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BUSINESS & SALES Jenn Ewing is co-owner of Ewing Graphics in Farmington, New York. Her thorough answers to my ques- tions give lots of great feedback to starting and growing in the sign and wraps industry. She also noted that although I was asking her these questions, her husband and dedicated employees play a significant role in the success, growth and future of her company. How did you get started? I began working in the sign indus- try in 2001. At that time, vehicles and signs were still being hand-painted and die-cut vinyl graphics were being used in layers. We airbrushed to achieve the fades that we now print. Printing anything at that point in time was still in its infancy stages. Our shop initially started when my husband, Tom, progressed from hand-painting pinstripes on vehicles in the '80s to hand-painting logos and signs. And from there we have advanced to the "vehicle wrap age." Along the way, we have offered a variety of products. Today we primarily focus on vehicle wraps and decal kits. How have you learned over the years? As for training, I would consider myself a self-taught installer. Having had the history of applying non-air egress vinyl in lay- ers, I have also worked through the various developing stages of vinyl. We have tried several manufacturers' vinyl products and continue to do so daily. With so many options out there, being self-taught gives me the confidence that the product we send out the door is exactly what the customer expects and it will have the lon- gevity that the manufacturer guarantees. We are a 3 M certified company. Have you attended any training classes? While I have not directly attended a training class, my husband and I have dem- onstrated vehicle wrap demos at many of the industries trade shows. That has given Women Q & A with women working in the wrap industry B Y C H A R I T Y J A C K S O N I t's fair to say that the sign and wrap industry is primar- ily male dominated. That isn't to say though that there are not a fair number of women succeeding in this indus- try. The cool thing about vehicle wraps is the ability to be successful at wrapping depends on your skill. These skills have nothing to do with gender and everything to do with the individual. While there may be a bit of a preconception that the wrap installer will be male, I haven't found this to be a big deal. When we're first working with a customer to determine their wrap coverage, or to go over any possible issues, I'm often asked to go out and consult on the wrap. I've received a few comments over the years, mainly sur- prise that "I'm" the installer with a question mark at the end of the statement. Once I start talking though they know I'm knowledgeable and experienced. That's all it takes to remove any hesitation. As the industry grows, it's great for newcomers to hear from industry veterans, to see how they got their start and what has helped them grow over the years. For this article, I had the opportunity to talk with a few women in the wraps industry to share their stories. Charity Jackson is co-owner of Visual Horizons Custom Signs based in Modesto, California. She has been in business since 1995, and has worked in the sign industry for over 20 years. You can visit her website at WHO WRAP 26 • WRAPS • 2 0 1 7 Jenn Ewing Ewing Graphics Farmington, N.Y. Ewing Graphics wrap.

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