Made in the Panhandle: Reflections of the "Son" - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Made in the Panhandle: Reflections of the "Son"

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Panama City, Fla. -

Made in America, there's been a lot of hype about it in recent years and it seems more and more products with that label are hard to find, but here in Florida, the red white and blue is growing, especially in the Panhandle.

We started this segment in July and now four months later, we found yet another company right here at home that boasts the 'made in America' label. This time, they are using the power of the sun to grow their business.

The sunshine state's weather is good for the business climate in many aspects, except one. By the minute, the glaring sun works against our buildings, roads and bridges.

"We get sunshine almost 3-hundred and something days a year." Northstar Campus Operations Pastor, Josh Street knows for a fact that it's difficult to upkeep the integrity of buildings.

"It can cause cracking, and once you get cracking, then all of a sudden you get weatherization." Street says.

But four years ago, the church found a solution to their problem. They looked into a product manufactured close to home.

"I'm the inventor of the patent for cool wall." It's a family affair for third generation businessman Jay Haines; his grandfather began creating textured coatings on the west coast.

After exploring an opportunity with the military, they opened their head quarters in Panama City. Business then sky rocketed.

"In America, we like color. So what's so unique about what we do, we make colors cool." Haines says.

Big box stores like Kohl's, Lowes, and Target are customers of Haines. Even super structures like the Hathaway and West Bay Bridge are coated in his product. "They paint their buildings on average with traditional paints, every 2- 3 years because they want their buildings to look good, with our product, we're saying, in a 15 year cycle, you're painting it once." Haines says.

The Coolwall system was developed from the same heat reflective technology used by the armed forces. Much like military vehicles, homes and structures absorb heat from the sun, causing it to reduce the paint's lifetime.

But with the power of Coolwall, solar heat is reflected, not absorbed. The product also has the ability to lower the temperatures of buildings, while saving companies money on their electrical bills.

"So this little company that employs about 50 people, we've really set our sights on creating the greenest products for the architectural industry on the market." Haines says.

Flexibility is one of the characteristics that has made this company so successful, not just in their product, but in the way they do business. During the recession, sales decreased as people chose not to make the investment. 

However, their energy efficient products, which are the most expensive, have maintained their value for a variety of reasons.

"We give them a color that doesn't fade, we give them energy savings, and something really different." Haines says.

With 51 years of rich history behind him, Haines has his eyes set on the horizon, with a passion for paint that burns as brightly as the sun.

The Architectural Energy Corporation found that the cool wall products can save retail stores 4% to 8% on their electrical bill.