October '19

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16 THE SHOP OCTOBER 2019 pened, as a friend, I wanted to help how- ever I could. Knowing what a project like this means to him, I took it as a challenge. As an installer, I want my work to be perfect each time—no matter who the customer is—but, to know there was an emotional connection to this project, I knew I needed to exceed his expectations. I thought, "I need to make him proud when he sees this." Shop owners and installers should always be aiming to amaze their customers with a finished product, and that means recognizing what a job means to a customer. Once you understood the vision, how did you approach this project? Can you walk us through the process, including any challenges you faced? JN: Noting Shaq's wants and needs, while also taking into consideration the make and model of the vehicles and what's worked well in the past, the first step was to choose the right wrap material that could last. Avery Dennison's vinyl wraps were my go-to option for the primary body of the vehicle because of ease of use and conformability. With his specific request for a marble look, I knew we could get the vinyl designed, but we still needed a few special touches to make it stand out. The pattern of the printed material can be challenging to perfectly align. I knew that to achieve the ideal look, we needed to break up the body flow with gloss black and blue. I chose to use Avery Dennison's SW900 gloss black for the roof to provide a bit more of an aggressive look. We then fol- lowed suit for all three vehicles. It took time to get everything right. To match patterns on different body styles in an identical fashion, all being done at different times, was the biggest challenge. Failure is never an option for me, but, for this specific project, I really took this to heart. I felt as though any issue with the wrap process would be a letdown or be disrespectful to Shaq and Percilla. When everything was said and done, what was Shaq's reaction when he saw his vehicles? JN: When Shaq came to pick up the car, it was a true moment of brotherhood— something I haven't quite experienced in this line of work. I'm pleased to say that I have happy and excited cus- tomers on a regular basis, but this was more than that. You could feel his emo- tional reaction, which let me know I deliv- ered on my promise to make this more than a job, but a piece of art that embodied the memory of his late wife. I attended a show with Shaq where he was awarded best-in-show and best wrap from this project and, once again, it was an emotional moment. I can honestly say that his has been the most meaningful project I've worked on in my career. Shaq, I know you recently started a foun- dation and that your vehicles play a role. It's not every day that we hear of wraps serving a noble cause. Can you tell me about the foundation? SH: I started the PAMAH (Percilla's ini- tials) Foundation at the beginning of this year. The goal is to build awareness around the symptoms, causes and treatments for meningitis, as well as to help families that have been affected. Because we are a newer foundation, we are focusing on fundraising to provide sup- port to families right now as well as provide funding for more research. One specific event that we have attended on behalf of the foundation—and in which we've used the vehicles—is the Pork & Torque annual car show. We hope to utilize events like this to showcase these custom vehicles and use them as conver- sation starters to create awareness about meningitis. Moving forward, we'd like to attend more events as a fundraising platform for the PAMAH Foundation. CUSTOM WRAPS Keep a Memory Alive When Shaquille Hodge's wife Percilla died unexpectedly from meningitis, he worked with Atlanta Custom Wraps on matching tribute vinyl wraps for his three vehicles. (Photos by Bimmer Drae) Hodge's Dodge Durango, Dodge Char- ger and Rolls-Royce were all uniformly customized with Avery Dennison printed Bianco Carrara Marble vinyl to remember Percilla. (Photos by Bimmer Drae) PRODUCT: Avery Dennison printed Bianco Carrara Marble vinyl INSTALLER/CUSTOMIZER: Justin Norton, Atlanta Custom Wraps CLIENT: Shaquille Hodge VEHICLES: 2016 Dodge Durango, Dodge Charger, Rolls-Royce

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