Volume 16, Issue 4 - July/August 2012
East Los Angeles native Frank Garrido got his start in window tinting at 12 years old. Now the president, owner and founder of Tint Factory Solar Concepts Inc., also based in Los Angeles, Garrido’s business specializes in commercial, residential and automotive window film services.
Garrido, 42, says his summers as a 12 to 14-year-old consisted of two things: BMX racing as a young professional and window tinting. After losing his sponsorship to ride professional BMX, Garrido decided to use his tinting skills to pursue a career in the film industry.
“I was brought up in a pretty modest neighborhood in East Los Angeles by a single mother,” Garrido says. “My mom was working hard to raise two boys, so I had to do something really quick. The only thing I knew how to do really well and make good money was window tinting. I ventured out and started looking for a job and I found a place called Transparent Glass Coatings, which is one of the oldest window tinting companies in Los Angeles—they molded me and shaped me.”
In 1987, Garrido says he worked his way up to a managing position, but a year later the company went out of business.
“I knew the owners of the property and they said this is a great opportunity for you, just change the name and run it like nothing’s wrong. And I did,” he says. “That’s how the Tint Factory started in 1988.”
Since its beginning, some of his most memorable projects have included both automotive and commercial jobs.
“Working with companies such as the Toyota Corp., the Mitsubishi Corp. and doing projects with the large auto manufacturers from window tinting, to car wraps, to restyling has been a real eye-opener for me in terms of the automotive industry,” he says. “But we’re not really geared towards automotive. I have a love for cars and I’m known as a car guy, but I don’t know why.”
Additionally, Garrido says he has commercial projects in the works. “It’s pretty amazing how big business is done,” he says. “You feel a certain sense of satisfaction when you finish a large project and you know that you did it. The customer is happy and you have zero callbacks.”
Garrido describes what sets his window tinting company apart from others as being “picky.” “I don’t care if it’s a Hyundai or a Ferrari—if it’s not done right, don’t let it go out,” he says. “Don’t tell people lies, be straight up and be real. They’ll appreciate it more if you tell them the truth. A lot of times I have customers that may not want to hear it, but I’d rather be able to sleep at night than worry about it. I’d rather have friends than enemies.”
Garrido still has dreams for the company and says he would like to open up a few more locations throughout California and in the nation.