How one shop found its market niche

Focusing on Wrap Installations

Early in his professional life, Carl Brewer worked as a lighting technician and planned to make a career out of it. Unfortunately, the industry took a tumble, and Brewer found himself out of a job. Though disappointed, Brewer’s life changed quickly as a new opportunity emerged and he went on a sign-painting job with his girlfriend’s father, Leo Torres. Torres, who is a 30-year sign painting veteran, needed some help painting a Burger King billboard. After three hours of work and a nice cash payment, Brewer took a liking to the sign industry.

From there, Brewer started doing perforated banners on the sides of buses and eventually got into the wrap business as he now owns Las Vegas-based The Wrap Installers, which focuses only on installations throughout the country. The design, printing and other graphic needs are all farmed out to other shops that specialize in those areas. By centering on just installations and allowing the other shops to work on their specialties, the business is more effective and operates at a faster level, Brewer says.

“With everyone we know in the industry, we can be just as competitive as a print shop,” Brewer says. “We pride ourselves in being one of the fastest installers in the country, and we can get our clients out of a lot of binds. Usually, we’re the people they call the day before they need a wrap, and we try not to say no.” 

For Brewer, his most memorable wrap is a project he completed with Ontario, Calif.-based Gator Wraps for Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, he says. The two wraps were for Branson’s 125-foot racing catamaran and a submarine.

Unlike other wrap shops, The Wrap Installers does not have a retail store. So much of The Wrap Installers’ business is nationwide that Brewer is only in Las Vegas a couple days a week. When necessary, Brewer rents installation bays, but most of the installations are completed on-site.

After being in the wrap business for nine years, if Brewer could give one tip to those looking to get into the wrap business, he would recommend that they are open to help when necessary. Sometimes a certain car might be harder to wrap than others because of its nuisances, but there are plenty of places that offer explanations. Social networking sites and blogs, for instance, are both great sources for a quick demo. Denying the necessary help does nothing for the shop in need or the industry as a whole.

“Go to YouTube and look it up,” Brewer says. “Otherwise, you might mess it up and end up making an industry that thousands have worked hard to create look bad over an ego. The second you have pride you stop any positive growth.”

For Brewer, his most memorable wrap is a project he completed with Ontario, Calif.-based Gator Wraps for Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, he says. The two wraps were for Branson’s 125-foot racing catamaran and a submarine that he planned to use for a series of oceanic dives into the world’s deepest parts, and the scheduled unveiling was at the Newport Beach Yacht Club in Newport Beach, Calif. While so much research has been done for outer space, there is still much unknown about the ocean, and Branson wanted to change that. Of course, Branson also wanted to do so in style.

Because The Wrap Installers don’t technically have a shop, a typical shop truck advertisement might not be the best plan. However, that doesn’t keep owner Carl Brewer from making a statement with his own truck.

The wraps both prominently featured Virgin’s logos as well as the logos of major sponsors, such as Google, Brewer says. Though both of the vessels were flashy in nature, they displayed simple, clean graphics. This allowed the branding to shine through without being cluttered by distracting imagery.

With Branson as the client, money wasn’t much of an issue, and the day before the unveiling, Branson’s team decided to tweak the blue in the Virgin logo. The Wrap Installers and Gator Wraps worked overnight to reprint and install the wraps. While some may think hitting such a tight turnaround is challenging, to Brewer, it’s just a part of the business.

“That’s always how it is in this industry when it comes to the big money,” Brewer says. “You have to be ready for tight deadlines and changes.”

When Brewer thinks about the future possibilities for The Wrap Installers, he sees much growth potential. In just the first month after opening, The Wrap Installers posted $30,000 in business, and the work has only continued to grow. With its dedication to high-quality work and high customer-service standards, The Wrap Installers is prepared for a bright future.

“We’re constantly growing our client base, and we’ve never lost a client to a bad job or anything like that,” Brewer says. “If something goes wrong, we fix it. If we keep that mentality and our reputation strong, we will keep growing.”