Emil Masenek worked for a signage and graphics company when he fell in love with vinyl, but he had no interest in the car scene. The CEO of Perfekcyjne Auto in Warsaw, Poland, reflects on the power of a blade, squeegee and an open mind.
PPF: You’ve been in the paint protection film (PPF) and vinyl wrapping industry for more than 10 years. How did you get your start?
Masenek: I started at a signage company wrapping menus for McDonald’s and fell in love with squeegeeing. I had no interest in cars, and car wrapping was just beginning to enter the market. The entire industry was focused on the U.S. Europe’s time was yet to come. It was an amazing experience to mature parallel to the industry’s growth.
PPF: Do you remember when you fell in love with film?
Masenek: Once upon a time, when I was sitting at work on a lunch break, reading a college physics textbook, I started to think about what I wanted in life. I figured it must be something where my skills are crucial—where a machine cannot replace me. I focused on wrapping and improving myself in this field. Since then, I don’t remember having worked even an hour in my life. Soon it will be 15 years of working with film. I never expected that my passion for installing stickers would allow me to build a home and create a 10-person company, happiness for my family and a successful, peaceful life.
PPF: You created your company with your business partner Michał Czosnek. What is your focus?
Masenek: We specialize in PPF (installs and designs) but also full vinyl color changes. We have a dedicated team of pattern makers in-house for all of our installs. Our second division makes up detailing car services like paint correction, ceramic coatings, scratch and dent removal and leather repairs.
PPF: How many PPF pattern designers do you have?
Masenek: We’ve got a team of three stand alone pattern designers, who work every day on making patterns for the newest car models for our in-house installs.
PPF: What or who inspired you to make custom patterns?
Masenek: I did. Patterns allow you to shorten the installation time, as well as minimize the risk of using the knife. I wanted to take my installations to the next level; bulking large panels and creating patterns on small ones to save time. I had to learn how to make patterns to speed up and scale my work. Over a decade, I created and improved my own method for creating templates, which we successfully use to this day. Today, I am not alone. We are a small manufacturer, and we try to do everything in-house with Polish quality.
PPF: What is your favorite part about the pattern production process?
Masenek: I like to feel useful—to feel that my work is useful to someone and allows someone to achieve better results. I like to feel that my efforts are not in vain—that thanks to this, others can earn money and provide for their family and loved ones. I also like when we create patterns for the latest car model, and a month later, my friends ask me if we have templates for it.
PPF: What kind of software or technology do you use to make the patterns?
Masenek: We are the old-school types. We use paper and pencil. We draw an outline, transfer it to the computer, cut it out, test it, correct it and it’s ready. Everything is created manually by qualified specialists—not a 3D scanner or artificial intelligence.
PPF: Tell me about the film scene in Europe. What makes it unique?
Masenek: The scene in Europe is completely different from country to country. In Poland, over a decade, 10 companies turned into more than 1,000. They grew like mushrooms every year and now there are more than 500 companies in the capital city. Unfortunately, everybody is focused on price, not quality. They treat the competition as an enemy, not a friend that can help them grow. I hope that will change in the coming years and people will open their minds to each other, as is the case in the United States.
PPF: What is the biggest trial you’ve had to overcome?
Masenek: All questions and answers are within ourselves. Fifteen years into the industry—working 15 hours daily—I have to fight with myself. I like to get up very early (2 to 4 a.m.), so at 7 or 8 a.m., when everyone comes to work, I already have a huge part of the work completed. I have no problem staying focused for a long time after everyone has left at 5 p.m. I often stay for a few hours more to prepare everything for the next day. Everything is in our heads—the world is yours. You just need to know what you want and fight for it daily.
PPF: What do you hope you’re remembered for in the industry?
Masenek: I fulfill myself every day. I am the first at work and the last to leave because it makes me a free man. I am a workaholic, and I am not ashamed of it. Wrapping is not a job—it’s a lifestyle, and I am strictly dedicated to it and married to the game.