Film Stars July/August 2018

August 2nd, 2021 by Bryan

True Happiness Achieved Through Window Film

By Emmariah Holcomb

Everyone’s start in the window film industry is different. For some it can stem from passion, a love of cars or even from having a mild interest in the products. But then there are those who get their start from pain. Such was the case for Bernice Ussery, owner of Pure Luxury Tint and Detailing Services.

She got her unofficial start in the industry as a child working with her father.

“You see, growing up I had a big mouth, and every time I would mouth off, I would have to work on cars with my dad,” she said. “At one point I was sick of it and told my father ‘I’m tired of working with my hands and I was going to corporate America so I wouldn’t have to work like this anymore.’ He said ‘good luck with that.’ ”

Starting Out

From that point, she worked other jobs, but it wasn’t until she left an abusive marriage that she got back into the industry she had tried to exit. She described that time in her life as a rough patch.
She knew she not only had to survive, but that she also had to take care of her children.

“How can I bring happiness in my life?” That was one thought she constantly had. “I was homeless at the time with no credit. I remember staying at the park and getting a gym membership just so I could shower. My biggest challenge was to beat the odds. Don’t become a statistic, don’t end up on government assistance … just beat the odds.”

While working through one of the hardest times in her life, Ussery went back to tinting cars. But this time was different. Now she found working on them to be therapeutic. It calmed her nerves and helped control her post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I used to do it and I hated it, but now I get to do it because I love it,” she said.

Being a Woman in the Industry

Being a woman who has worked in a predominately male profession for decades doesn’t faze Ussery. In fact, she welcomes her differences.

“I’ve worked in a lot of shops, and I would say 80 percent of people back then didn’t take pride in their work,” she said. “That’s when I knew I had to start tinting on my own. I moved from Arizona
to Vegas to do it.”

After moving, she focused on getting better, because she had a new goal. She wanted to open up her own shop, but offer more services, especially in the off seasons.

Lasting Legacy

Window tinting, detailing and wrapping cars became not only a financial gain but also something Ussery used to build her legacy. She knew early on that supporting her family was a top priority, but now she wanted to leave a craft and business behind for them. Opening Pure Luxury Tint and Detailing Services was in the back of her mind.

“I wanted to create a beautiful empire for my kids and grandkids because growing up I never had that opportunity,” she said After spending years working and training in various shops across the country, she finally opened her own. Its re-opening was in February 2012. There she could use everything she had learned about customer service, window tinting and wrapping in one place she could call hers.

Adding Additional Services

Ussery said winters can be challenging because fewer people look to get their cars wrapped. This is when she knew adding car detailing to her shop’s expertise was a wise choice. Branching out
and offering more services would ultimately help her through slower stretches.

But what else makes her shop stand out above the rest?

“It’s my customer service,” she said.

She often asks herself how she can make a car perfect. She sets daily challenges to constantly have high customer service and a close eye to detail for every customer and car that comes to her shop.
But even the best eyes can’t spot everything.

“I would say a lot of my customers can be high maintenance,” she said. “I get one to four cars a year that I have to redo because of dust. It hurts me because I know how much I put into every car.”

Goals: Current and Future

One of her goals is to have a year where she doesn’t have any cars come back to be re-wrapped– she calls it having the perfect car.

“Having the perfect car is a setback for me at times, but it’s also an area of opportunity,” she said. Another area of opportunity might be in Ussery’s future. After spending nearly 30 years in the industry, owning and operating her own business and taking care of her family, what could possibly be next?

“My hands hurt a lot and it’s almost time to retire,” she said. “Then I thought, what if I go into teaching?”

There’s currently a space right across the street from her shop that’s available. Ussery said if she were to teach, window tinting and car wrapping would be her focus. That way, she wouldn’t have to be too far away from her passion. Plus, she already has quite a few years of experience under her belt from teaching her grandkids how to tint and wrap.

Every summer she gets to spend time with them, and they love going into the shop and learning new things.

“I’m proud of this … that I can teach them some of what I’ve  learned,” Ussery said. “A few of them want to join the industry, too, and it brings tears to my eyes and joy in my heart. To know my struggles were worth it.”

After years of being unhappy and in search of happiness, there’s one phrase that Ussery uses to sum up where she is at this point of her life.

“I’m happy now. Even though I ache, I’m happy and I’m super blessed,” she said.

Emmariah Holcomb is the editorial assistant for WINDOW FILM magazine. Reach her at eholcomb@glass.com.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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