Behind The Scene: With window film business owners Matthew and Kristy Yelle
How did you get started in the window film industry?
My husband Matt Yelle (co-owner) has been in the window film industry for over 20 years and I had picked up the lingo along the way.I am a business major and entrepreneur myself, so when we decided to go into business for ourselves,I knew I could handle all things business related and he could handle all things film related, so Palmetto Protection Films based in Myrtle Beach was born.
What prompted you to join the IWFA?
The IWFA is a very reputable organization and does a ton for the window film industry. I knew from the outset we were going to join because we would be the first to know about things going on in the field and have the opportunity to earn special accreditations in our related fields. We know that this sets us apart from other dealers in our area, too.
What is your favorite aspect of your business?
Educating clients on the benefits of window film and how they can help in so many different areas.
What has been your most memorable project to date?
While there are quite a few, for me the most memorable one was when we first started out and had no customer reviews or longevity being in business. A client found us on the internet by searching for “security film” right after I published our web page and gave us a call. They were only in town for the weekend at their second home and requested an estimate on a Saturday. Matt did the estimate and they hired us on the spot. They said they didn’t need any other estimates from other companies because they trusted us from the initial phone call, and meeting Matt in person solidified that. At that point, it gave me the confidence that starting our business was the right thing and that we were going to be okay. They were thrilled with the security film and even had us tint two of their vehicles later on.
What is something that you do that makes you stand out from the rest of your competition?
We leave our clients with a “Window Film Information Packet” at final install that includes warranty information, how to care for your window film, and more. We also provide a gift bag full of promotional materials and candy that everyone seems to appreciate. We believe it’s the little things that set you apart.
What is the single most critical obstacle standing in the way of improving or increasing your business?
Not knowing what you don’t know. Being a new business owner, you don’t start out knowing everything about running a successful business. You are always learning, adjusting, adapting, and growing. So just not knowing everything off the bat and sometimes having to learn hard lessons along the way would be the biggest obstacle.
What is the best business advice you have received?
Start off right by doing everything by the book, be honest, and pay your taxes!
What advice would you give to someone just starting out on their own?
Don’t be scared of failure! If you have a passion and desire to be successful in the window film industry, go for it.
Where do you see your business in 10 years?
My hope is that we will have opened a second location, add a fully operational automotive wing with Paint Protection Film, window film and detailing services, and expand our sales and installation team allowing Matthew and I to manage and oversee without being in the day-to-day details.
What are you passionate about outside of window filming?
My family! Matthew and I have two boys that are 15 & 11. They bring us joy and fuel our desire to be successful in order to provide a good life for them.
Any last thoughts regarding the window film industry?
I am looking forward to where we are headed with technological advancements on window film. So much has progressed over the last 10 years, and I can’t imagine what new technologies will be available in the next 10 years. It’s an exciting time to be in the field.