How it all got started
The first reaction to a woman owning a paint shop and then a paint application business is often met with skeptism. The truth is, it kind of happened by accident, it was definitely not planned.
Charmaine’s architect brother – Robin Mc Intosh from Intersect architects (www.intersectarchitects.co.za) decided to get involved in Midas Earthcote in 2006. He was renovating a 3000m2 building into a bed and breakfast (www.bramasole.co.za).
In order to get the product at cost Robin bought the Midas Earthcote franchise for the area. It was at this time that Charmaine and newly found partner Pete emerged from Mozambique, after doing a few years of business development assistance she felt it was time to have her own business. Its all good and well to have a fancy university degree and post Grad degree – but nothing prepares you for real life and for the day to day obstacles. And so as all the pieces came together, the retail side got going under the name of Paintsmiths and Brush-Strokes the application division.
Since starting in 2006 both Paintsmiths and Brush-Strokes have grown from literally nothing to a business with 100 painters and a fleet of 11 vehicles and an annual turnover of over 11 million.
Our competitive edge
One of the elements that has made the business successful is the combination of the retail shop with the contracting side.
It provides a showroom for the clients – enabling us to give clients colour consultations. It provides flexibility on the contracting side as we have constant material supply.
For our project managers we take the whole process of the clients colour choices out of their hands and provide a colour consultation service to each and every client.
Growing up and expanding
Within a short period of time Brush-Strokes quickly transitioned into a fully-fledged paint application business. Now almost 10 years later we have done numerous commercial developments for many large development companies in South Africa (such as V3 and Central Development Projects to name just two).
We are the sole paint contractor for many project management companies who are building houses in exclusive housing estates. We are also involved in re-painting homes and pride ourselves with being able to handle the more difficult situations of painting already inhabited houses.
Over the last couple of years as the business has grown exponentially we have decided to take on less work to provide better quality and service to our clients.
There may be companies out there which are cheaper than we are, but each and every one of our clients is treated as the most important and extra special care is taken to understand their specific needs and great care and thought go into deciding which product and service would work best for them. Yet sometimes things do go wrong – as can be expected in the contracting business – if this does happen, then every effort is made to ensure the problem is solved and the client is left happy and the situation fully resolved. An unhappy client is one of the worst things for our team at Brush-Strokes.
Brush-Strokes also fully acknowledges the importance of Health and Safety for its team. We are registered with Compensation and have a letter of good standing. Efforts are being made to ensure we do the best we can in terms of safety.
Our BEE status was not a focus at first, however as we have grown and we are receiving larger projects to work on, we are now in the process of getting our status formalized.
The Brush-Strokes family
The of the most important element integral to the continued growth and success of Brush-Strokes has been its staff. Through the years we have managed to gather the most amazing group of people. Reliable, professional and loyal Staff. Every year this very special group grows and we are proud to say Brush-Strokes has the best group of painters around. While the year involves a lot of hard work, our Christmas parties feel like a massive family gathering.
References – The ones that know we are awesome
We are happy to provide contact details on request
- Central Development Projects – Gerrit Mare Site Manager
- PLC Developments – Gavin Gouws and Oubies Louwren
- Plascon – Wichard Schneider
- 3V Developments – Monica
- Interior Decorator – Wytske Van Wyk
1. Shameen Bhika – Eldolakes
2. Glen Hardy – South Downs
3. Leoni Meiring – South Downs
- Cementitious Floors
1. Product manufacture. Dekster. Dale Nicholay
2. Janice Loots – recent client