Winning a Wrap Like a King region is an impressive feat, and winning on your first try is nothing short of astounding. The 2016 Canada winner, Coastal Car Wraps, did just that, but their story gets more unbelievable the deeper you go.
At 19 and 20 years old respectively, Connor Barr and Tyler Vandenberghe of Victoria, British Columbia completed a wrap that would go toe to toe with some of the world’s premier installers, but they almost missed the chance. The installers only decided to enter on the last day of the submission window after seeing an ad for the competition on Instagram.
Barr and Vandenberghe met in business classes, and with a little over two years of wrapping experience, they already have strong connections in the wrap world. They trained with Phil Aquin, of Adhere Graphics and Masters of Branding, and share a competitive friendship with Chuck Courtois, another renowned installer in Canada.
“Chuck would always tell us he was the King of Canada,” said Barr. “We have fun talking smack, and he was one of the people who encouraged us to put in a submission for Wrap Like a King.”
While such connections are somewhat unusual for young installers, more unusual was the progression of their company up to this point. With the blessing of Barr’s grandmother, Coastal Car Wraps renovated her two-car garage, turning it into a shop for high end wraps. As students working part-time, Barr and Vandenberghe manage their busy schedule by performing color changes on weekends. Their quality craftsmanship has them booked several weeks in advance.
“We grew based mostly on word of mouth without a big budget for ads,” said Barr. “The sign shop market is a bit saturated near us, but we have become the go-to color change guys in Victoria.”
The design process was certainly unorthodox for the wrap they submitted for Wrap Like a King. KZ Auto Group, an importer of specialty car parts, wanted to stand out in order to attract more business, and they presented Coastal Car Wraps with an interesting proposition.
“KZ created a fully designed car in a racing video game and asked us to replicate it,” said Barr. “We found creative ways using films and overlaminates to stay true to their patterns and colors, giving them exactly what they wanted with only slight shifts in color.”
Once the design was finalized, Paul Aquin, brother of Phil Aquin, helped Coastal Car Wraps by printing KZ Auto’s design, offering assistance during the installation process and laminating the final wrap. After winning the Canada region, the company has seen more business and is proud to boast their title in Canada. They are booked through mid-February but have already started working on next year’s submission. Barr also plans to take advantage of an Avery Dennison Wrap Class this summer.
Learn more about Coastal Car Wraps at www.coastalcarwraps.com, and check out all of last year’s Wrap Like a King winners at www.wraplikeaking.com/winners.