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Spectrum Rubber grows from hobby into successful business

Supplier: MVR Industrial
23 September, 2008

Paul Justin, the national sales and marketing manager for Spectrum Rubber, has been working at the company since 1995 and he recalls how the original owner turned his hobby into a successful business.

Initially Paul was a supplier to the original owner, who later asked him to work with him at the business.

“The business started about 32-33 years ago and was primarily focused on the automotive industry to being with. The original owner was an old car fanatic. He mainly loved the old British and American cars, such as Austin and Chevrolet. It was his obsession with cars that inspired him to start the business in the first place. Originally, he was a panel beater by profession and people used to pay him to respray their Chevs.

“And then, after a while, those people also wanted to have rust repairs done, so he would make repair sections for them. People would then ask him for new rubber pieces.”

The requests for help kept on growing to the point where the original owner started buying rubber products and reselling them to the people who needed his help.

“Eventually, the business got bigger and bigger and he started purchasing second hand moulds to make headlight gaskets and headlight surrounds. He used to go to car events at showgrounds at 6 o’clock in the morning so that he could sell his new parts to people who brought their cars to the events. He really did turn his hobby into a business.”

When Paul joined the company, there were only two toolmakers on site and they used to make new things just for the fun of it. Eventually the original owner left and his wife took over the business.

“It was then a case of doing what we could to develop the business. We started off with a fairly big industrial retail group, with about 80 retail shops across the country, and then we diversified into custom moulding, like what we are doing now.

“These days we do custom moulding for anything, including train doors. The business has really grown over the years. We still have the same number of staff on board, but the guys just do a lot more in their day now. It’s much more efficient ”

Paul adds that he enjoys satisfying people’s demands and requests.

“Although I’m the sales and marketing manager, I really am the finder around the place. I do a lot of the technical and development work. Chris Redwood has owned the business for 2 1/2 years and we’ve got Andrew Goodman as the Operations Manager, who looks after the day to day running of the business. It’s been great watching it grow from a hobby into a successful business.

“I’m also proud of the fact that these days we can make anything with rubber for trains, boats, planes, caravans and cars. You name it, we can just about do it.”