Volume 12, Issue 5 - September/October 2008

Dear Reader

Drew Vass

Be the Silver Lining

Over the past couple of years, we Americans have been inundated with bad news, especially when it comes to our economy. We have endured skyrocketing gas prices, diving real estate and stock markets, and, as if that isn’t enough, destructive hurricanes.

While some remain in worse shape than others, no industry can completely escape the problems du jour. Nevertheless, we are a lucky one. You see, the window film industry faces the same set of circumstances as others, but it also has an opportunity to be part of a silver lining. In a time when American citizens and businesses are searching for any and every means to cut expenses, save energy and protect themselves from natural disaster, film offers a solution.

Eddie Russell, president and owner of Sunset Glass Tinting in Stafford, Texas, knows what it feels like to be a silver lining and a solution in a horrible situation. When hurricane Ike began bearing down on Texas, Russell’s phone began ringing off the hook. He cleared out his company’s schedule immediately; then Russell and his crew worked literally around the clock in order to provide impactresistant film to every single person who requested it. Once the storm had come and gone, Russell and his crew barely had time to recover before the phone rang once more. And once more they worked through the night to provide a post-storm solution. On page 26, you can read about the unique, niche opportunity Russell discovered.

For automotive film dealers, every year has a silver lining and it’s called the SEMA Show. This aftermarket extravaganza gathers manufacturers, dealers and installers from all over the world and provides a perfect meeting ground for our industry to come together. On page 20, you’ll find a preview of what you can expect to see at this year’s show, which, by the way, has the potential to be an important one. You see, the aftermarket industry has an opportunity to help out in an otherwise dismal situation. When new cars are inevitably being cut from household budgets, add-on products allow car owners to enjoy change, while continuing to drive the cars they have. In this way, window film offers yet another—very affordable—silver lining. If you make it to the show, please come by booth number 12519 and say hello. We would love to meet you.

Last, but not least, in a time when small businesses are struggling to remain competitive, window film offers an additional avenue for income. On page 16, contributing editor Penny Stacey shares the story of how one auto glass repair technician went about adding film to his lineup. And the move has proven to be a profitable one.

We owe it to ourselves, as an industry, to focus on the good amid all the negatives. By meeting the opportunity to be a silver lining, we can help make these difficult times a little better.

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