Edited by Casey Flores
It's Always Sunny in North Carolina
Matt Adams, Adams Window Tinting, New Bern, NC
From the age of 16, tinting windows has given Matt Adams reason to rise when the sun comes up.
By the age of 22, he started his own business, Adams Window Tinting, which is still running strong 13 years after opening.
“I tinted houses for probably about eight years and then I moved from North Carolina to Alabama and I learned how to do automotive tinting at another tint shop [there]. Then I moved back to North Carolina and I opened my own shop and I’ve been in business for about 13 years now,” Adams says.
The transition from simple employment to entrepreneurship seemed like the natural path for Adams.
“When I first started tinting a lot of automotive, I started off doing a lot of friends’ cars and my work got better and better and I got to the point where I could pretty much tint any car that came in so I slowly built a clientele over the years to the point where I got busy enough to open my own shop.”
Adams says the tinting industry does not reflect the nation’s questionable economic state. In fact, he’s seen the industry grow. When he first opened his business, there was only one other tint shop in the area.
“Now there are five to six tint shops in each town, sometimes more,” he says.
But business remains steady. “There’s no depression in the window tinting business in North Carolina … As long as the sun’s shining we’re always going to stay busy.”
Adams explains that sticking with window tinting has allowed him to live the way he’s always wanted to live — with a nice house and provision for his family. He now has trained employees installing film and hopes to spend more time at home. But in true entrepreneurial fashion, that has not been the case.
“I work six days a week anyway. I need a vacation,” he says.
Last year, Adams competed in the architectural division of the Tint-Off at the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off (WFCT) in Tampa and came away with a bronze medal.
And that third place medal has been good for business.
“When I do estimates now for my houses, I tell people that I got third place in the international architectural tinting competition. A lot of times they like to go with me because they know they’re going to get a good installation. That kind of helps you out when you do your estimates for future jobs.”
This year, the window tinting veteran of 22 years has his eyes set on the gold at WFCT, to be held Oct. 7-9 in Baltimore. (At press time he was on the wait list.)
“I learned a little bit [last year]. When you’re at a Tint-Off, you have a certain amount of [time] that you have to have the windows done in and I got done in probably half the amount of time… I thought if I had a good window and finished first then that would better my chances of becoming first … I learned that it’s more quality instead of time.”
He hopes to be competing in both the automotive and architectural contests. If he wins, he plans on buying a tint-tech plotter to help expand his business.
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