspiration for somebody like me one day…

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