Quick-Fire Q&A With Mike Swzacki

Mike Swzacki, twice World Wrap Master winner, gets in the hotseat for our QuickFire Q&A.

 

How long have you been in the industry?

I grew up with parents who owned a printing company, so for as long as I can remember I’ve been around the industry. In vehicle wrapping specifically, I’ve been doing it for around 18 years.


What inspired you to start your own vehicle wrapping business, and how did you get started?

I always wanted to own my own business, and after freelancing for two years, I knew it was time to open my own wrap shop.


How has your experience as a trainer for William Smith influenced your approach to vehicle wrapping projects?

It has been really beneficial to me as I’m able to work with a lot of different materials and teach others the correct way to install each one. I’ve been doing this for 7 years now and I am continually evolving the process.


What’s the most unusual or challenging vehicle you’ve ever wrapped, and what made it unique?

Race cars are always intricate, they’ve got a lot of challenging shapes and spoilers to navigate – plus there is added pressure on a very expensive vehicle.


Do you have a favourite part of the vehicle wrapping process?

Seeing the progress from taking the car apart to beginning wrapping and seeing it take shape. 


How do you ensure each job is up to the standards you expect of yourself?

At the end of each job, we always take a step back and look over the whole car to make sure we’re happy with it and most importantly, if it was your car, would you pay for it?


Can anybody be a vehicle wrapper?

I’ve had hardworking and enthusiastic people come to work for me, and most people can get to a certain standard. But without talent and passion, you can’t be the best.



What’s the most important skill a vehicle wrapper should have?

Patience. There is no benefit to anyone in rushing the job.


What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career as a vehicle wrapper, and how did you learn from it?

This wasn’t a wrapping mistake, but the worst thing that ever happened to me was a car with an electrical fault. It was impossible to get it open. I thought we were going to have to rip the door off just to get inside. 


How are you feeling ahead of the World Wrap Master finals in Munich?

It’s stressful with such a big event, but I’m looking forward to it and hopefully, I’ll be coming home with a hattrick.


What advice you would you give to someone just starting out in the vehicle wrapping industry?

Focus on the quality that you’re putting out above all else. There is no point in being the fastest at what you do if the quality isn’t there.


What’s the most rewarding project you’ve worked on and why?

Every job where the customer picks up their vehicle and appreciates the time, care and attention that’s gone into it is rewarding to me. One customer told me I wasn’t selling wrapping, he said I was selling happiness. That quote has stuck with me. 



What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the vehicle wrapping industry since you started your career?

Everything has moved on so much, from the materials we use to the printers and even the cars themselves. It’s hard to imagine where the industry is going to be in the future because I can’t think it could be much better than it is now. 


How much do you enjoy the travel associated with vehicle wrapping?

 

I’ve been all around the world working as a freelancer. The experiences of going to the USA, Japan, Australia and all over Europe make the job interesting. The travel itself though? It’s tiring. 



Are there any tools you couldn’t live without?

Aside from the basic squeegee and knife, I use a (insert what it is) on every job I do.



What do you think about tools that are available to speed up processes?

Some equipment does speed up the process, but it has meant that without it, some people aren’t learning how to wrap certain things. The equipment might not always be there so it’s important to know how to wrap without it first.



What’s your favourite type of vinyl to work with, and why?

The top three that I work with are 3M, Arlon and Avery Dennison. But each material is suited to different projects in different ways, so there isn’t necessarily a favourite, it’s which one will be best for the job.


What do you enjoy most about teaching others?

Even when people have been wrapping for a decade, there’s still a lot to learn. Showing more experienced wrappers tips and tricks they’ve never used before is one of my favourite parts of the job.


What do you enjoy most about being a part of the vehicle wrapping community, and how has it impacted your career?

I value the friendships I’ve made throughout my time in the community and as far as my career has gone, the support I’ve been given and the opportunities that have come my way have been brilliant. One phone call can change the whole course of your career.


What’s next for you?

I’m not slowing down any time soon, I’ve got big plans for PPF in the future as it’s a market that I think is only going to get bigger. Without saying too much, you’ll have to watch this space…

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