Solar Reflections Services owner, David Stephenson, joins us to talk tint, wraps & graphics galore. SRS offers a multitude of services for businesses & individuals. Tune in to learn what they can do for you!
To learn more about our marketing services, visit: https://fusiononemarketing.com/
Watch the Full Interview Below
Sarah: Good morning, everyone! It’s eight o’clock on Friday, Biz Talk and today we have a spectacular guest. He’s got some amazing services that you’ll need to hear about. So let’s not waste any time and let’s get started.
Glyna: Good morning! Hey there, everybody. It’s so great to have you here. It’s a great day in the Fusion One Lounge. I’m Glyna Humm, and around the square here, we have our other marketing gurus, Sarah Gilliland and Kelsi Nicholson. We are having so much fun talking to business people that have so many great tips and info for all of us. It’s just been so much fun. But before we get started, Sarah, can you show everybody our broadcasts?
Sarah: Why I certainly can. Okay, everybody, don’t forget, every single week we go live on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, and check out our podcasts on Marketing and a Mic. I’ll tell you, our subscribers keep going up and up and up, so it’s awesome. And don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram and our YouTube channel, Fusion One Marketing. Every week, we are putting out brand new videos, everything to help businesses in the name of digital marketing. So, subscribe to that.
Glyna: It’s so awesome. And we hit our 500th download of Marketing and a Mic podcast yesterday. So, yes, we are definitely turning out all kinds of content. But today we are so excited to have our special guest, and believe it or not, this is going to wrap up Biz Talk for us. So we are taking it out with a bang, David, with you. I want to welcome David Stephenson with SRS or Solar Reflection Services. How are you doing this morning?
David Stephenson: Marvelous. How are you all?
Glyna: Marvelous. And I must say, we’ll talk about your branding, but that branding is awesome. The colors and everything. It’s so cool. We are so excited to have you here this morning and really, we don’t waste any time. We’re going to get started and have you tell us a little bit about SRS and how you even got started in this business.
David Stephenson: Well, SRS is me and my wife. Well, let me start at the beginning.
David Stephenson: My parents had a very diversified portfolio. They had a lot of different businesses. They owned a steel company, president of a bank, George Jones restaurant, and it started a tint shop. So, when I was 13 years old, I got to work in the tint shop. That’s how I got my start is, they started a tint company called Solar Reflective Company in 1975. It was one of the first tint shops in Alabama. I slowly learned that process from the time I was 13 years old. Fast forward 20 years, and we were where the Kirkland Clinic was, in downtown Birmingham. That Kirkland Clinic is there now. But we were there for years. Did Bo Jackson’s car, when he played for Auburn. We were the only people doing it back then. We learned a lot and then fast forward 20 more years, and my mother started, she owned the company and I worked for her for years. We had a lot of different people that worked for her and she started developing health issues, and she retired. Stacy and I kind of threw the dice of what we wanted to do. I said, “Well, I know this business.” So, we started Solar Reflections in 2008. From there, we incorporated in 2010 and we started working out of the back of my house. I had a little building back there and was working out of the back of my house. A year later, we had a place on 280 with five employees, and then we’ve gone from 10 employees. Then we made a name for ourselves in flat glass and did flat glass all over the country. We’ve been as far as Missouri, Kentucky. We’ve done some schools in Kentucky. We did the police department in Columbia, Missouri. So, we’ve done a lot of, we’ve been all over and done a lot. We’ve been recognized three times in a row as the Southeast Dealer of the Year for Huper Optik window films. Then in 2019, an opportunity came for us to acquire Sundown Window Tinting, which is they did tint and vinyl wraps, and auto tinting. Then we were able to acquire that, so here we are today at Solar Reflection Services. We do residential, commercial window tinting. We do security films. We do protective films, refinishing films, on that side. Then on our other side, we do auto tinting and vehicle wraps, graphics, stripe kits, things of that nature.
Glyna: So, It just made sense to bring it all in together.
David Stephenson: Yeah.
Glyna: Yeah. So it all fits well. I do want to say that we have some early birds this morning joining us. We have Gail Mason. She wants to say good morning to everybody. We also have Steve Johnson. He said, “Good morning, ladies and Dave.”
Sarah: Good morning. Wow. So it’s been in your blood really, for as long as you can remember. The stuff that you do is so amazing and we’re going to get more into that as we go, but I kind of want to ask you, first of all, what’s going on with that background because it’s so cool. Can you tell us about that? Yeah.
David Stephenson: Yeah. Well-
Sarah: And then, my follow up to that was, I wanted to talk about just tint in general. What are the benefits of it?
David Stephenson: Okay. Well, behind me, I’m in my office upstairs and we have a conference room and we kind of have our meetings up here about what for the week and what’s going on, what kind of goals we’re trying to hit for the week. But behind me is, we took the wall behind my desk and all of this behind me is vinyl. It looks like shiplap, but it’s a 3D, a three-dimensional image that we put up here. Then we put our logo right here on top of it. It kind of looks like it’s made out of metal, but it’s actually vinyl, as well.
Sarah: That’s awesome. That’s so cool.
Glyna: That is awesome.
David Stephenson: Yeah.
Sarah: Yeah. So tell me about tint. What are the benefits of it that people need to know?
David Stephenson: Most of the benefits of having your home or your car tinted, either one, is the reduced energy costs. Especially in your home, where you have hot and cold spots during the day and you’re in your home, like in the sunshine, on the front of your house. In the morning time, it heats up, and then on the backside, it’s either cold as it can be because you got the air conditioning trying to cool the front. We can kind of regulate that. Also, it stops 99.9% of the ultraviolet rays, which cause sun damage to your furnishings and things like that inside the house. The UV radiation that you’re exposed to in your home. Most people we know are staying, a lot of people are staying more at home today. So, they’re actually in front of these windows and they’re exposed to that UV radiation, which we can eliminate. We can also put a product on your home that’s very, very light. It’s really hard to, it’s almost undetectable, that will drop the temperature six to eight degrees when the sun shines in.
David Stephenson: So, it can really impact your utility bill and make you make your glass break-safe. In other words, it’ll hold it together if it gets broken. It keeps the glass from flying everywhere. Those are the main benefits of it. You get some reduced glare, so you’re not sweating and squinting behind it.
Kelsi: I love that motto, “no sweating and squinting”.
David Stephenson: Yeah.
Kelsi: So, tint is more diverse than I think people realize. Can you talk to us about the types of tint products you choose to use at SRS?
David Stephenson: So, we try to have a product for every budget. We have what we call a “good, better, best” option. We have some of the older, 1970 technology films that basically stop heat and reduce glare by reflecting light. Then we have a single layer of ceramic films that we use that are more spectrally selective. And actually, they choose the wavelengths of light to stop as they’re passing through the window. Then, of course, we do a lot of automobiles. With your automobile, it works the same way. It protects the interior of your car. In some cases, in some states, they actually offer you a discount on your auto insurance if you have your windows tinted because it actually makes that glass in your car break-safe. So, when you’re involved in a crash or something, the glass doesn’t, even though it’s tempered safety glass, it’s still glass flying at you, and that can help. Some of the films can add 28 to 30,000 pounds of clinical strength to the glass and hold it together and keep it from being a projectile coming at you.
Kelsi: That’s cool.
Kelsi: I did not realize that. Thank you for tinting my car.
Glyna: You’re keeping Kelsi safe.
David Stephenson: Yeah. And it’s cool. It’s cool with it.
Glyna: Yeah. I mean, you guys can basically do anything. So, let’s talk a little bit about your specialty window film options and how you use those for businesses.
David Stephenson: Specialty window film, we use a lot of those for as far as office control, same thing. If you got somebody that’s sweating and squinting in one office and in the other office is freezing, we can kind of regulate the temperature through the building and in the businesses. Then if you have the storefronts where you’re advertising, you got a lot of material, a lot of merchandise in the storefront and you want to protect that merchandise to keep it from fading, we do that as well. And you can see the merchandise. We also use a security film. It stops your “smash and grabs” where people just walk up, smash the window, grab something and run off. We can dramatically slow that process down, where they try to break the window and grab something and run off, before your alarm ever goes off. So, we help a lot of businesses with that, where they don’t want to put burglar bars up because-
David Stephenson: I don’t know about you all, but I don’t. It gets a little sketchy. Burglar bars. I don’t know if I want to go in there or not.
Glyna: Kelsi, I think we had a graphic. Let’s talk about- Tell us a little bit about this stuff, Dave.
David Stephenson: So, this is on the very top, the before and after on the HVAC. It was for the Lyric Theater downtown. They had, the Historical Society said, “Hey, that’s not historically correct. We can see that down the road. They didn’t have air conditioning a hundred years ago.” We were having the issue that they had thought about painting it, and we went up and wrapped it for them. And on the right-hand side, you can see that, where we actually took a picture of it and did a three-dimensional image and wrapped it. It still looks great today. Now the bottom photo is an elevator that was scratched up. We have a stainless steel film that we can go and put over there to make it look brand new because you don’t want that to be the first impression for your client when he comes into your building and looks and sees all that. People like to graffiti stainless steel and it’s very hard to clean, and our product is very easy to clean and it can be removed and replaced very easily.
Sarah: Boy, that’s… Wow, what a difference. I can’t believe that that’s vinyl on that brick. That’s unreal.
David Stephenson: Yeah, that brick is vinyl!
Sarah: It’s absolutely wild. Okay. Let’s talk about graphics. So you offer so many different things, but let’s talk about graphics and how that can be a benefit to businesses. What are your capabilities?
David Stephenson: Well, we can do storefronts, hours, that you can turn any window into an advertisement in a business with graphics, as far as those are concerned. You can add graphics to your delivery vehicles, so people know who you are. And you can constantly promote your business with a graphic on your car or a vehicle wrap, for that matter. I think they did a study and you get anywhere from 30,000 to 90,000 impressions a day with a vehicle wrap or even a graphic on your car.
Kelsi: That’s a lot.
David Stephenson: You can do a lot of different advertising, but this is the, you can reach the most people and your investment stays with you for a long time.
Kelsi: So, you can do graphics for businesses, just from storefront type signage banners, but also like what you have going on behind you, where you could actually design murals and things that you could wrap their walls with.
David Stephenson: Of course! You can jazz up the inside of the store and get your message as soon as people walk in and make a significant impact on what you want to say.
Kelsi: Awesome. You had mentioned the benefits of fleet advertising, fleet wraps. Can we dive into that a little bit more and talk about the capabilities that SRS has with producing fleet wraps? Can you do fleet trucks of any size?
David Stephenson: Yeah. Any size, configuration. People have a lot of different types of vehicles that they want to wrap. We can do food trucks, trailers. iHang TVs is one of the companies that we do wraps for. They have a lot of different designs that they want to do. The bottom one there is one they did for breast cancer awareness. They were trying to raise money for Susan G. Komen. So Glass Doctor. You don’t necessarily have to wrap the whole vehicle. You can just have a three-quarter wrap or a quarter wrap or you can wrap the whole vehicle. The great thing about vehicle wrap is that you’re always advertising wherever you go. Wherever your technicians are or you’re traveling to, you’re advertising. It’s one of the best ways to reach people because in TV or radio, if you’re not watching the TV or listening to that radio station and you’re driving down the road in a vehicle or out, everybody sees that.
Glyna: Yeah. That’s exactly right. You guys, again, have done so many cool things. Your graphics department can basically create any kind of custom wrap that you need or any custom design, correct?
David Stephenson: If you can… One of the hardest things we have to tell people is, if you can dream it, we can do it. I mean, it’s unlimited really to what we’re able to do.
Glyna: Oh, wow. Check some of that out. Tell us about some of these.
David Stephenson: The wrecker was, the guy that owned the wrecker, he really wanted to go all out with some type of zombie elephant, Big Al theme on his truck. That was pretty cool to design that. The motorcycle gas tank, a gentleman had bought a helmet with that scene on his helmet, and so we recreated the scene for his gas tank on his motorcycle. The ’68 Dodge Charger there, the guy that owns that is a Black Hawk helicopter instructor, and he actually has a ’68 Mustang, a ’68 Camaro and the ’68 Dodge that’s in the picture. We wrapped all three of them an American flag. He’d always, that was his childhood dream to own those three cars, and so now he owns all three of them. It was his idea to wrap those cars in that American flag. So, there’s a custom bootstrap on the back of that car, as well. A van was done in a brushed aluminum wrap. Down at the bottom, you see Deadpool. That guy’s a Deadpool fan.
Sarah: Oh, I thought that was maybe Ryan Reynold’s car.
David Stephenson: Actually, on the back of that car, we put some matte black on the back. And then we also put some “reflective” on the back of that. When you see the back of that car, when the sun’s different on it, it kind of looks like it’s lightning on the back of the car because it has black reflective on there. So if the light’s not on it, it just looks black. But when the light hits it, it lights up. And the Jeep over there, it was just, we’ve done some over there. It’s a lady’s little camouflage Jeep car. We didn’t do the wrap, per se on that. That actually paint, but we did the sticker on the back of it. It’s like a sloth with a woman’s symbol right there.
Sarah: Like Rosie the Riveter?
David Stephenson: Larger, World War II. She wanted more of that. We do-
Sarah: Tell us about the color change wraps here.
David Stephenson: Yeah. So, we do a lot for the color changes. The one up there, the green one up there, it was a solid black car and we put a matte green metallic wrap on it. We do a lot of Range Rovers for RMR. They like to do a lot of color changes on their cars. The bottom one is a blue matte. The top one on the right’s actually one of our wrap technicians, he has a Range Rover and he did a Color Flip on that. So it changes colors during the day. Like yesterday, when it was cloudy, it just looked like a gray truck. But when the sun gets on it, it takes on a different look from every angle. And then we do some stripe kits, like on the yellow at the bottom. They just wanted to jazz up their car. It came “plain Jane” and they wanted to jazz up their car and make it unique.
Sarah: That looks so cool.
Glyna: You just make me want to do something with my car.
Sarah: I know. I’m looking out at my car, like boring.
Glyna: That’s what Rob says every time he sees this stuff. He’s like, “Okay, what can I do with my truck?” I’m like, “Oh, boy.”
Kelsi: I think the Fusion One brand would look really good with a Color Flip and our logo.
David Stephenson: There you go. There you go.
David Stephenson: We do a lot of distressed flags and stuff like that. We did a couple of them the other day. We printed on the reflective, we printed them black. So during the daytime, they look like black distressed flags. At night, when the lights hit them when you’re driving down the road, they look white.
Glyna: Oh, my God. That’s cool.
David Stephenson: So, you can see them at night. So it’s pretty cool.
Sarah: Really cool. So, the holidays are here, they’re knocking on the door. Do you all have any type of promotions or deals going on right now?
David Stephenson: We do. If you come in and buy a gift card from now to Christmas Eve, if you purchase over $100, you get 10% off of that gift card. So you get credit for $100, but you only pay $90 for it.
Glyna: Oh, cool.
David Stephenson: That’s a great gift. That’s if somebody that doesn’t have everything and they don’t have their windows tinted or they’re looking for a sticker kit or they want something unique on their car, you can use that for that as well. So just come in and talk to us and tell us some kind of what you got in mind, and then we can push you in the right direction.
Glyna: Yeah. I was going to say, especially if you have no idea what you want. It’s kind of like in your mind and you just really want something cool. Can we just say, “Okay, Dave, whip something up” or “help us?”
Sarah: Give me something cool.
David Stephenson: Sure. Well, a lot of people, if they’re really intent on doing something and they want to go ahead and pay us a deposit, we can take some pictures of their cars and superimpose things on their cars.
David Stephenson: I can give you an idea of what it’s going to look like before we actually touch the car. That’s an option, as well.
Glyna: That’s great. Yeah.
Kelsi: Awesome. I’m going to show off your brand new website.
David Stephenson: Okay.
Kelsi: Let’s pull it up here. Okay. So, you offer a ton of services, and we didn’t get to cover everything as far as images go. So, we want everybody to go visit your new website, srstintandgraphics.com. You can check out all of their services here and examples of each of those. We didn’t mention your decorative films, which you do offer for businesses.
David Stephenson: We do. And our ballistic films, as well. And safety security films.
Kelsi: Actually, let me go to the galleries. That’d probably be better, right?
Glyna: Yeah. And don’t forget residential, either.
Kelsi: Yeah. So-
David Stephenson: Right.
Kelsi: Just a small example of, can you all see that? It popped up. Of just how you can just jazz up some windows really easily and make your office space look really nice. So tell us, Dave, if someone wants to start working with you, how do they go about doing that?
David Stephenson: Well, give us a call or contact us through the website, and then we’ll walk you through the process. Just contact us and tell us what you want to do, and one of us will be back in touch with you and work a plan with you to try to get you exactly what you want. I think one thing that’s unique about us is, one person doesn’t do everything. We have specialty people that do specialty things. I have a whole crew just devoted to residential and commercial window tinting. I have another crew that’s devoted to automobile tinting only. Then I have another crew that’s basically devoted to vehicle wraps and graphics. You don’t get the same person for everything. We’re diverse in that respect, that we have professionals for each class that we do.
Kelsi: And it doesn’t cost your potential customers anything to have a consultation with you?
David Stephenson: No. They’re free consultations. If you want to move forward with a vehicle wrap or something, color change, or something like that, we require a deposit for it. But that just makes sure when we start ordering products and things like that and make sure you’re serious about doing it.
Glyna: Cool. Okay. I also want to say good morning to Perry from the Shelby County Chamber. Cindy Edmunds, and also Trevor Collins joining us this morning. So good morning, all of you. So yes, basically bottom line, you guys can do anything. You have specialists that know each part of what they do. You don’t have somebody that’s just doing it halfway. They kind of know a little bit about this, they kind of know a little bit about that. You can cover everything and make sure that it’s going to be quality.
David Stephenson: Right.
Glyna: Is there anything else? And I know there’s tons of stuff you guys do. Is there anything else, while we run your contact info in the bottom, that you’d like to cover?
David Stephenson: Well, probably one of the least publicized things we do is for automobile windshields. If you come in and have your windshield tinted, and this is a service we offer as well, but we use a product on the windshield that makes the windshield 250 times stronger and more flexible. You’re 70% less likely if a rock hits your windshield for it to crack. It may make a little ding in it, but it won’t crack all the way across. And then we use a product called Ceramic Pro on top of that. It’s superhydrophobic. It’s kind of like super Rain- X. Basically water will bead up on it, frost and things. Like this morning, when I got in my car, it took me about three minutes to get that frost off and I didn’t get out and scrape it. I just did the windshield washer fluid and it came right off.
David Stephenson: That’s one of the things that we don’t really promote as much as we should. But that’s one thing that if you come in and get a tint job, we offer you a discount to do it. And everybody that gets it absolutely loves it.
Glyna: Yeah, I would say so. Especially those people that are parking outside. All right. For those of you who are on the podcast, basically, if you want to get in touch with Dave and his team, you can go to the website, which is srstintandgraphics.com. And Facebook, obviously you can find them on Facebook, @SRSSolar Reflection Services. And we’ll wait till the stuff comes back by again. And the phone number is 205-831-4159 and email, firstname.lastname@example.org. All right.
Sarah: Oh, goodness. Well, I’ll tell you that 30 minutes went by in a blink. But we are not done with you yet.
David Stephenson: Okay.
Sarah: And we’re going to top it all off with a fun game called the Hot Seat. So let’s get going on that.
Kelsi: All right. We’re going to spin this wheel and see what game you’re going to play.
Glyna: Ooh. What will it be?
Kelsi: This or that! All righty. Here we go. I’m going to ask you something like pancakes or waffles and you just pick one. Okay?
Kelsi: All right. We’re going to skip pancakes or waffles because I said that one already.
David Stephenson: That’s probably a good thing because I would say bacon.
Kelsi: You got my timer?
Glyna: Yeah. It’s ready.
Kelsi: Okay. Let’s go. Amusement parks or museums?
David Stephenson: Museums.
Kelsi: Art festivals or music festivals?
David Stephenson: Music.
Kelsi: A twin bed or a large water bed?
David Stephenson: Large water bed.
Kelsi: Would you rather go on a ghost tour or historical tour?
David Stephenson: Historical.
Kelsi: Would you rather encounter a pirate or a witch?
David Stephenson: A pirate. 40 years too late.
Kelsi: Movies at home or in the theater?
David Stephenson: At home.
Kelsi: Biscuits or donuts?
David Stephenson: Biscuits.
Kelsi: Costume party or pool party?
David Stephenson: Pool party.
Kelsi: Would you rather be able to time travel or fly?
David Stephenson: Time travel.
Kelsi: Would you rather have someone cook for you or clean for you?
David Stephenson: Clean. Most definitely.
Kelsi: Would you rather go fishing or kayaking?
David Stephenson: Fishing.
Kelsi: Roses or sunflowers?
David Stephenson: Roses.
Kelsi: Train, oh, we’re good. Good job.
Glyna: Yay. You made it through with no problems. Oh. Well, Dave, we really want to thank you so much for not only being on here with us today but being our last guest on Biz Talk, since we are moving onto something else now. So, thank you very much.
David Stephenson: Well, thank you all for having me.
Glyna: Well, I also want to thank everybody for tuning in today. We had such a great time and we’re all going to be taking a break here for the last two weeks of 2020. So we’ll be getting geared up for 2021. And if you didn’t hear, we are going to be moving our Marketing Mix segment to Fridays at eight now. The next one will be on January 8th for our inaugural 2021 show, so join us then. And until then, everybody have happy holidays and we will see you then.
David Stephenson: All right.