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Black History Month: The Career of Lawrence Williams – Window Film Magazine

Lawrence Williams was 10 years old when his uncle bought a 1993 Fox-bodied Ford Mustang with tinted windows and a red interior. The vehicle sparked Williams’ passion for cars, laying the foundation for a 22-year career in the window film industry.

The foundation

“I grew up around it,” Williams says of the window tint. “My brothers, cousins, and neighborhood friends have all set up stereos and dabbled in paint in my mom’s backyard and at their parents’ houses. I grew up in a city where we had one of the largest trucking shows in the country. I’ve always had a passion for cars. It was easy to get into the industry once I had the opportunity.

Williams joined the US Army as an infantryman after the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. His start in the industry came after he caught the eye of a sound systems store owner by installing a purchased subwoofer.

“Everything sounded good,” Williams says of his truck’s subwoofer setup. “I was walking up the street, preparing to get onto the highway from the same shop, and the owner was waving me off. He was like, ‘Did you do that yourself? Good idea. Are you looking for a job?'”

Williams began installing stereos at the company, eventually taking over window shade installations that the company had previously outsourced. Today he is the owner of Tint Masters Window Tinting in North Beach, Md.

New heights

Williams’ quest for the podium at the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off (WFCT) began in 2016, when he began competing in the Automotive Tint-Off division. He came close at WFCT 2022 in San Antonio, where he emerged as a finalist.

“It didn’t feel real,” Williams says of the finals. “I checked the list three or four times to make sure it was my name. It was a moment I’ve been waiting for… I’m excited about WFCT 2023 because it’s in Virginia Beach. I’m in Maryland, and it’s not far from me; I colored the area.

Finalists of the WFCT 2022 competition

Williams was among the 10 finalists in the Automotive Tint-Off Division at WFCT 2022.

Caleb Silkett, Midwestern Window Treatments, Overland Park, Kan. Daniel Munoz, Honest Tint, Yucaipa, California. David Williams, Dave’s Tint, Shreveport, La. Greg Fletcher, Tinting of the Midwest, Lee’s Summit, Mo. Jason Teasley, Tint Pro and Accessories, Lowell, Ark. Johnny Froese, Tinted Glass with Solar Reflections, Grand Island, Neb. Joshuah Reeves, iTint Professional Glass Tinting, Lake Wales, Fla.• Lawrence Williams, Tint Masters Window Tinting, North Beach, Md. Maksim Kutsenko, Sun Stoppers Glass Tinting, Charlotte, NC Mike Mitchell, WBF Paint, San Angelo, Texas

World records

Mike Burke has been in the window film industry for 33 years. His company, Sun Stoppers, has more than 63 locations in 19 states offering residential and commercial tinting and decorative film services, as well as automotive tinting, paint protection and ceramic coatings.

Williams is busy running his business, but has teamed up with Burke and co. on July 29, 2018, for a shot at history. Williams and the Sun Stoppers team tinted 438 windows on 170 vehicles at Town and Country Ford in Charlotte, NC Setting the record in less than eight hours, the unit tinted a record number of vehicle windows in one business day.

Going forward

In this Black History Month, Williams reflects on diversity, equity and inclusion within the window film industry.

“I would like to see more people of color in the corporate side of the business,” Williams says. “When it comes to social media, we are too busy with the [Facebook] groups. We are so quick to hit or look like idiots. All of us, not just any particular person or race, need to take a step back and think before hitting the submit button. We need to be kinder to each other.”

February is Black History Month, and WINDOW FILM magazine plans to recognize and showcase Black professionals and entrepreneurs working in the window film industry. If you are a Black Window Film professional or would like to nominate an individual or company, please email Chris Collier at [email protected].

This article is from Focus on Film, the weekly e-newsletter covering the latest in window film and related products, including paint protection film. Click HERE to register: there are no costs. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Window Film magazine are available in print or digital format. Sign up for free HERE.

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