Black History Month: The Career of Lawrence WilliamsFebruary 15th, 2023 by Chris Collier
Lawrence Williams was 10 years old when his uncle purchased a 1993 Fox body Ford Mustang with tinted windows and a red interior. The vehicle piqued Williams’ passion for cars, which laid the foundation for a 22-year career in window film.
“I grew up around it,” Williams says of window tint. “My brothers, cousins and neighborhood friends all installed stereos and dabbled in tint in my mom’s front yard and at their parents’ houses. I grew up in a city where we had one of the largest trucking shows in the country. I’ve always had a passion for cars. It was easy to get into the industry once I had an opportunity.”
Williams joined the U.S. military as an infantryman after the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. His industry start came after he caught the attention of an audio system shop owner by installing a purchased subwoofer.
“I had everything sounding good,” Williams says of his truck’s subwoofer installation. “I was riding back up the street, getting ready to merge onto the highway by the same shop, and the owner was waving me down to come over. He was like, ‘You did that yourself? That sounds good. Are you looking for a job?’”
Williams started installing stereos at the company, eventually taking over window tint installations that the business had previously outsourced. Today, he is the owner of Tint Masters Window Tinting in North Beach, Md.
Williams’ pursuit of a podium finish in the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ (WFCT) began in 2016 when he started competing in the Automotive Tint-Off™ Division. He came close at San Antonio’s WFCT 2022, where he emerged as a finalist.
“It didn’t feel real,” Williams says of making the finals. “I checked the list three or four times to make sure it was my name. It was a moment I had been waiting for … I’m excited about WFCT 2023 because it’s in Virginia Beach. I’m in Maryland, and it’s not far from me; I’ve tinted in the area.”
Williams was among 10 finalists in the Automotive Tint-Off™ Division at WFCT 2022.
• Caleb Silkett, Midwest Window Tinting, Overland Park, Kan.
• Daniel Munoz, Honest Tint, Yucaipa, Calif.
• David Williams, Dave’s Tint, Shreveport, La.
• Greg Fletcher, Midwest Tinting, Lee’s Summit, Mo.
• Jason Teasley, Tint Pro and Accessories, Lowell, Ark.
• Johnny Froese, Solar Reflections Window Tinting, Grand Island, Neb.
• Joshuah Reeves, iTint Professional Glass Tinting, Lake Wales, Fla.
• Lawrence Williams, Tint Masters Window Tinting, North Beach, Md.
• Maksim Kutsenko, Sun Stoppers Glass Tinting, Charlotte, N.C.
• Mike Mitchell, WBF Tinting, San Angelo, Texas
Mike Burke has worked in the window film industry for 33 years. His company, Sun Stoppers, has more than 63 locations in 19 states offering residential and commercial tint and decorative film services, as well as automotive tint, paint protection and ceramic coatings.
Williams is busy running his business, but he teamed up with Burke and co. on July 29, 2018, for a shot at history. Williams and the Sun Stoppers team tinted 438 windows on 170 vehicles at Town and Country Ford in Charlotte, N.C. Setting the record in less than eight hours, the unit tinted an all-time number of vehicle windows in one business day.
This Black History Month, Williams reflects on diversity, equity and inclusion within the window film industry.
“I would like to see more Black people on the corporate side of the business,” Williams says. “When it comes to social media, we get too wrapped up in the [Facebook] groups. We’re so quick to bash or come across as jerks. We all—not just a certain person or race—need to step back and think before we hit that send button. We’ve got to be kinder to each other.”
February is Black History Month, and WINDOW FILM magazine plans to recognize and feature Black professionals and business owners working in the window film industry. If you are a Black window film professional or would like to nominate an individual or business, please email Chris Collier at firstname.lastname@example.org.