Jess Launerts’ Journey from the ER to Tint HausNovember 15th, 2023 by Casey Flores
Why did you leave nursing to become a film installer?
Not everyone can answer that question, but Jessica (Jess) Launerts of Tint Haus Customs in Davie, Fla., can. She and husband Benton have been in the film business in suburban Fort Lauderdale, Fla. for 2.5 years and it’s changed their lives.
“I just knew I didn’t want to do nursing anymore,” she says. “I love cars and we found this is what we wanted to do.”
The couple met through ‘Stangs of South Florida, a 4,000-member car enthusiast group for the greater Miami area run by Benton. Years later when their financial advisor said they should leverage those thousands of connections to create a business opportunity, they settled on film.
“I was going to buy a franchise,” Benton says, but he thought fees would be too much. “So, we found bays in a nice area and everyone we knew supported us from day one.”
And the family business was launched—with Benton handling the phones and sales and Jess as lead installer.
Working with film wasn’t what Jess was used to—she was a nurse. So she started with vinyl.
“Vinyl is very forgiving,” she says, but she also took to it quickly. One of her first jobs was a fleet of Teslas and the experienced installer they’d hired to help walked out halfway through, leaving her to finish it.
“She killed it,” Benton says.
With vinyl conquered—paint protection film (PPF) was next for Jess and proved to be a lot more difficult.
“At one point she came into my office and said ‘take PPF off the menu—it’s too hard,’” Benton says.
The Dodge Challenger Hellcat Widebody, one of the more difficult installations, was the car that made her say that.
“I hated PPF,” Jess says. “But we went through the XPEL PPF course and had them come here and educate our team.”
After that, she looked at PPF as more of a game to figure out and enjoyed it a lot more—so much so that the couple just launched a new business—Auto Film Academy.
“My favorite part of nursing was teaching other nurses, so I thought I could do it with film,” Jess says. Benton says she’s a next level installer and a standout student of XPEL’s trainers.
If their first business is any indication of how successful the film academy will be, the Launerts will have their hands full. While a part-time operation at first, Tint Haus ramped up significantly in its second year with just under a million dollars in sales.
With the new venture and other ideas in the hopper, the couple is focused on their next phase of business growth.
“When I go home, I’m in couch mode,” Benton says. “She’s editing videos for the next few hours and setting them to be posted at the perfect time for the algorithm.”
Jess doesn’t mind—especially when compared to nursing.
“We put in a lot more work owning our own business but the level of intensity and responsibility legally and emotionally are a lot crazier in the ER,” she says.