XPEL, Inc., a provider of protective films and coatings, announced its designation as the official paint protection film (PPF) provider for Xtreme Xperience. Xtreme Xperience will exclusively use XPEL’s PPF product on its fleet of supercars, muscle cars and support vehicles. The experience allows guests to drive or ride a selection of supercars and is hosted at more than 30 racetracks across the U.S.
“As soon as we started talking to XPEL, we knew this was a great fit,” says Christopher Meegan, Xtreme Xperience’s partnerships executive. “They are disruptors in their industry, as we are in ours. We head to some racetracks that leave our cars battered by rocks, dirt, rubber and other road debris.”
Robert Bezner, vice president, Brand for XPEL, welcomes the partnership.
“We’re excited to announce this partnership with Xtreme Xperience,” Bezner says. “Their incredible inventory of supercars give thousands of car enthusiasts once in a lifetime experiences, and we’re thrilled they recognize the quality of our product and trust it to keep their fleet protected and looking new.”
Women have many countless contributions to every segment of society, including the window film industry. March is International Women’s History month and as the month comes to a close, window film magazine is highlighting a few in the industry.
Jennifer Haynie, marketing manager and graphics assistant at New York Window Film Co., located in Farmingdale, N.Y. says their company president acknowledged International Women’s Day at the beginning of the month and gave a speech on how fortunate the company is to have both female and male teammates. “It’s a proud day and month to celebrate,” says Haynie. “[March] also serves as another reminder for women’s achievements especially during the pandemic. We have all helped to lift each other up.”
Michelle Clark, owner of Carolina Premier Window Films, in Rock Hill, S.C. has been working on growing her business’ revenue. She says by taking the time to focus on her business she hit $1.1 million in sales last year, which comes after “mostly hanging around the $500,000 mark.” She’s done it all: changed the standard for her employees, adding on additional benefits like a 401k plan and health insurance while also learning how to run a window film business which focuses on commercial, government and residential projects.
Jordan Campbell, vice president of Fusion Tools, located in Madison, Ill., says one month isn’t enough to celebrate women in the industry.
“To be perfectly honest, I think being a woman should be celebrated everyday on a personal mental level. A day to celebrate it is always a nice reminder, similar to any other holiday such as Mother’s Day,” says Campbell. “It’s nice to commemorate, but because it’s part of your core identity, I believe you should always celebrate who you are. I don’t consider one day overly important compared to others. I am an admin for the Facebook Group “Women in Window Film” along with a handful of amazing and successful industry ladies. In that group we celebrate being women, mothers, sisters, friends, and colleagues every day with each other. The love and support we have for each other is truly a gift.”
“I think that we’re all important and we need to lift each other up all of the time, one month is enough,” says Clark. “I don’t need thanks all of the time that’s not what drives me to do more, although some women might need that reassurance.”
Campbell says that having women in the male-dominated industry creates a balance. She says adding a “woman’s touch” is welcomed. “In industries where men are the predominate sex, there’s often an abundance of masculine agendas and thoughts which is great. I truly believe that men are the backbone of our industry and the reason it’s successful,” says Campbell. “However, everything needs balance. What I love about being a woman is that we are able to do and see things men cannot (and vice versa).”
Haynie says she gets to be a little more creative with her assignments when compared to her male co-workers. “An example on my end is the creativity mindset that is incorporated in my daily routine. Window film installers are generally thought of as male, but the females behind the action, who assist with scheduling, starting customer conversations, and all pre-production work, are who helps the final reward of completing installations,” says Haynie.
Clark says a main benefit is you get to learn a lot – about men. “I say we live in a man’s world and working in a male-dominated profession allows you to expand your knowledge and understanding about men,” says Clark. “For example, when you go to a construction site and you’re a female everyone will tend to help you – like let you park closer and help carry your materials in. It’s nice to see that chivalry isn’t dead.”
“It’s also nice because being a woman allows you to develop more relationships because men aren’t in competition with you and are more willing to talk to you,” Clark adds.
When a fellow tinter was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and experienced difficulty with medical expenses the window film industry came together to support one of their own.
Donnie Dixon, a commercial, residential and automotive window tinter and a native of Camden County Georgia, his wife Stephanie and two of their four children relocated to San Antonio, Texas in July 2020. The move allowed them to be closer to Stephanie’s family. According to Dixon, it seemed like the right time to move and he found a new job in Texas shortly after relocating.
Then he and his wife began to notice changes in his overall health. The 27-year window film veteran learned why he had been feeling less like himself. “I went into the emergency room and was told I had a tumor and it needed to be removed,” Dixon said.
He was in the hospital for five days and received a diagnosis of Ampullary cancer, which is a rare condition that forms in an area of your digestive system called the ampulla of Vater. The ampulla of Vater is located where your bile duct and pancreatic duct join and empty into your small intestine, according to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
“Everything happened quickly and in October 2020 I had Whipple surgery to remove the cancer,” said Dixon. “The procedure was rare and lasted six hours. After that they give you time to heal before starting chemotherapy and radiation.”
Dixon said following the surgery he felt a lot better health-wise but has lost a lot of energy and often feels tired and nauseous.
Window Film’s Role
Dixon posted his GofundMe information on his Facebook page after learning about the diagnosis and decided to cease posting in November, due to the upcoming holidays. But then an opportunity presented itself.
“The Window Film Revolution does a lot of giveaways just to keep tinters interested and to give them things that they don’t have to go out and buy,” explained Dixon. “Sun Distributing was doing a sprayer giveaway [a five gallon sprayers] and in order to win you had to guess how many times a person in a particular video said ‘umm’. This time it was Rick Tallman and he said it a lot.”
Dixon was instantly drawn to this giveaway and began counting, only to realize that it was more challenging than he thought. “I started counting on my fingers and I thought this wasn’t going to work and my wife saw me and wanted to help. So we just sat there and counted every time we heard him say ‘umm’,” he said.
In the end they both had different numbers, Dixon decided to submit his wife’s. Then after he received his second round of chemotherapy he was contacted and told that he had won the sprayer. The person who reached out to him saw Dixon’s Facebook page and wanted to learn more about his situation. They spoke and Dixon said they ended up doing a video about him and Sun Distributing posted it. “Dean Mitchell from XPEL saw the video and took it to a different level – as far as getting the word out,” said Dixon.
“When I found out about Donnie I knew we needed to help him out because he’s a part of the window tinting family, so I posted a video … and in three days his GofundMe doubled and we’re not done,” said Dean Mitchell, New England territory manager for XPEL, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. “People in the industry have reached out to me to donate tools and we’re going to do a big auction with a dream team, myself, Mike Burke [owner of Sun Stoppers Window Tinting, with 30 locations across the country] and a few other special industry members where we will go to your shop and give you one full day of training. I’m sure we’ll be able to get a lot for this.”
Dixon’s GofundMe goal is set at $100,000 and according to Mitchell that should be exceeded with the help of industry members. “Depending on how the auction goes…it’s hard to put a number on it, but I think we can double that number,” said Mitchell. “My goal is to aim high, because I want Donnie to focus on getting better and not the financial burden this has caused.”
“I feel like the window film community is rallying behind me like a brother and sisterhood – a second family that’s here to support me,” Dixon said. “It’s been really overwhelming because I didn’t ask for this but I appreciate everything that everyone has done.”
Industry members who want to contribute to Dixon’s GofundMe can do so by clicking, here.
The wraps, window film and paint protection film (PPF) segments of the film industry can be rewarding and of interest – even to car enthusiasts. Steve Siques, owner of Xtreme Wraps LLC (Xtreme Wraps), located in Fredericksburg Va., can attest to this as he’s recently joined the industry and has been enjoying the creative side of vinyl.
“This is a very attractive industry as far as what can be done with the types of films that are out there and people have so many ideas and limitless possibilities to enhance the way a vehicle looks,” said Siques. “You can customize something to fit the person and their character.”
Siques said he’s always had an artistic touch, but when he first started using vinyl he quickly realized that he had to get used to the material. “It was very fun to learn how to install with it because there are so many different things that you can do design-wise,” he said.
Why Film? Why Now?
Siques considers himself a very detailed-oriented person, and getting into vehicle wraps seemed like a perfect fit.
“I had another business previously – it was cell phone repair, laptops and other similar products in the Spotsylvania, Virginia Mall called Phone Repairs Group,” Siques explained. “It’s been there for seven years and I was getting tired and burned out from it and that industry. I’ve always been a car enthusiast and what better way to fulfill a car fix, than to get into an industry that allows you to work with people who want to customize their cars?”
It was a “no brainer” for Siques to make the leap into the industry just about one year ago. He currently has four employees, including himself. His wife Julie handles the administrative tasks and marketing, as Siques noted he is fairly busy throughout the day with installations and it’s difficult for him to reply to emails and answer the phones. He also has two part-time employees who assist him with full vehicle wrap installations.
“Addison and Angelo worked with me in prior businesses for years and they’re both really good at working on cars,” said Siques. “Whenever I need more hands to get the process moving in a more fluid manner, I’ll call them in.”
Siques had been introduced to vinyl by a friend who was doing small projects, but when it started getting harder he knew more training was a must. He went through an educational program in New Jersey that focused on mobile technical training. During the two-week course he learned a lot of techniques and some of the trouble areas with installing different films, including PPF.
“I learned that the majority of the work involves prepping the vehicle before you begin with any wrap or film,” Siques said. “During the course I was able to use as much film as I needed to help me learn the fundamentals. I’m currently looking for educational options to become a certified PPF installer because I want to offer this service more.”
“Starting out in this industry can be intimidating because there are so many things that can go wrong,” said Siques. “It’s just amazing that out of all of my customers I haven’t had one issue in working with and for them. It’s been a blessing so far and I’m excited to see what’s ahead.”
He said he’s done installations on everything from Bentleys, Porsche, Maserati, and your standard sedan. Every installation is unique to him. Siques recently finished a hood wrap installation that involved a custom design on a 2018 Dodge Charger—a model he says he often sees. “I thought it was going to be more challenging but everything went smoothly and the finished product was better than expected,” said Siques.
“I’ve always liked the Avengers and knew I wanted to highlight some of the African American characters, Steve worked with me to make sure my vision came to light,” said customer Nick Beard. “I wanted something powerful and well known so I went with what everybody loves.”
“The motivation is just to bring the customer’s vision to life,” Siques said. “I can’t wait to learn more and grow in this industry.”
XPEL, Inc. (XPEL) announced a multi-year sponsorship at Texas Motor Speedway. The second race of the 2021 NTT INDYCAR series doubleheader, scheduled for Sunday, May 2, will be called the XPEL 375, according to the company.
By securing the naming rights for the XPEL 375, the company expects to generate brand exposure among core marketing segments including authorized dealers as well as consumers. The race sponsorship is the company’s second major professional motorsports activation in as many years.
“Last year we became the ‘Official Protective Film Partner’ of Team Penske and embarked on our sponsorship journey with Josef Newgarden and his No. 2 Chevrolet,” said Ryan Pape, XPEL CEO and president. “Our new partnership with Texas Motor Speedway solidifies our investment in the sport and we are excited to see how the race sponsorship will drive increased brand awareness to benefit our business.”