We had the good fortune of connecting with Vinyl Vixen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vinyl, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Authenticity and Consistency go hand in hand as the culprits behind the success of our business/brand. Staying true to ourselves, and our word, while always giving our absolute best has made us stand out above the rest.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We are Wrapsesh; a small “Mom & Pop” luxury wrap shop located in Gilbert, AZ, and operating since 2016. We specialize in automotive restyling and go above and beyond when it comes to vehicle wraps. There is a vinyl wrap out there for almost any surface, but we love doing personal vehicles (including luxury and daily drivers), Motorcycles, Helmets, Prosthetics, and so much more! We offer all sorts of different restyling services like dent repair, powder coating, and ceramic coatings. But we specialize in creating custom printed vehicle wraps that really bring on the WOW factor along with full color changes. We also do different accent graphics like custom stripe kits, vehicle dechrome kits, custom decals, and more.
We consider ourselves to be artists first. Michael (my partner in crime) and I created this company because we, as installers, were tired of being limited in quality and constrained by time while working for other wrap shops. Our industry’s general standard is to do a wrap as fast and easy as you can, for the biggest profit. This strategy works for many sign and graphics shops doing mostly business graphics; As a luxury wrap shop though, while making an efficient profit is essential in any successful business, we care more about quality rather than quantity. This strategy, along with our positive advocacy within our industry, has garnished us with nearly 90,000 followers/subscribers; many of whom are other installers and shops worldwide that have come to respect our opinions and admire our willingness to share advice, tips, and tricks. Our stance has also helped to raise our industry’s standards as to what a wrap can really be when it comes to quality and coverage.
Our business is unique in the services we offer because we love to take on the challenges that most shops don’t have the confidence to touch. We specialize in what we call “over-wrapping;” We can offer full coverage wraps, including door jambs, door interiors, and even underhood wraps. Whereas most graphic wrap shops only offer an exterior “surface wrap” with little to no disassembly. What does this mean for our clients? We can take a vehicle wrap and cover nearly every painted surface, rivaling any paint job. We offer full disassembly in-house, as Michael is a certified mechanic. This gives us a leg up, allowing us to get more coverage with a wrap while also securing it. This means a longer-lasting and better-looking vehicle wrap that is meant to last!
Our road to success was no easy path, but I am a firm believer that you reap what you sow. Most take the same route while few make their own, and if having a business was easy, then everyone would do it! Michael and I began working together at another local graphics shop. I began as an apprentice under Michael and have learned everything I know about wrapping from him. We love being a tandem wrap couple and working together. Less than two years in and we had a falling out with that local shop, and ended up walking out of that job. That is when we decided we were going to do our own thing and start a business. Neither of us had any business background or schooling. We had no investors, no savings, no money to even put into starting a company. We began wrapping motorcycles in our dining room! The struggle was real, to say the least. We encountered many financial hardships in the beginning. At one point, we had our power and gas turned off for an entire month. We had a small ice chest of food, and we cooked foil dinners on our fire pit every night, along with suffering ice-cold showers throughout the winter! Eventually, we were able to land ourselves into a shop, sharing space with other automotive restyling companies for the first few years. In the last five years, we have moved to five different locations. If anything, our story is proof that if there is a will then there is a way! We no are situated in a 5000sqft facility that is entirely for ourselves along with our in-house team of nine, AKA The Shark Mouth Squad.
As a business owner and an installer, the most essential trick you need up your sleeve is being a good problem solver. No matter how much you plan, strategize, and organize, problems can and will arise. Mistakes will be made, and most of the time you need to be able to adapt and just make things work. As an installer, it is your job to create the finished product. There often times may be mistakes in the design template, or in measurements/sizing. Regardless, it is your job as the anchor of your relay race, to make things work and deal with these issues accordingly. As a business owner, managing multiple employees and many clients can be a lot to juggle. You have to be good at keeping your cool as a leader, and figuring out the most efficient solution when issues arise. It is also super important to base your decisions on what you feel is morally and ethically fair as the business. Clients and employees want to be treated fairly and with respect. When problems arise, sometimes you have to be able to swallow your pride and take a loss to do what is right. I think treating people in this manner is what attracts more clients to us. Our clients are not just a paycheck to us; we truly care about making lasting relationships with them and I think that attitude goes a long way. We spend a lot of time with our clients and employees doing fun activities outside of our business. Whether that be a BBQ pool party, or a night out on the town to let off some steam.
Our business has thrived based on customer referrals and our social media. Social Media was our biggest weapon to get our name out there when we started and it continues to be a crucial part of our business. Many of our followers/supporters are attracted to our social media because we share a lot of what goes on behind the scenes. This gives clients, both existing and potential, a better understanding of how much work goes into what we do and the cost associated with it. Our best following is on Instagram, but we also have Facebook and Tik Tok as well. For the past four years, we have had a Youtube Channel where we post weekly videos. These videos range from product reviews to custom car reveals, wrap tutorials, adventures to shows, and new product releases. We are very much like an open book and love to share our “secret sauce” to help other installers and shops worldwide. Because of this open-book attitude, we have come to gain a lot of respect and admiration from others in our industry. From our point of view, we are trying to help raise our industry’s standard of a wrap and really focus on quality control. So it is really important to us that we take the time to help others online in their wrap quest. We focus on Good Vibes only online and off, and I think people are really attracted to that kind of positivity with how much negativity there is online.
I would credit our success to being consistent and authentic to ourselves. We have been very vocal on our “above and beyond” approach to wrapping. We consistently post engaging and interesting content online; whether that be time-lapses, videos, photos, or reviews. We keep it interesting and we always keep it fun! Many other shops get in a habit of only posting before & after photos, and that can get really monotonous. Stayin authentic and true to yourself is also really important if you want to stand out above the rest. We offer a unique point of view and have always stuck by our stance of quality above all.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am all for supporting other local businesses, and in our time as business owners, we have met so many amazing people and companies locally! My favorite place to blow off some steam is at the Level One Arcade Bar, located in Old Town Gilbert., AZ. We actually found this bar when we were hanging out with some of our friends. Come to find out the General Manager was a big fan of our work! Lucky for us, their place literally only a mile away from our shop, and it is our favorite hang-out spot. Since meeting with them, we have done several cars for the owners, and we are currently working on a really unique wall mural for the space. We have taken friends, family, co-workers, and even clients here to hang out, so it is great for all ages! What I really love about this bar is that it is not just a place with loud music where you stand around and drink. Their space has tons of old-school arcade games and pinball machines. I love video games, especially the older ones. So for me, it is really fun to play games and engage your brain in a different way than we are used to at work. They even do costume theme parties and pinball tournaments every month, and I love any excuse to dress up. If I want to show someone a good time, this is the first place I will take them! When it comes to some grub, you can go all American at AZ Wilderness Brewery, in Gilbert. Their duck-fat fries and local brews are incredible! Plus it has dog-friendly patio seating, which is great because we are huge animal lovers. We actually bring one of our Great Danes to work with us every day! Another favorite spot to eat is this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant hiding in Apache Junction, called Momo No Hana. This is an Izakaya-style Japanese Restaurant and it is truly a hidden gem! Their Tonkotsu Ramen is Mike’s favorite. Their staff is so friendly and nice, we really enjoy going there after a long work week and just chatting with whoever is working at the bar. They know us by name and always want to see what cars we are working on. Their attitude is infectious and always enjoyable to be around.
If you want a truly unique Arizona experience, the Salt River Float is always a fun time during the Summer months. This is a 1-4 hour float down a section of the Salt River in East Mesa. People make these crazy float contraptions with multiple tubes; complete with music, snacks, and ice chests full of drinks. It is a really fun experience to do with friends. I actually enjoy doing the nighttime floats that happen on special occasions. We typically rent a Kayak or Paddle Board and decorate them with glow sticks and Christmas lights. The last one we did was on a full moon, and it was truly a serene and peaceful experience out in nature.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our amazing sponsors, our in-house team, AKA the Shark Mouth Squad, and our collaborating graphic artists. Sending our good vibes to you all! Fellers, Mutoh America, GSWF, Stek Automotive, Fusion Tools, Curvaceous Wraps, Glarb Designs, and Vojtech Designs (to name a few!).
Instagram: @wrapseshaz AND @vinylvixenwraps
Other: TIK TOK: https://www.tiktok.com/@wrapseshaz?lang=en
Porsche photo & Slim and Vixen personal photo: Evolutionized Photography Kawasaki Bike Photo: Jula Romano Photography *All other photos: Ashley Afdahl