Volume 15, Issue 6 - November/December 2011

FilmStars

One Man Shop, One Man Medalist Chris Brooks, Kauff’s Tint and Graphics

Chris Brooks, the recent International Window Film Tint-Off™ champion, is as self-reliant as they come. Installing automotive, architectural, decorative and security films, as well as murals and vehicle wraps, he is versatile and can do almost any job. To top it off he does it all himself. A self-proclaimed one-man shop, Brooks has been taking care of his own business for 22 years, starting as a teenager.

“I actually got my first start installing film because my father would not pay to have my windows tinted,” says Brooks. “I went from there to the hardware store and did it about three or four times until I was happy with it. After that I started tinting cars for people at my high school. By the time I graduated I had probably tinted about 250 cars for about $50 per car. I would work on them in a barn or a carport or wherever I could find some shade. I’m definitely a self-taught tinter.”

From his early days, Brooks has preserved his independence in the window film industry. By maintaining his shop on his own he has been able to control every job that comes in and every job that is completed. He is always pleased with the quality because he is always the one doing the job.

“I believe what sets me apart is my concern with my quality and craftsmanship. I try to only use high-end products. I am not going to use a lower-end product just to make an extra 10 or 12 dollars on that one vehicle or window,” says Brooks. “Because I am the main installer I see and I touch every job that comes out of my shop. I set my own standards and if I don’t like it then it doesn’t leave my shop.”

Some of Brooks’ favorite jobs have been decorative film installations.

“I have done a couple Scripps Research jobs. They built three big medical facilities here and I have done two of those buildings,” says Brooks. “I did about 13,000 square feet and you get more money for that interior film. In terms of the aesthetics of it, when someone walks in there is a change in the interior, not just tint on the windows.”

Brooks’ credits much of his success to his plan to stay a one-man shop.

“Staying small I can still stay successful,” says Brooks. “I don’t need the extra headache of four and five installers and worrying about their salary and their families. The bigger you get, the more money you make and the more headaches you have.”

In his time away from the shop you can find Brooks fishing, grilling and bowling with his two teenage sons and wife in their local bowling league.

Do you know someone who is a star among window film tinters? Then we want to hear from you with your nominations for “Film Stars.” Email Katie Hodge at khodge@glass.com your nominations.

WINDOW FILM
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