All of Brent Knott’s meals in 2013 came courtesy of a worn hot plate. Living in a hotel, Knott had just left a grassroots drifting gig after a business partnership turned sour. But a 2012 Porsche Cayman bridged the gap between Knott’s past and present.
Film Means Family
“There was a Porsche down in Fernandina Beach, Fla., that a guy needed wrapped,” he says. “A friend of mine worked in Historic Sportscar Racing. I had met him at one of the events we hosted. At the time, I had only wrapped my Miata and an F-150 for a tire shop.”
Knott’s vinyl of choice was Hexis’ Gloss Emerald Green Vinyl Wrap. He forged a crucial connection while picking it up from the company’s former Jacksonville location.
“He was getting water, talking to people upfront,” Knott says of his first interaction with Jeremy Conner, owner of Who Did That Inc. in Charlotte, N.C. “His jacket said ‘certified trainer,’ so I just asked: ‘I’ve never wrapped a Porsche before—you got any tips?’ I was welcomed into the industry with love. The wrap industry is good at that.”
Hexis’ Advanced Wrapping course gives “the trainees all the ‘tips’ to learn how to optimize the handling of Hexis adhesive films to perform a full wrap. The trainer will answer any questions, demonstrate the practical techniques and will take into account the level of knowledge of each participant.”
Knott didn’t enroll that day, but Conner shared pointers and his phone number ahead of a pressure-packed Porsche application full of potential.
Porsches on Porsches
“He told me how to manipulate bumpers, which was probably the biggest thing,” Knott says. “I don’t think I could have done it without that advice. PPF glides into place, but with wraps, you’re guessing. He gave me pointers on how to manipulate the film and create stretch and tension; to get things to mold into place.”
The installation was a learning experience for Knott, who took two weeks to complete the project. Then a satisfied client generated more business.
“He ended up referring me to the chief financial officer of his business, and I wrapped his car,” Knott says. “I ended up wrapping a total of four Porsches back-to-back while living at a hotel.”
Knott says Conner’s mentorship provided a pathway when he needed it.
“That person providing me the opportunity to potentially do an even better job may have been the pivotal point that changed my life,” Knott adds. “Had I done a bad job, his connections would have never done business with me.”
The Secrets of the Trade
What are secrets worth in the world of PPF and vinyl wrap applications? Conner shared his in 2013 and shifted Knott’s career trajectory.
“Everything is known because of YouTube and the internet,” Knott says. “There’s a shift toward this giving mindset. Provide value for other people, and you get value back.”
Nearly a decade later, Knott owns Design It Wraps and Tint in Fernandina Beach, Fla. He added a second location in 2022 and his third this January. Knott manages 11 employees.
“That’s my biggest driving factor,” Knott says of his team. “It would be a disservice to not teach my team how to think for themselves and create opportunities for themselves. All my team members have an opportunity for profit share and equity in these locations.”
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