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Cars X Coffee and its founder Shawn Nieves

Cars X Coffee and its founder Shawn Nieves

Giving your ride a brand-new look.

You love your car. There's no two ways about it. It might be a few years old and that addicting new car scent is long since gone. But it's YOUR baby. And you want only the best for your vehicle. It takes care of you and your family so it is only right that you return the favor.

What to do, though, when your vehicle's surface starts to look just a wee bit worn and not so shiny? Your first thoughts may turn to getting a new paint job. But that can be VERY expensive and some of those automotive paints contain really harsh chemicals. The GREAT NEWS is that there's a fantastic alternative: have your car wrapped.

Okay, that sounds intriguing. What the heck is a car wrap anyway? We're so glad you asked! Vehicle wraps are made out of vinyl and are designed to cover all or part of the exterior of your car. Vinyl wrapping usually features an adhesive backing that is designed to attach the wrap to your car. A laminated surface on the vinyl helps to protect the wrap, giving your car a dazzling new look that will last for years to come. Wraps resemble a coat of paint, but they are of much higher quality and you can do so much more with them. It's wise to be choosy about where you go to have your vehicle wrapped. This is something of an art form so you don't want just anybody touching your car. The decision on just where to go is easy. Place your vehicle in the trusted hands of dedicated car artisans who know what they are doing; wrap artists such as the team over at Cars X Coffee, which is located in Long Island City.

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Cars X Coffee has been in business for just over two years now and the brand has been creating a ton of buzz throughout New York City's automotive circles. When you first meet the brand's founder Shawn Nieves you will easily understand what all the excitement is about. Personable, articulate and as real as it gets, Shawn's passion for cars comes through in both words and actions. Cars X Coffee is not only a labor of love, but the culmination of a young boy's dream. The car bug first bit Shawn when he was only twelve years old. After attending his first car show in Flushing, Queens, Shawn knew that he wanted to, one day, work in the automotive industry. Goodbye skateboarding and riding that BMX bike and HELLO life in the fast lane. Over time, Shawn kept attending different car events. But, he soon found out that merely being an observer wasn't enough. Shawn wanted to get in on the action. So, what did this hard-working and creative young man do? He ended up organizing his very own pop-up car shows. Hey, you can't beat that kind of ingenuity and get-up-and-go attitude.

However, we'll let Shawn take it from here. "The very second that I was able to drive and own my first car at seventeen. I was wrenching on it non-stop. "Shawn wanted to get up close and personal with his vehicle from the inside out. Fast forward to 2012 when Shawn began working in a custom automotive parts shop. "That's when my knowledge about cars increased dramatically. Imagine, "continued Shawn with a wry grin, "having to know a little bit about a lot of cars; enough to know the technical aspects so that I could comfortably sell as well as answer any questions that the customers had. " It seems that Shawn was a fast learner since he went on to become one of the shop's top-performing employees.

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The real turning point in Shawn's career path came in 2016 when "I was able to get my hands on my first piece of vinyl. From that moment my life changed. I fell in love with the art of wrapping and almost literally locked myself in the garage until I was able to understand how everything worked. The first vinyl job I had was for a solo full car wrap. That was a HUGE introduction to the craft. But, I wasn't intimidated at all and I haven't looked back since."

Shawn enjoyed the camaraderie of being part of a well-oiled team. However, Shawn reached a point when he wanted to let his creative instincts bloom. With a client's car as his canvas, Shawn longed to "paint his own masterpiece.  What motivated me to open Cars X Coffee was the desire to express myself and not be bound by someone else's vision. I didn't want to go for the easy installations of simplistic colors and designs. I love seeing and using all kinds of color blends, textures and patterns. The brand's mission is simply to make your car look its sharpest. Shawn wants your vehicle's wrap to reflect YOUR personality. After all, owning a car is a very personal experience for most drivers. It's not just something to go from point A to point B in. Shawn understands this; he "gets " the love affair that exists between the car and the driver. He's been there.

During the course of our chat, there was one question that we really, really wanted the answer to: "What's the story behind the name Cars X Coffee? "It's so catchy and memorable. So much more than just a name, Shawn sees the brand as promoting a certain lifestyle for car enthusiasts of all backgrounds. " There's nothing better than sipping a hot or cold brew while talking about car stuff with others who share your passion. And, I DO love my coffee. To be honest, the name just kind of happened. I think that I wanted to get the shop open as fast as possible and figured that I'd worry about the smaller details later on. I picked the name, ran with it and Cars X Coffee caught on."

 

If you are running a business of any kind, be advised that Cars X Coffee doesn't only custom-wrap private vehicles; they also work with commercial vans, trailers, buses, and the like. In fact, they will wrap anything on wheels. In case you were wondering, on average, it takes three to four days to complete a full vehicle wrap. Shawn and his crew, though, can accommodate rush jobs and the quality of their work is still the same. The longest vehicle wrap job that they've done was a little over a week, in full chrome, which, Shawn explained, is the most technical material to work with. The team has worked on several celebrity-owned cars. Aplez.com tried and tried to pry some names of the rich and famous from Shawn but those non-disclosure agreements are VERY air-tight. Oh well, better luck next time.

We asked Shawn, "What can our readers expect should they wish to commission a wrap for their car. Is the process collaborative allowing for the customer's ideas as well as your input?"

"The wrap process is similar to getting a tailored outfit", explained Shawn. "I listen very carefully to what the client wants. Since I'm not the most traditional person as far as sitting in an office goes, I will ask to chat while we go outside to look at their vehicle. I'll ask questions about them as individuals and see how much they want to push the envelope of expression. I get a feel for the energy of the person and I put that into the vehicle. I always ask permission to be creative and it brings a smile to my face when customers let me translate the energy I'm feeling onto the vinyl wrap."

The act of wrapping a vehicle is very organic according to Shawn. He will walk around the vehicle countless times to effectively conceptualize the client's vision. " To me, the actual wrap part comes relatively easy but it is the small things that make it challenging. As I mentally disassemble the car in order to get my rolling canvas ready for its transformation, I take note of the curves, recesses and shape, all the while creating a mental road map so I know how to lay the vehicle's new "skin." This is truly where the magic happens. It's not merely applying color or design to a car, but IDENTITY."

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Having your car wrapped is an absolute no-brainer as opposed to getting it painted. There are so many reasons why a wrap job is a better option, in terms of both visual pop and cost-effectiveness, not to mention the overall life of your vehicle. A paint job may look totally flashy at first. But, over time it can fade, get scratched quite easily and cracks can appear. Car wraps are made from long-lasting, highly durable materials so they offer superior protection against bad weather and damage from exposure to the sun. That's more BANG for YOUR BUCK, plain and simple. Aesthetically wise, when you purchase a car from your local dealer, the color options are limited and the scope for a personalized design is virtually non-existent. Not so with a high-quality wrap job. Vinyl wraps allow you to choose from a multitude of colors as well as custom designs including specialty graphics and HOLOGRAPHIC effects. Now, that is way cool! And here's a pro tip: When you have your vehicle wrapped there is NO NEED to update documents with the DMV since it is considered to be a removable item. That's one thing less to worry about. Also, and this is big; as car wrapping is growing in popularity, insurance companies have accepted wrap as an add-on to insurance policies, so there shouldn't be any out-of-pocket costs in case of an accident.

When chatting with a car aficionado like Shawn Nieves we just HAD to ask him what is your dream vehicle and why? Shawn did not hesitate a second in replying. "It would have to be the ASI kit Ferrari 430. Something about its curves and JDM influence really stands out to me. Even to this day, the Ferrari's perfectly pitched V8 engine sounds like no other car on the road. It is a classic."

There's no time like the present to get in touch with Shawn and talk about improving the look and longevity of your car. Treat yourself to a reinvented vehicle. Or, perhaps, give the gift of a dazzling car wrap to a family member. When they see the finished product, rest assured, they will jump for joy, just like you see in those car commercials on TV. Okay, so getting your car wrapped, no matter how fancy the job is, won't turn you into Vin Diesel or Michelle Rodriguez overnight. But, when you drive your newly-wrapped car back to your neighborhood and are on the receiving end of countless compliments and envious looks, you'll FEEL as though you're center stage in one of those Fast and Furious movies. What a rush!

CARS X COFFEE - The excitement is real. Kick it into high gear now!

Contact Info:

Instagram: @carsxcoffeeny
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (347) 771-6806

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Tuesday, 16 July 2024