Brothers Scott and Ryan Stara came by their Lincoln, NE-based vehicle graphics business, Revolution Wraps, in a roundabout way. Less than a decade ago, the two headed up a truck bed-liner company to market and grow. They decided to dress up their trucks with self-promotion to advertise the business.
"We were looking for a wrap, and we went to some of the local sign shops and some of the businesses in the nearby cities," Scott Stara recalls. "And what we found was that there was really no quality. The work that we saw had seams everywhere. The designs weren’t very good. The printing wasn’t even very good at the time. And because we were complete outsiders, we didn’t know any better. We thought that maybe that was the best that we could expect."
"But then we started to see some of the work coming from a few suppliers on the West Coast, and they were doing some really beautiful work. So, we knew it was possible to get a good, high-quality product. We then set out with a designer friend of ours, and said, ‘Can you do this? If you can design it, we can have someone print it.’ And that’s what we did. That was four years ago," he notes.
The Stara brothers broke into the wrap scene by showcasing custom-wrapped vehicles at a few auto shows, where they garnered a lot of interest.
"People started asking, ‘Where did you get that done?’ And that’s when we started to think that maybe we should get into this line of work," Scott Stara confides. "But what really catapulted us into the business was when someone saw one of our trucks and asked us to create wraps for 16 semi trailers. And we didn’t even have a printer at the time!"
Ryan Stara says that when they went to look for some print equipment of their own, they had fairly simple criteria. The printer had to be reliable. It had to be fairly easy to use. And it had to be affordable, since the brothers weren’t really sure that this new business would take off.
"That first year, we printed way more material than we ever imagined we would," Ryan Stara recalls. Recently, the company purchased a 64-inch Mutoh America, Inc. ValueJet.
Giving 100 Percent
The brothers agree that what really differentiates Revolution Wraps from other vehicle graphic suppliers is the attention to detail and unflappable commitment to quality.
"We print at high settings; our ink levels are pretty high, because we really want our colors to be great and vivid," Scott Stara confides. "We are very aware of what constitutes a beautiful product, and when people see our company vehicles, they’re floored.
"There are some competitors out there who have the 50/50 mentality. They want their wraps to look good from 50 feet away, passing by at 50 miles per hour. But we’re really after show quality. It has to look good if you’re standing right in front of it," he attests.
Other than the company’s Web site, Revolution Wraps relies on word-of-mouth. Ryan Stara notes that there are seven company vehicles wrapped, which also serve as moving ads.
While many of the company’s customers are locally based, the company does sell nationwide and will even travel to a site if the customer is willing to cover the cost.
Once a customer contacts the Stara brothers for a wrap job, they get white-glove service from beginning to end. "We do a nice job as far as proofing. We do an actual test print on the media it will be printed on, so the customers actually see a miniaturized version of the wrap itself, printed on the media, with the laminate applied," Scott Stara notes. "They see exactly what they’re going to get."
The brothers have experimented with many of the media and laminates available on the market, and frequently use Oracal USA’s media. "The white points are nice; the gloss is really nice. And we like the aggressiveness of it, which is more than other products out there, but we want that. We want it to last, and yes, you have to be a really good installer to put a wrap on properly, the first time. And we are," asserts Scott Stara.
"We don’t make mistakes during the install," Ryan Stara concurs. "Out of all the vehicles we’ve done, I think we’ve only had to throw away one whole side of a wrap."
"We had a gentleman from Kansas City, MO recently contact us about wrap pricing. We were a little more expensive; plus, we were three hours away from him. So he ended up getting it done by someone who was in closer proximity," explains Scott Stara.
"But two months ago I received a call from him, and he said, ‘You guys talked about quality so much. I really wish that I’d listened to you, because what I got was nothing like what I was promised.’ We do try to be effective in terms of cost, but what’s top priority for us is quality. And our customers appreciate it," he adds.
Quality has a history of making customers keep coming back for more and it is something the Stara brothers are certainly capable of. "We want to specialize in this business. We want to be known nationwide for beautiful, high-end quality work, and I think that’s why we keep getting repeat customers—and new ones from those who have recommended us," concludes Scott Stara.
Click here to read Part 1 of this exclusive online series, Cool Cars.
Click here to read Part 2 of this exclusive online series, Going Ape for Vehicle Graphics.