The world leader, Color Glo International, specializes in the restoration and repair of leather, vinyl, velour, cloth and hard plastics commonly found in the automotive, aircraft, marine and furniture markets. The company was founded by Everett C. Smith. Everett’s son Gary E. Smith is now at the helm of the company. Gary serves as President and CEO and maintains a hands-on approach to running the company while continuing to build and expand the Color Glo brand in the marketplace.
Encompassing the Globe
Formally incorporated in 1975, Color Glo International began franchising in 1982, and is currently present in hundreds of markets throughout the world. It initially began its franchising in the United States and has since expanded into Canada and over 45 countries worldwide. Color Glo products are proven every day to offer the correct results and best value every time they are put to the test. In the last 40 plus years, Color Glo has grown from an idea to an International operation that encompasses the globe. The corporate headquarters are located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Color Glo specializes in repairing all types of damaged, mismatched, dirty, faded upholstery found in the home, office, automobile, private or commercial aircraft, boats and commercial seating venues. In addition, the company also offers re-dyeing or color restoration services for people who want to improve the appearance of the existing finish, or in many cases, provide a complete color change.
Color Glo has serviced thousands of clients in commercial facilities including theaters, auto dealerships, office buildings, marinas, schools and colleges, retail stores, restaurants, hotels, apartment buildings, homes and more. Their process involves specially formulated proprietary products made in the USA. These products are water-based, environmentally friendly, non-flammable and odor free products. Color Glo re-conditioned items will dry in minutes, which allow the customer to use their investment almost immediately.
Undertaking Flexibility as an Attribute
According to Color Glo, flexibility and cultural sensitivity are the requisite components for expanding into a global marketplace, which extends to the very means of doing business. To exemplify this, 100% of the franchisees in the United States operate their service business from mobile units, while all of the franchises outside the US are required to establish brand recognition through storefront locations. International business is booming, thanks to the capability and willingness to develop new and adjust existing formulas for compatibility with foreign manufacturers’ products.
However, flexibility is a continuing theme for Color Glo International, and one of its greatest attributes. Color Glo’s sister company, Coustic- Glo, specializes in the cleaning and restoration of ceilings and walls. Many franchisees within the organization provide services in both the brands. In addition to this dualownership option, Color Glo franchisees have total freedom to choose their area of emphasis within the menu of product and service options.
Glorifying Valuable Recognitions
Over the years, Color Glo has been recognized repeatedly by National and International publications for the excellent products, value and quality of the services that they offer.
Color Glo is also proud to have received patents in this industry including a process patent for using the Color Glo process and products in aircraft. In 2006, the company became the first and only ISO Certified Company in the industry.
On the forefront of the environmental movement, Color Glo’s status as a good global citizen does not begin and end with ecology. The company’s reputation is built on its legacy of services, which involves service to its franchisees, service to its customers, and service to its community. As one of the world’s largest leather, vinyl, cloth, velour and plastic repair companies, its offerings include the time, talent and expertise of Color Glo leaders and franchisees. Color Glo Cares supports various charities throughout the world. The company’s franchisees and employees donate thousands of volunteer hours to countless community projects around the world throughout the year.
To support the charitable activities, CGI Color Glo Cares was launched in 2002. It contributes a certain percent of its revenue to various NPO’s including feeding programs, wheel chairs, vehicles and cash donations. The company is passionate about giving back to those in need with a particular affection toward children in need.
Exemplifying Customer Satisfaction
Color Glo International has been appreciated by many of its franchisees.
Bill Sachse, a 35-year franchisee from Colorado Springs, Colorado, values the franchisee/franchisor relationship he has experienced with Color Glo. He finds it “like a family; everyone is truly treated well.” Originally based in Omaha, Nebraska, Sachse attests that there is also a great deal of networking and sharing between franchisees, resulting in superior product knowledge and ongoing training. In fact, the Franchise Research Institute study showed a 99% satisfaction rate for “ongoing training and support supplied by the franchisor.” Rich Kitzel of Eugene, Oregon, appreciates the opportunity to choose his livelihood in the community of his choice. He says, “I don’t know how I could earn what I do (here) doing anything else.”
Ernesto Lo Russo (based in Provo, Utah) became the master franchisee for Italy in 2005, and now has over 60 locations. He states, “I went with Color Glo because it is a familyowned business with high integrity.” He asserts that many outside North America “are very suspicious of US companies” and that Color Glo’s corporate philosophy has made it highly desirable in foreign countries. LoRusso enthuses, “The product is amazing, and has been tailored to meet the needs of our (Italian) market.”