Volume 16, Issue 5 - September/October 2012
Austin Cook’s passion for window film started differently than the journeys of many other tinters. Five years ago, Cook was simply looking for a business to purchase when he took his vehicle in to Quality Window Tinting for a film installation.
“I immediately asked the owner if he would train me to tint so that I could open up my own tint shop,” says Cook. “Although he was unwilling to train me, he told me that his business was for sale. We agreed upon a price and I purchased the business along with three months of training. I came in early and left late every day to fit all the training into three months.”
Cook has learned a lot about the industry and expanded the business since he took over at Quality Window Tinting.
“Over the past five years Austin has expanded the shop by 100 percent, adding additional services and product offerings, and increasing the territories that [the company] services,” says Micaela Hichborn, director of operations for Quality Window Tinting.
“The increased awareness of the benefits of window film coupled with the increase of residential and commercial buildings in San Luis Obispo have made window tinting a profitable career path,” says Cook. “Since the purchase of the business, I have expanded the services and physical location, adding window crack repair, headlight restoration, an additional bay and a waiting room for customers.”
In addition, Cook has also added a new service signs and graphics business to the shop, which includes wide format printing. However, what makes Cook stand out in the crowd is his dedication to giving the customer more than what they pay for. “We take pride in going above and beyond for each and every customer, whether it be washing their car, giving them a ride, or leaving a new microfiber in their car,” says Cook.
Cook also takes pride in his work environment, installing a HEPA filter, reverse osmosis system and maintaining a climate-controlled shop environment. Just last year, the company removed and replaced 1,270 square feet of film and reapplied eight mil security film for a well-known retail chain.
Since purchasing Quality Window Tinting, Cook has received more than 70 Google reviews and a five-star rating. Cook said one of the main motivations for making his business a success was to provide the “stepping stones” so that he could do the outside activities that he enjoys so much.
When Cook is not busy in the shop, you can find him enjoying the outdoors, riding dirt-bikes and horses.