Name: John Ellis
Company name: John Ellis Painting & Decorating
How and when did you start decorating?
Have been a Firefighter for 14 years, about 10 years ago a colleague on my watch who already had his own decorating business asked if i wanted to give him a hand, i agreed and was hooked from day 1. I constantly picked his brains about paints and systems used etc, about 7 years ago he had to take a sabbatical due to having a child so decided to venture out on my own, managed to bag a 17 flat conversion within the first year and the business rocketed from there.
What’s your favourite part of running your own business?
Being my own boss, having the ability to transform old, tired surfaces into fresh, vibrant features. I also enjoy expanding my tool repertoire, currently researching the market for a dustless sanding system, then it’s onto upgrading the spraying department!
What’s your least favourite part of running your own business?
Fussy customers who think they know best! the best comment is, just want the labour i will get the paint!! alarm bells start to sound at this point and the price of labour doubles!
Have you ever feel like giving up on the business? If so, what helped you persevere?
Not been there yet, can’t ever seeing that being an issue, I love the industry too much and with the growing social media presence i’m finding interacting with fellow decorators enjoyable, learning so much more looking at other peoples work and the systems they use.
If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would be the first 3 things you’d do with the money?
House in the sticks with a 4 mile driveway, Audi R8 and a holiday to the Caribbean.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
To be invisible, could you imagine the fun!!
If you could change one thing about the decorating industry to improve it, what would it be?
Some form of retribution for the cowboys, an affiliation that would need to be acquired before you could quote for work
What do you get up to when you’re not decorating? Any hobbies?
The kids are my hobby, with work so crazy at the minute i cherish every spare minute or day I get with them so wouldn’t find much time for a hobby, looking forward to dusting off the golf clubs when it all dies down and the kids have grown up
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice to make you a better business person, what would it be?
Get a trade the minute you leave school! wasted too much time messing about as an 18 year old trying to follow the dream of becoming a professional footballer!
Thanks again to John for answering my questions. Further proof that you can enter the industry in a wide variety of ways and make a successful business.
I am looking to talk to as many decorators as possible over the coming months so we can share knowledge and hopefully raise the profile of the industry as a whole.
If you would like to feature in ‘An interview with a decorator’ please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org , DM me on social media or via the contact page on my website.