“I started working in the window film industry at the age of 11,” Chris DeLuca shares. “It was a family-owned business in Canton, Ga., called The Old Pros. My uncle Mike started it in the early 1970s. That’s how I got my feet in the door. My parents never gave me an allowance. If I wanted to buy jeans or a pair of Air Jordans, I would have to figure out a way.”
Finding a Way
DeLuca started by cleaning windows, moving furniture, and gathering trash. Seemingly small tasks laid the foundation for his success then and now.
“They had fun—they worked hard and partied hard,” DeLuca says of his uncle’s business. “They crushed it and loved what they did. By age 17, I was fully certified as a window film installer based on how long I had been tinting with my uncle over the summers.”
The window film scene in Atlanta was different in the early 1990s.
“Back then, this was not a very large industry,” DeLuca says. “Atlanta only had five or six dealers. Now, there’s 50 to 60. The competition wasn’t as intense. Everybody was a friend. That’s something I’ve learned—you typically want to be friends with the guys you work against.”
After his uncle’s retirement in 1996, DeLuca worked for several film companies before starting his own business.
“I had been doing it for everybody else—let’s see what it’s like,” DeLuca says of the inspiration behind starting his business. “I jumped in with weights on my ankles and still swam.”
Flourishing With Film
DeLuca founded Atlanta’s All Pro Window Tinting in 2007. During the Huper Optik and Autobahn Dealer Conference in Denver this Spring, CEO David Kratz recognized successful dealers in the network. DeLuca was among those honored with a Huper Optik Regional Dealer of the Year Award.
“We’ve been fortunate to be as successful as we have been,” DeLuca says. “I think it’s because I try to keep it casual. I’m the only guy that’ll walk into a house for a job in Hurley shorts, a polo shirt, and a pair of sandals. I walk in like I just came off a boat or the beach. I dress in the brightest colors you can imagine. I try to make it as fun as possible. I don’t walk in wearing khaki pants and loafers. I’m not that guy—I don’t want to be that guy. We’ve been successful from day one.”
An authorized Autobahn and Huper Optik dealer, DeLuca founded his second company—Tennessee Film Solutions in Chattanooga, Tenn.,—in 2020.
“I’ve grown a business and was able to start another in a different state and become just as successful,” DeLuca says. “We survived the recession in 2007. We survived COVID and picked up during the pandemic. During the hard times, we’ve still met or exceeded expectations and kept our doors open. We’ve been able to add employees and give them raises.”
Tough Times, Tougher People
DeLuca is seeing major success in 2023, but his journey hasn’t been without hardship. At two years old, DeLuca’s son, Nicholas, was diagnosed with brain and spinal cancer.
“He’s 19 now and will be 20 in December,” DeLuca shares. “He’s done 11 different bouts of chemotherapy. He’s done a full round of radiation; he’s had multiple brain and spine surgeries over the years as well. I think we’re up to 15 or 16 surgeries at this point.”
Reflecting on his son’s strength, DeLuca says, “He’s special to me. He is probably the strongest person you will ever meet—physically and mentally. He just keeps going. He is an inspiration to me.”
“I was always the smallest kid in school and the athletic field,” DeLuca says. “I was always told I couldn’t do things. I’m motivated because I still have a lot of people in this industry that want to see me fail. If I’m going to lose, it’s going to be on my terms. I’m not here to get rich. I’m here to make a living and enjoy my life.”
DeLuca values the relationships he’s built and the places he’s visited during his three-decade industry run. Above all, he wants to be remembered for the fun moments he shared with his team.
“We keep it family oriented,” he says. “It’s more than, ‘Here’s a paycheck, thanks for coming. See you later.’ Everybody has a good time—everybody has a blast.”