According to Hunt, who operates The Body Shop in Kingsport, Stapleton is a rare breed who offers professional service, reasonable prices and exceptional quality in his work.
"George Stapleton is probably as good as anybody I've ever dealt with, and we've used him for years - ever since he came to Kingsport, I guess," said Hunt. "He's the best I've ever seen at matching colors, and he does excellent, excellent work. Even on home furniture, he just does excellent work on leather and vinyl."
"He's almost too reasonable, as far as what he charges for the quality of work he does, and he's just a really good, straight up, honest guy. If George can't do something, he will tell you he can't do it," Hunt stressed.
After 28 years in the business, it's a formula that works for Stapleton and United Vinyl Services (UVS).
It's hard to believe it all started with a classic boy meets girl story.
A tanned California girl arrived in Northeast Tennessee with an opportunity that, unbeknownst to her, would include her future husband.
Sherri Stapleton came to the region with United Vinyl Services (UVS). She met George, they became friends, dated and then married in 1985. As a wedding gift to the couple, UVS gave George a two-week training course that taught him how to repair vinyl and leather. A year later, the Stapletons became the owners of the company.
It didn't take long for this talented artist to make a name for himself and for his company in the Tri-Cities area, where many consider him the best in his field.
Commercial and residential customers find Stapleton’s work to be professional, reasonably priced and of excellent quality.
"I have never seen anyone like him. We have used him numerous times both in the store and away from the store. He does great work. Class act. He has an unbelievable talent and I don’t know of any others who match dyes as perfectly as he does," boasts Aaron Smith, owner of Rhoton & Smith Furniture Company in Weber City, Va.
Smith shared a story of when a customer’s dog chewed a large hole in a leather cushion and Stapleton repaired it so well that evidence of the "crime" was invisible. Dog and sofa saved.
"I want him to share his skill and take me under his wing and teach me his skill," Smith admits. He further emphasized Stapleton’s marvel, "The guy has great customer service skills and is a good helpmate. I’ve never had a complaint from any of my customers about his work."
John Pennell, warehouse manager of Grand Home Furnishings in Gray, Tenn., also supports Stapleton’s work.
"He does an extremely good job on minor repairs and does so very quickly. And, for major repairs such as cuts and tears, it’s amazing how well he does those jobs in such a short amount of time," Pennell said.
Stapleton’s UVS obviously has a fan base as his talents are uncanny. He is not the computer savvy man of our younger generation, but instead relies on his eyes to perfectly match dye colors. His skills and techniques have doctored new life into many cuts, tears, holes, bruises, and scuffs in the vinyl and leather of cars (even headliners), boats, furniture, planes and physicians' exam tables.
The most challenging project Stapleton has tackled was the complete dye job of the interior of Kingsport Vice Mayor Tom Parham's Mercedes. But it was so successful that Tom has since become a regular UVS customer.
"He wanted the dark green to be dyed to a parchment. Fortunately, he was very pleased and would come back about every two years to have a little touch-up," Stapleton humbly mentioned.
Payment is not due until the job is complete. Blountville-based United Vinyl Services offers on-site visits and repairs for commercial and residential projects. For free estimates or more information, please call 423-646-6992 or 423-323-7563.