Film Stars March/April 2023

March 30th, 2023 by Nathan Hobbs

To the Stars: Clayton Summerall’s Moonshot

Clayton Summerall founded Mint Tinting in Bryan, Texas, in 2018 with a $3,000 personal loan from Wells Fargo. Just four years later, Summerall finished a window tint installation for NASA’s Lunar Electric Rover. Life comes at you fast in the world of window film.

Started From the Bottom

Summerall gave Geoshield Window Film president Burns Mulhearn a ring at 3:30 p.m. on the Friday before Labor Day 2022. He routinely tints homes, cars and businesses, but the conversation centered on anything but the ordinary.

“The stars aligned for us on it,” Mulhearn says of the interstellar project. “He was like, ‘I need some film for the NASA Rover.’” Summerall began work on Monday at 10 a.m., installing Geoshield’s Pronano 70 ceramic window film until Tuesday at 4 a.m. His time in the industry only spans three years, but he wasn’t fazed.

“In hindsight, it is a scary project, but I’ve worked with NASA on several different projects throughout the years,” Summerall says. “I have an expectation for their mindset and way of doing things. In the moment, it felt like another day … With window tinting, you can go from having nothing to building a seven-figure business over the course of five years. That’s what I’ve tried to do.”

Mint Tinting surpassed $350,000 in sales in 2022, and the company is projected to reach $1 million in 2023. Summerall laid the foundation for his current successes alongside his mother from ages 10-15.

“I started in graphics,” he says. “My mom was a manager at a graphics and signage shop that did graphics for buildings, walls and advertisements. I worked in the summers, sweeping the shop. And then I progressed to helping weed film and install signs.”

Summerall says his mother taught him “everything he knows.”

“She was by my side to make sure I wasn’t messing up money,” says Summerall, a member of industry Facebook group Window Film Pros. “She taught me from a young age that, in the film industry, your material is your money. Whatever your mistake is, it turns into dollar signs. You cost someone money—every single mistake. That is the foundation I built everything on. Do things well the first time; you won’t have to come back and waste money.”

FutureVu Brands subsidiary CoolVu launched a new franchise opportunity to promote glass and surface solutions in January 2022. In another milestone, Summerall is in the process of signing his partnership agreement with CoolVu for a franchise location.

Safety First

Mint Tinting focuses on entry-resistant window film installations. In the aftermath of a Uvalde County, Texas, shooting that saw 19 children and two adults killed at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022, Summerall’s security services are welcomed. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) proposed new school safety standards that include security film installations. The proposed requirements cite the following:

“Windowed doors on the ground level or windows that are adjacent to or near a door and are large enough to allow someone to enter if broken must be reinforced with entry-resistant film unless within a secured area.”

The TEA defines a secured area as: “A fence or wall that is at least six (6) feet in height and has anti-scaling design features or is eight (8) feet high; and must be well maintained, and if gated, allows for emergency egress.” “My wife was a teacher for five years,” Summerall adds. “I had almost daily conversations with my wife after the [Uvalde County, Texas, shooting],
talking about how she was going to protect 22 four-year-olds and keep them quiet if there was a real lockdown. We talked about buying lollipops for them to have during lockdown drills.”

Summerall insists on providing discounts for school-based security film applications and is focused on ensuring that “these are the safest installs you’ll see.” So far, his company has installed film at 15 Texas schools and has 150 schools pending for potential installations.

New Adventures

In January, Summerall and his business partner Chris Baker announced a new business venture called PPF Bros. Summerall’s business portfolio now includes: Mint Tinting and PPF Bros in Bryan, Texas. PPF Bros launched as an authorized STEK and Geoshield USA dealer in March 2023.

Chris Baker has spent 10 years in the film industry and eight years in the PPF segment. Baker has experience with PPF as the lead installer for multiple luxury dealerships.

“I’m bringing my extensive knowledge to PPF Bros and will serve as a leader and trainer for our company,” Baker says.

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