Candy Wraps’ (Orlando, FL) owner-operator joined a fellow-woman “all-star installer” to compete in a PRINTING United wrap competition.
By Mark Kissling
Luckily for us, there were only five teams,” said Krystal Miszewski, owner and sole operator of Candy Wraps (Orlando, FL) , referring to the recent PDAA Pro Team Relay, a wrap competition held at PRINTING United in Dallas. “Honestly, I was ready to be cut the first round due to my own errors ... I was so flustered, I didn’t set up right. I was very grateful for Kristin’s performance. She pulled us through to the second round.”
Krystal had only just met her teammate for the two-person competition, Kristin Lanzarone-Scribner, who owns and operates WrapStar Pro (Citrus Heights, CA) . SGIA – producer of Printing United (formerly their namesake expo) – had created the Krystal-Kristin combo because they thought “it would be great to have an all-female team compete,” according to Christina Rosado, community development manager for SGIA. In addition to pairing with Krystal for the Relay, Kristin delivered one of the many motivating addresses at the show’s Women in Print Alliance Breakfast.
The PDAA Pro Team Relay, sponsored by ORAFOL, FLEXcon and Yellow Tools, involved four stations in a relay-style format: a car’s quarter panel, a rivet wall, a two-panel graphic on a rough surface and a two-color vinyl on acrylic. Five teams entering on day one were pared down to three to face off at the end of the second day, with the entrants judged on their speed and quality.
Having fallen short of performing to her understandably high expectations in the first round – after all, she’s Orafol, 3M, Avery Dennison, PDAA and Geek Wraps certified – Krystal was determined to excel in the day-two final. Installing in front of a crowd is nothing new for her. She’s led two beginner courses for Orafol and will be demonstrating that company’s wrap films at next year’s ISA Expo in her hometown. As an instructor, she’s noticed that beginners have the most difficulty “reading, understanding [and] feeling the vinyl,” as well as squeegeeing techniques. Her advice, offered by so many, is “practice makes better!”
THE FINAL THREE
For the Relay’s three-team final, Krystal and Kristin reviewed their strategy, then, when the clock started, dashed through the four stations. “I started right and was able to finish with enough time to go over our work and make our areas as good as possible,” Krystal said, and while their work did surpass one finalist team, they were edged by another. Blake Madsen from Remix Wraps (Minneapolis, MN) and Keiichi Hasegawa of C17 Media (Richmond Hill, ON, Canada) took first place and the top prize of $1,000 each. Second place earned Krystal and Kristin assorted Orafol products.
“We worked so well together, I would love an opportunity to work with her on a project,” Krystal said of Kristin. Krystal encourages everyone and anyone to enter wrap competitions: “They provide the opportunity to show off your skill level while meeting important people in the industry – from the manufacturers to the installers to the tool makers who want to make our jobs easier.”
In addition to the new experiences, contacts and potential cash to be gained from wrap competitions, Krystal said the practice and techniques of performing under pressure contribute to improving on actual jobs. “It’s imperative we install every day to keep getting better, faster and keep learning new techniques,” she said. As for the wrap contests, themselves, “It’s great when competitions don’t put any restrictions on the way we do our wraps,” Krystal advised. “Competitions should show installers true install styles and methods.”
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