published Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Twisted Hydrographic owner turns hobby into East Ridge business

  • photo
    Eric Gulas holds a searchlight he covered with hydrographics in the basement of his East Ridge home.
    Photo by John Rawlston.
    enlarge photo

Name: Twisted Hydrographic Custom Concepts

Owner: Eric Gulas

Location: East Ridge

Service: The hydrographic process puts a protective, patterned coating on any object -- from snakeskin on a spotlight to camouflage on a gun.

Price: Varies depending on the size, shape and material of the object

How it got started: Gulas realized as a middle school student that making money isn't a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. endeavor. At 12 years old he rented his video game collection to a neighborhood shop and made $300 a week — and he's been hooked on entrepreneurship ever since. When he learned about the hydrographic process, he realized he could turn it from a hobby into a business, so he built his own tank and experimented until he learned the nuances of the process.

Initial investment: $1,000

Process: Gulas heats up a 300-gallon tank of water, then places a thin sheet of specialized paper on the surface of the water. Once the paper is saturated, he slowly pushes the object down, into the paper and deeper into the water tank. The film adheres to the object and forms a coating that looks and acts much like the paint on a car.

Email: vettetr1@gmail.com

about Shelly Bradbury...

Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...

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