Editor’s Note: In honor of Black History Month, GlassBYTEs is profiling African American auto glass professionals.
Timothy Williams learned the auto glass repair and replacement trade, working alongside his dad, Charlie Williams, doing basic shop chores like sweeping, running errands, and interacting with customers and vendors.
“My father was in the auto glass business for about 50 years,” Williams says. “He started off working at a small shop in Augusta, Georgia, and eventually got to the point that he broke out on his own.”
After opening Charlie Williams Auto Glass, the elder Williams would let his son help at the shop. He began teaching Williams, 10 years old at the time, the ins and outs of the auto glass business.
“I worked for him on Christmas break, summer vacation, out of school, that kind of thing,” Williams says. “I just kind of grew up in the business.”
The younger Williams learned all aspects of the industry, eventually becoming competent to handle installations from start to finish. He developed a great rapport with customers, too.
Turning 25, Williams launched his own mobile glass repair service.
“You want to see if you’ve got wings you can fly on your own,” he says. “I started out doing mobile and grew from there.”
He wanted to put some roots down in the community, so three years later, he opened a brick-and-mortar location, Clearview Auto Glass, in Evans, Georgia, with the motto, “Clearly the Best.”
The shop employs four Auto Glass Safety Council-certified technicians, averaging about eight installs daily. Williams believes attention to detail is critical in the industry today.
“We’ve got a little thing around the shop that we say, ‘if you can tell the windshield’s been replaced, something went wrong,'” he says.
Williams says technicians have also evolved as the auto glass industry becomes more technological with innovations like advanced driver assistance systems and sophisticated calibration equipment.
“I think the more technology hits the industry, the more professional we become and the more we can offer a product or service, not just putting in a windshield,” he says.
Well-known in the Evans, Georgia, area, Clearview Auto Glass provides glass services to body shops, vehicle dealerships, insurance companies, and customers.
“People who come to the shop stressed about a frustrating repair job tend to leave with a smile,” says Eric Marshall, who has known Williams for 15 years and occasionally performs office work.
People stop by the shop to chat. Like the TV show “Cheers,” Clearview Auto Glass is “a place where everyone knows your name,” Williams says.
“We have a lot of people that are into car restoration, and we’ve worked on many of their projects,” he says. “They tend almost to become family.”
Speaking of family, Williams, 59, has three children, two daughters and a son. The son, 11, comes by the shop to help occasionally sweep the floor. Will he follow in his old man’s footsteps?
“You know, with kids, they’ll want to do something one day and then want to be an astronaut the next,” William says.