Nate Kraus of IVS Wraps
Nate Kraus of IVS Wraps is quickly becoming recognized as one of the elite vehicle wrap installers around. He has a passion for his craft and it definitely shows in his work. Located in Holmen, WI near La Crosse which sits on the Wisconsin/Minnesota border, IVS Wraps is growing something special. Living in one of the most beautiful spots in the United States, it’s fitting that Nate is enhancing the wide open winding roads with uniquely colored and customized automotive beauty that is sure to turn heads.
It’s clear that your work is your passion. How has implementing ORACAL 970RA as well as ORAFOL’s ORAJET and ORAGUARD vehicle wrap digital print films into the mix helped your business grow?
Thanks! The 970RA has been a big help with customers looking for anything from color matched bumpers on a truck to full custom wraps. The gloss and silky matte finishes you get in this series is top notch. The film is consistent and installs really well. Using the printed graphics has also been helpful just keeping materials consistent throughout the projects, and knowing that the adhesive is dependable. They are great combinations to mix and match gloss and matte films for a lot of my custom projects.
What do your friends and neighbors say about your newly wrapped ORACAL 970RA Matte Mint BMW 335i? Gotta say, we really love the ORAJET 3951RA with ORAGUARD 290M Carbon Fiber roof wrap as well the multi-color door jambs. Are these patterns unique to IVS Wraps?
It’s funny because I was thinking people would either love it or hate it. I have gotten so much awesome feedback on the car!! The hexagon door jambs are unique to IVS as I incorporated my logo into it as well as matched the dark red to the leather interior and the light blue to the 970RA Matte Mint wrap film. It really ties the inside of the car to the outside. I took the directional carbon fiber pattern that was created by Scott Kepple from Skepple Wrapic Design Studio, in Jacksonville, FL, and modified it slightly. As far as I know this directional carbon fiber pattern was a first and is still unique to the BMW.
How long have you been in the wrap game? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced since starting your own business?
I have been in this game for almost 7 years, and coming up on my 1 year anniversary of opening IVS wraps. The biggest challenge I’ve faced and continue to face is flying solo as shop owner, operator, and installer. The work life balance can get pretty difficult at times. Early on I found it challenging to keep track of pending projects and following up with leads, but I’ve been working diligently to put systems in place to ensure I provide great follow up and organization for my customers.
What advice would you give to someone starting their own vehicle wrap business?
I have some phenomenal mentors in this industry like Kevin Kempf from PG Nola, Dan Nava from Travel Wraps Graphics, Chad Brosseau from FASTLANE Wraps. I would not have the mental fortitude and confidence I need when left my previous job to start my business. They’ve been a huge part of helping me to better understand the day to day requirements of operating my new business. The best advice I could give to someone starting up their own wrap business is to make sure you’ve taken the time to be the best you can be from an install standpoint, and open your eyes and ears to networking with other install professionals. Additionally, be a spounge when working with other business owners outside of the industry. Build a network of trustworthy people that are smarter than yourself that you can lean on for advice and support. That’s one of the greatest things about this industry; you’ll almost never find someone unwilling to answer a question.
Additionally, what advice would you give a car owner who’s looking to have their car wrapped?
My advice to car owners is to ask for references from the shops you are considering. Additionally, try and see their work in person. A poor wrap can look incredible in photos, so it’s important to get up close to inspect how the installer treats corners, body lines, door handles, mirrors, etc. You shouldn’t be able to tell the vehicle was wrapped. I also encourage customers to ask about manufacturer certifications and business licenses and insurance. Since we are an unregulated industry the price quotes can vary so much so I try and educate my customers on some of the reasons a wrap shop may be so much more or so much less. In turn I have a solid customer base that appreciates quality and peace of mind knowing that they are getting beautiful wraps that will turn heads. Because of this, I get really great referrals from my past clients!
You recently participated in the River Valley Road Rally. Tell us about your experience?
Yes! The river valley road rally was a riot! IVS Wraps was one of the main sponsors this year as we produced the livery kits for all 60 vehicles as well as hosted a install party at the shop. As far as the actual event itself it was so much fun. There were eight, time based check points starting in Milwaukee, WI and taking us up through Door County. We finished 4th overall. Having never done a rally before and not knowing what to expect I was more than pleased. I greatly look forward to competing again!
Nate Kraus, Owner
Innovative Vinyl Solutions (IVS Wraps)
1524 Flat Rd, Suite 102
Holmen, WI 54636
ORAFOL Materials Used:
Taillight Tint: ORACAL Series 8300
Solid Color Wrap Film: ORACAL 970RA-055M Matte Mint
Printed Wrap Films: ORAJET 3951RA with ORAGUARD 290 Gloss & Matte