Competition Corner: Jimmy NanceJune 1st, 2022 by Chris Collier
Tinting is just a job for some. For others, being the biggest and the best is the ultimate goal in their tinting journey. But for those like Jimmy Nance, owner of TNT Window Tinting in Orange City, Fla., the focus is on having fun, loving what you do and enjoying interactions with everyone along the way.
WF: What inspired you to enter the window film industry?
Nance: Back when I started, it was the fact that I couldn’t afford to have my car tinted by a shop, so I bought film from a local hardware store and proceeded to tint my car at 17 years old. I was fascinated with the whole idea of darkening your windows with film. I fell in love with it and started buying film and doing friends’ cars for free as long as they paid for the film.
WF: Day to day, what would you say your favorite part of the job is?
Nance: There are two parts to it. Number one is the customers. The excitement they get from having their windows tinted is one [thing] that I love dearly. The second part is the artistic side of it. You walk away from the vehicle with such a [great sense of] fulfillment from a job well done.
WF: What competitions are you competing in at 2022’s International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ (WFCT)?
Nance: I’m in three of four. I’m [competing] in the Architectural, the Automotive and the Decorative; everything but the Paint Protection.
WF: How many times have you competed in the past, and have you ever won?
Nance: I believe four. When I did my first [WFCT] event, [I went in with] the mindset of being able to win it for sure. My thought after winning some smaller competitions was that I had a very good chance, and I thought I could take it. I ended up not even placing near the finals, so that humbled me quickly. My mindset from then on was to have fun and do my best, and it was a lot more enjoyable when I started having more fun and less [of a] competing spirit. I didn’t even plan on winning or entertain the thought of boasting.
WF: Do you have a single experience from competing that you can recall that made it memorable?
Nance: The most entertaining and memorable [moment] for me is the moment that you actually compete. You’re competing against a hundred other great window tinters in the same industry, doing the same work day in and day out. Competing against all the professionals knowing you have a one in one hundred chance of winning—that is the most thrilling part of it.
WF: How are you feeling going into this year’s competitions?
Nance: Very excited! The excitement right from the start is like no other. It’s like Christmas, how you’re just waiting for that day as a kid and [when] the month of December comes, you know you only have twenty-five more days. When the year progresses and the months are counting down, you’re that much closer—the excitement of being like a kid on Christmas is how I’m excited. I’m looking so forward to the event.
WF: What is your biggest concern or point of stress going into a competition like this?
Nance: Your nerves, for sure. I think with everybody [it’s] the nerves. We can do the same exact car in the competition that’s nothing out of the ordinary, not a Lamborghini or tinting something you’ve never tinted before, but the nerves can multiply rookie mistakes tenfold. You have done this car, you’ve perfected it, but it [can] literally [feel] like you just opened a “how-to” manual to tint windows. Calming your nerves is the absolute biggest hurdle. It’s the most exciting yet debilitating pressure.
WF: Do you incorporate any preparation techniques before competitions?
Nance: My thing is having the mindset that I’m at work, and it’s another day at the office, to keep it simple and do what you do every day at work: tinting cars. Don’t change it up. When people try to do things that they normally haven’t done, it’s a handicap. I’ve done that, and it has come back to haunt me. Doing things differently can be your downfall in a competition.
WF: What do you hope to learn more about during WFCT 2022?
Nance: Honestly, I enjoy the people. I don’t really have anything that I look to learn. I don’t do PPF, and I don’t want to learn it. I look forward to the people there and all of the sponsors and visiting. My learning is hanging out with people and getting to be around everybody.
WF: What is the one big thing you’d say to someone interested in entering the industry?
Nance: Love what you do. To me, it’s a passion that you learn and grow every day in. Just have that burning inside and fall in love with what you’re doing with that desire to grow in it.
WF: What is the one big thing you’d say to someone interested in competing for the first time?
Nance: Capture the moment and enjoy it. To me, the enjoyment is first and foremost. If you do get nervous about anything, control the nerves. Keep it simple and enjoy it for what it is because it’s such a wonderful time, your first competition, so don’t overthink it.
WF: What’s your why?
Nance: I would do this until I couldn’t do it anymore. It’s the excitement. To me, it’s like a thrill ride, like someone on a rollercoaster. The whole event in a nutshell is the excitement, the enjoyment of competing and being with the people in the industry. Getting to know the people and creating friendships: that’s my why.
Tyler Jubar is a staff writer for WINDOW FILM magazine