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Accent By Masters News

Window Film Firm Finds Its Best Seller A Clear Favorite

The Business Journal of Phoenix - February 15, 2002

Company: Accent by Masters

Address: 14255 N. 79th St., Ste. 10, Scottsdale

Phone: 602-267-0706

Web site: http://www.accentbymasters.com

Year founded: 1979

No. of employees: 4

2006 revenue: $1.1 million

Accent by Masters sells several major brands of window film to the residential and commercial
sectors, including V-Kool, a clear film that blocks heat and ultraviolet rays.

A chat with Tom James, president:

What have you done to differentiate yourselves from the competition? "We do no automotive tinting,
just residential and commercial. But we do twice as much business as our nearest competitors. What
has helped us is our exclusive license to sell the V-Kool product in Maricopa County."

How were you able to get exclusive rights? "The company that manufactures V-Kool was started by
two guys who were friends at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They started their company
in Palo Alto, Calif., and we were the first people they came to in Arizona since we were the largest
sellers of film. We have been using it since 1995. It now makes up certainly half, if not two-thirds, of
our business."

What were the advantages of V-Kool that made you want to sell it? "Because it's clear, you can't even
tell that it's on the glass -- it is applied using an adhesive. Other films are much darker and shinier.
Most of our market is in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. Our customers there tend to think
`Whatever I do to my windows, I don't want to change the curb appeal of my house.' And with the
view of the mountains many of them have, they don't want to look through something that taints their
vision."

Is there a premium charged for the film? "It is definitely more expensive; at $10 to $12 per square
foot, it's twice the cost of any other products out there. But in the residential market we sell to, that
doesn't seem to be a problem."

How do you get customers to understand the price differential? "Each opportunity we have to quote a
job, we do what we call `Film 101.' Most customers know that they have a problem with heat, glaring
or fading, but they do not know about films. Part of our job is to educate them. Because it's plastic,
they equate it with car films that bubble or fade or get scratched easily. ... Very rarely do we have to
go back to strip and redo it."

What do you do to educate potential customers? "We spend about $100,000 a year on advertising,
including mailings to new home buyers and a lot of trade shows. We also have fairly large
expenditures in all the phone books. It would be nice if we didn't have to do that, but the public is not
aware of the product."

Are you planning any expansion? "We hope to be hiring two or three people this year. We're kind of
at the mercy of new home starts and especially rely on new residents that come from out of state.
When they get here, they can't believe how hot it is."

Do you have a special philosophy that guides the business? "I tell the employees to treat these people
like you would treat your grandmother and go out of your way to be courteous and polite. We're
often the last people in the home, and many people have had to deal with workmen soiling their
home, not having their phone calls answered, and they get used to not getting treated well. We dress
nicer and wear surgical booties on our feet. They need to know that we're different from other
tradesmen."

Compiled by Eileen Brill Wagner.

Contact Person : Tom James
Contact Info: 15840 North Cave Creek Road

                        Phoenix, Az. 85032
                        (602) 267-0706
                        www.accentbymasters.com
                        tom@accentbymasters.com

Biography: Accent by Masters has prided itself on being Arizona’s premiere luxury residential and commercial window film contractor since 1979. We specialize in solar control, security, and decorative and frosted film applications. We are the exclusive distributors of V-Kool™, clear and non-reflective window film. We proudly serve Arizona’s most prolific interior designers, and consider it our privilege to do so.

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