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Business Spotlight: All Covered

In its first decade, window tinting business is crammed and doubling in size

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When customers have different ideas on why they’re blocking out the sun, window tinting is hardly a cookie-cutter process.

PerfecTint LLC is in that world. The company has a range of commercial, residential and individual clients calling in work for tinting commercial storefront windows, residential homes and automotive windows, says Chelsea Pringle, manager of PerfecTint.

The process of how windows are tinted depends not only on the job type but also on what the customer is seeking, from heat reduction to the feeling of inclusion, she says.

The auto industry is its bread and butter, providing about 65 percent of PerfecTint’s $500,000 in annual revenue.

“We do a lot of vinyl wrapping vehicles in paint protection film,” Pringle says. “Customer will bring their vehicle to us and get it wrapped with a clear film so that it doesn’t get rock chips or get scratched, or anything like that.”

Pringle says a vinyl wrap on a car can cost $3,000-$4,500, depending on the make, model and size. Some customers just want to cover the hood or the nose, where damage is common.

Even though PerfecTint uses myriad window tint products, Pringle says about 90 percent of the supplies comes from one vendor: Virginia-based SunTek, a branch of Eastman Chemical Co.

On-the-job training
Brandon Coddington, owner of PerfecTint, started working on windows in 1999, after seeing a newspaper classified posted by a company seeking a window tinter. Previously, Coddington only had retail management experience, but he took the tinting job and they gave him the tools he needed.

After 10 years of gaining experience, it was time for a change.

“He wanted to be in full control of the way things are handled, as far as customer service, because that’s really important to him,” says Pringle, Coddington’s fiancee, who’s worked for PerfecTint since November 2010.

PerfecTint does a good amount of work on higher-end cars, such as Corvettes, and MotorCars International has been a customer for years.

Co-owner Jim Montgomery says even before he got into the car business, he went to PerfecTint for automotive tinting for his personal vehicles. Now, at the 3015 E. Cairo St. exotic car dealership selling fancy Porches to customized Jeeps, Montgomery says the company works with PerfecTint often more than once a week.

“When you spend a quarter of a million dollars or more for an exotic sports car, you don’t want to get a rock chip on the front end of your car,” Montgomery says.

MotorCars International’s projects with PerfecTint can range between $50 to $2,000, Montgomery says. The dealership is among roughly 12 auto dealers that PerfecTint works with, some of them located outside of the Springfield market.

Full coverage
PerfecTint’s crew of seven employees currently handles 20-30 jobs a day, Pringle says, and they’re maxed out in the current garage, 511 S. Ingram Mill Ave.

“We have the potential to do more, we just don’t have the space for it,” she says.

PerfecTint recently was approved for a commercial accessory building, contracted out to Classic Building LLC, according to a building permit filed with the city of Springfield. It’ll be an addition on the Ingram Mill property, according to the permit, and construction is underway.

“It should be completed by May,” Pringle says of the 30-by-48-foot garage, slightly larger than the first.

Pringle says PerfecTint works throughout Springfield but also takes jobs in Kansas City, St. Louis and beyond state lines to Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas. The company offers free automotive pickup and delivery for customers.

“If they’re at work and can’t bring their car over, we’ll go pick it up, work on it and drive it back over to them when it’s done,” Pringle says. “We have a lot of customers and dealerships that take advantage of the service.”

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