A Hole-In-One at UNC Pembroke


Since joining the AP Corp family earlier this year, Carolina Solar Security has had a lot of amazing opportunities presented. One of our favorites is the chance to expand our services to include commercial graphics. And guess what? We’ve officially completed our first installation-a wall mural at UNC Pembroke. Read on to learn more about how AP, Carolina Solar Security, and UNC Pembroke are working together to create beautiful custom spaces.


Before we tell you all about the work we’ve done with UNC Pembroke, we want to tell you a little more about the university itself. Located in north Pembroke, North Carolina, UNC Pembroke is a public master’s level degree-granting university and part of the University of North Carolina system.

The university offers its students hundreds of pathways to undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as small class sizes. And as far as campus life goes, students have a variety of activities they can take part in. But, as is usually the case with college kids, students bond over cheering for the university’s NCAA Division II sports teams.

Our History with UNC Pembroke

While this is Carolina Solar Security’s first 3M commercial graphics project, it’s one of many UNC Pembroke installations for AP Corp. Beginning in 2019, AP and UNC Pembroke have worked together to create three different high-impact wall murals. These include a massive mural 42-foot mural in their gymnasium, a hallway mural showing snippets of the campus culture, and a conference room in their athletic building. Each wall mural at UNC Pembroke has been the visual embodiment of the UNCP Athletics Department’s spirit, values, and victory.

This year, UNC Pembroke reached out to AP and Carolina Solar Security for yet another vinyl wall mural featuring their school’s athletic excellence. But this time we got to do something a little different. We installed this custom printed mural in their newly renovated golf team locker room.

On the Green with UNC Pembroke

Let it be known that UNCP doesn’t do anything in halves, and this locker room is no exception. Yes, it has all the usual accommodations, but they took this project a couple of steps further. They put in a literal putting green, turf and all. They contacted us in May 20222 to add a little bit of scenery and bring some personality to the space.

This scenery was a 32-foot mural of a golf course featuring real UNCP golfers, the team’s name, and their mascot logo. Printed on 3M IJ 180, a 3M printed graphics material perfect for interiors and completed with a matte laminate, the mural adds a unique and inspiring backdrop to the unique interior features of the room.

The VIP Treatment

For a project as unique and large as this, we decided to pull out the big guns and give UNCP the VIP treatment. The installation was completed by Carolina Solar Security’s Partner and Regional Operations Director, Luke McLawhorn. And at his side was AP Corp’s CEO and founder, Bill Valway.

That’s right, Carolina Solar Security and AP Corp both sent their #1 guys to get this job done, and their expertise really shows. A 32-foot mural can be a challenge for anyone to install, but this project included a couple of intricacies that would through other graphics professionals for a loop. These included the electrical outlets and a protruding electrical box. While some companies would have left these out of the installation, we wrapped them to preserve the mural’s immersive effect.

Make Your Vision a Reality

Commercial Graphics can be a game-changer for any space. From the lackluster walls of a typical office to the plain white walls in a gym. They can bring people together, build team spirit, and inspire anyone to go all-out. At Carolina Solar Security we pride ourselves on delivering the best to our clients.  We are a one-stop shop that can design, print, and install your vision.

Carolina Solar Security is a certified installer of commercial graphics in the coastal Carolina region that offers turnkey solutions. Get in touch with us today to see how we can incorporate impactful commercial graphics into your North Carolina business.

A Hole-In-One at UNC Pembroke2022-11-16T23:30:42+00:00

A New Era at Carolina Solar Security


A lot has changed at Carolina Solar Security this year, and all for the better. But we don’t want to leave anyone out of the loop. So, here we are, giving you an update on what’s been going on with us and what this new era at Carolina Solar Security means for the future. Read on to learn about our new structure, services, and website.

How This All Started

If you are a long-time client of our business, you may know that we were founded by U.S. Armed Forced Veteran John Norwood and have proudly served Wilmington, North Carolina since 1985. John dedicated his professional life to serving this community, providing energy-saving and security-improving window film solutions to home and business owners alike.

In 2021, John Norwood decided it was time to retire and began exploring ways to make sure the company continued to grow after his departure. Then, through a mutual connection to Manny Hondroulis, 3M’s Vice President of Energy Products Distribution, John met AP Corp’s CEO Bill Valway. After some months of discussion and negotiation, AP Corp finalized its acquisition of Carolina Solar Security, bringing the company into the AP family.

A lot has changed at Carolina Solar Security this year, and all for the better. But we don’t want to leave anyone out of the loop. So, here we are, giving you an update on what’s been going on with us and what this new era at Carolina Solar Security means for the future. Read on to learn about our new structure, services, and website.

About AP Corp

The AP Corp journey began in 2001 as a one-man auto tint shop in a residential garage. Over the years, our CEO identified related services and expanded the company’s capabilities. It started with additional auto services before moving into residential window tinting. Before long, AP Corp was expanding to commercial window tinting and even commercial graphics like wall mural sand building wraps.

Today, AP Corp is the 7th largest window film and graphics provider in the nation. We are proud of the company we’ve built, and we are especially proud to have built a company that John Norwood would trust with the organization he was so devoted to.

New People

First, our aforementioned CEO, Bill Valway. By now, you are more than familiar with his extensive work as the founder of AP Corp. Under his leadership, the company has been recognized in the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America list three times and has been named Window Film Magazine’s Top Dealer for 5-years running. While running our growing business, he is also the Co-Owner of 44Tools, a company offering the most comprehensive group of window film installation tools in the world.

Next, we’d like to introduce you to Chris Fong. Chris joined the team in 2011 as a graphic designer, and everything just snowballed from there. He quickly mastered the graphic design game, dominated in sales as the Director of Sales, and then learned to install every product we offer, and then became the most certified 3M installer on the East Coast.

Finally, there’s Luke McLawhorn, your go-to guy for everything Carolina Solar Security. Luke is a born and raised North Carolinian with a military background. He is a 3M certified window film installer who joined our team in 2018. With our acquisition of Carolina Solar Security, Luke has become a partner in our business.

New Products

Alright, we’re really excited about this one. Carolina Solar Security now offers 3M commercial graphics solutions to business owners throughout North Carolina!

If you’re unfamiliar, commercial graphics can include just about every kind of custom-designed building application imaginable. At Carolina Solar Security, commercial graphics can include everything from window graphics to wall murals. We can help you direct foot traffic with custom floor graphics or make a splash in the community with a full building wrap.

What makes Carolina Solar Security stand out amongst other vendors offering commercial graphics is our unique, turnkey solutions. We’re not one of those companies that just take your money and leave you to sort out the details. Instead, we offer professional graphic design options with our award-winning graphic design team. Then, we handle all the project management and coordination for you. This way, you don’t have to waste time juggling relationships with multiple vendors. You can just sit back and do what you do best, run your business.

New Website

If you’re reading this, then you already noticed that we have launched a new website. As we said, this is a new era for Carolina Solar Security. And a new era deserves a modernization of our technology.

But this redesign isn’t just about looks, it’s about the experience. We wanted to highlight the positive changes our company is experiencing by making the user experience on our website better. We have made it easier for you to get the information you need and get in touch when you have questions.

Since this website is so new, we encourage and invite you to deliver your feedback. As we grow, we will need your input to become the top window film and graphics provider out there.

What’s Next for Carolina Solar Security

So, what’s next in the new era for Carolina Solar Security? Well, we’re going to continue to grow throughout the coastal Carolina region. The first step will, of course, be growing our team of 3M certified installers to assist our clients in the most timely and efficient manner.

For those who have been here from the beginning, thank you. You’ve helped us get so far and we hope you will stay with us as we grow.

A New Era at Carolina Solar Security2022-11-16T23:56:59+00:00

How to Grow Brand Recognition in your Local Market


You’ve done it all by this point. Your company’s paperwork is filled out, you have your EIN, you have a logo and a website and everything else your business could possibly need. But now you’re facing the age old question – how to grow brand recognition in your local market.

We at Carolina Solar Security have been asking ourselves this same question since 1985, and we’re sorry to say that there isn’t a simple answer to the riddle that is local brand awareness. But we do have a few tips and tricks to help you get started. Keep reading to learn more. 

Build an Outstanding Website

A good website goes a long way, that’s why you need to build you website the right way. But, what is the right way? A good website is one that has a clean, clear design, is easy to navigate, and easy to find. To do this, you will need to have a clear understanding of what your website will look like and build it with proper search engine optimization.

Now, your new website won’t start bringing in hundreds of leads on day one. It’s going to take some time to build that kind of web traffic. Instead, focus your efforts on building a website that will pay off in the long run. You can do this by frequently updating your website will relevant and keyword rich information. This will help your website rank higher in local search results.

Attend a Community Events 

The easiest way to get your foot in the door of your local community’s market is to simply walk in the room. When your community holds an event that allows businesses to table, your name and brand will be visible to every person who passes your booth. 

Event Attendance Hack: No matter how many community events you attend, you’ll never get the chance to talk to every potential client. Some might not even walk in your general direction! To capture the attention of these attendees, many brands choose to sponsor the event itself. This way they have boots on the ground and their logo placed throughout the venue. 

Join a Networking Group 

At the end of the day, relationships keep your business going. Why not join a mentorship or networking group to expand your business and grow your brand recognition? 

In any given area, there are countless opportunities to network with leaders inside and outside of your industry. If you need help getting started, we recommend peer mentorship programs like Vistage (a favorite of our CEO, Bill Valway), joining the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, or looking into a local CEO Club. 

No matter what type of networking organization you join, you’re bound to make long-term relationships with leaders in your area who can help you grow your brand recognition. 

Get Involved with Charitable Giving

Getting involved in your community through charitable giving and volunteer work is a great way to connect with your local market. Charity projects are staffed by employees and volunteers who are active in their communities, and they will help you make new connections throughout the local market. 

Beyond expanding your network, charitable giving and volunteer work sends an important message to your staff and potential clients about your consideration for the community. It will help your team and clients bond over a shared goal that goes much deeper than business. 

Pro Tip: Do your due diligence before aligning your brand with a nonprofit organization. Since you are already making a bold statement about your companies values by getting involved in your community, ensure you stand by it’s practices. You can use helpful tools like Charity Navigator to do just that.

Social Media

Social Media is a no-brainer when it comes to local brand recognition. Sure, you can show off your favorite projects with social media, but you can also use it to engage your audience on a personal level, in real time. By making your brand easily accessible, you are making it easier to remember. 

One thing to note: People can tell when you’re being disingenuous. And being disingenuous is a social media death sentence. When you post, make sure it is relevant to your brands message and adding something to the conversation. To put it simply-post from the heart. 

Branded Commercial Graphics

Now, we know you don’t have all the time in the world for networking and posting on Instagram. You’re busy running your business! So when you’re too busy to attend that Lunch & Learn for CEOs, choose a professionally-designed commercial graphics instead. 

Carolina Solar Security began offering commercial graphics to clients throughout North Carolina following its acquisition by AP Corp in early 2022. As a branch of AP Corp, we can proudly offer professional design and installation services for everything from window graphics to building wraps. An attention grabbing window graphic or building wrap is an easy way to stand out from the crowd, simply because they demand the attention of those who pass by. 

Ready to make a splash in the local market? 

Whether you have a large building on the busy streets of Fayetteville, North Carolina, or a storefront on the side of a major road, vinyl window graphics or building graphics will help you reach new clients. 

So, when you’re ready to make a splash, contact your local commercial graphics company. For more information on our applied vinyl services, get in touch with us today!

How to Grow Brand Recognition in your Local Market2022-12-14T02:33:10+00:00

3M Commercial Graphics in North Carolina


Carolina Solar Security has gone through some exciting changes in the past few months. We are now proudly powered by AP Corp and we’ve welcomed Luke McLawhorn as Operations Manager and Partner.

Now, we’re excited to share yet another sign of our growth: we provide custom commercial graphics in North Carolina for business owners and operators. Businesses from Wilmington, to Fayetteville, North Carolina, and beyond can now enjoy all the benefits of applied commercial graphics thanks to our company’s rapid expansion.

You might be wondering, “why should I care?” Read on to find out.

What are Commercial Graphics?

Commercial graphics are exactly what they sound like-printed, self-adhesive graphics that are applied to the empty surfaces of your business. They turn what used to be boring, bland, and blank into something that’s impossible to ignore.

Where Can I See Examples of Commercial Graphics in North Carolina?

We can say with almost 100% certainty that you’ve seen custom commercial graphics in North Carolina. When you go to the boardwalks in beautiful Outer Banks, North Carolina, you can see concession stands with high-impact signage everywhere. In cities like Charlotte and Raleigh, you can see storefront graphics, window graphics, and wall murals in nearly every shop.

We all interact with custom commercial graphics every day, and it’s clear that they can make or break your business. Now, Carolina Solar Security is offering you the chance to stand out from the crowd in busy cities like Wilmington and Fayetteville, North Carolina, without searching for an out-of-state vendor.

Why Commercial Graphics are Important to North Carolina Businesses

It’s clique to say, but commercial graphics are an opportunity you can’t miss. They will boost your brand, promote your business, and unite the community you’ve created as a business owner. Below, are just a few of the benefits of investing in commercial graphics.

Advertising on Your Terms

The best part of commercial graphics is that you’ve already invested in the ad space. You’re not paying yet another vendor to use their billboard, advertise on their station, or in their magazine. That means that everything about your commercial graphics is within your control.

If you have a blank wall, a perfectly clear window, or a spotless floor, you may not be using your space to its full potential. These surfaces present a major, often missed opportunity to show off the brand you’ve worked so hard on. Why not turn those blank spaces into something amazing? You’ve really got nothing to lose.

Create Brand Awareness

Like we said before, you’ve worked hard on your brand. Are you giving your brand the attention it deserves?

Custom commercial graphics are a unique, attention-grabbing way to make sure everyone in your local area knows your business, understands what you do, and sees the value you offer. You can create brand awareness with easily applied branding materials like vinyl window graphics or building graphics that command attention.

Marketing Campaigns that Change with the Seasons

When your North Carolina-based business works with Carolina Solar Security, you know you’re getting a high-quality product that can be installed with minimal disruption to your operations.

Installing commercial graphics does take skilled hands, but said skilled installers are efficient. Graphics for your business can be installed quickly, and removal of those graphics is even faster. So, when you work with Carolina Solar Security’s team of professional graphic designers and certified installers, you can create commercial graphics to promote anything and change them out as often as you like.

Commercial Graphics – Exactly What Your Business Needs

Commercial Graphics can be a game-changer for businesses in North Carolina, but you need graphics that work for you. You need something aesthetically pleasing, attention-grabbing, and easy to understand.

Are you ready to take the next step in growing your business? Carolina Solar Security is the top-rated installer of commercial graphics in the coastal Carolina region. Get in touch with us today to see how we can incorporate impactful commercial graphics into your North Carolina business.

3M Commercial Graphics in North Carolina2022-12-03T15:59:12+00:00
Go to Top