27 Sep Dealer Spotlight: Local Mississippi Window Tinting Company Nears 50 Years of Family Business Helping People Be More Comfortable
For nearly 50 years, family-owned Solar Control, Inc. has helped thousands of people lower high energy costs, reduce heat, prevent glare and slow fading in homes, businesses and vehicles. Owner Joe Williams attributes his window film company’s success to values that emphasize the importance of family, giving back to the community and providing excellent customer service.
In 1975 after he had retired from the United States Air Force, Williams’ father purchased the 15-county 3M “Scotchtint” window tinting franchise and renamed it Mississippi Gulf Coast Solar Control. Williams was a junior in high school at the time. After he graduated from Wichita State University – Kansas, he worked for the shop for a while and eventually bought it, renaming it to Solar Control Inc. Williams now runs the shop side-by-side with his son, Tony.
“I learned a lot from my dad, who always taught me the importance of taking care of our customers,” Williams said. “We arrive early, listen to our customers, and make sure their needs are met. I believe this has helped us succeed.”
Headquartered in Ocean Springs, Mississippi on the Gulf of Mexico, the company serves customers throughout south Mississippi and southwestern Alabama. Solar Control’s staff consists of four window film installers, including Williams. His son, Tony, joined the team after he graduated from the University of West Florida in 2004. He is now the general manager. Installer Brandon Rosiere has been with the company for 10 years. Van Garrard is the company’s primary residential and commercial window film installer and oversees sales.
The company’s business consists of about 70 percent residential and commercial film and 30 percent automotive film. “When we have a busy schedule, it’s not uncommon for us to hang a sign on the door that we are out installing tint,” Williams said.
Since the beginning, Solar Control Inc. has been carrying 3M™ Window Film. 3M is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of window tint. The global manufacturer received its first patent for sun control window film in
1966. Known for its innovation and technology, 3M’s Crystalline Series films for auto and Prestige Series films for home and office are known for rejecting heat, preventing glare and blocking up to 99.9% of damaging UV rays. 3M tints
can range from clear to dark. “Everything they do is backed by science,” Williams said of 3M. “It doesn’t become available on the market unless it proves to be successful.” Because of this, Williams said he knows his company is installing quality products on people’s windows.
When he is not installing tint, Williams and his family are active in the community. Williams took over management of the local St. Martin Athletic Hall of Fame, established to honor former athletes, coaches and administrators of St. Martin High School Athletics.
Williams, known as Joe “The Toe”, was a kicker/punter at St. Martin High School and at Wichita State University – Kansas. He holds the national record for a 67-yard field goal. He also played for the Seatle Seahawks for a short time before leaving football to raise his family and take over the family business. He is honored in the high school’s Hall of Fame. He is married to Tammy, his junior high school sweetheart, and just celebrated his 45th wedding anniversary. They have four grandchildren, all girls, ranging in ages one to 15.
In addition to supporting local athletic programs, Williams’ company provides support to three to four local nonprofit organizations a year, including local breast cancer awareness initiatives. “Giving back to the community is important to us,” he said. “It all comes back ten-fold.”
As he heads into a 50-year milestone for his local company, Williams looks back with pride at how his business has thrived over the decades. He said he is proud to have worked with 3M and distributors like Accent Distributing, which has headquarters in both Texas and Florida.
“My dad, he made the right decision going with 3M films,” Williams said. “No matter where you go, 3M is there; people recognize the name. 3M’s support and loyalty, including the marketing and sales support that they provide to us, helps to make us successful.”
Williams is pleased that he has a family run business that has created a nearly 50-year legacy of helping people add comfort to their lives. He also understands the value of employees enjoying quality time with family, which is why the shop is closed on weekends. “We’re very family oriented, and it’s important to spend time with family as much as possible,” he said.