Any prospective client looking over the Mackelvie Street panelbeaters, Professional Panel and Paint, can not help but be impressed with the neat, clean and tidy workshop.
Ryan Wilkinson, young energetic and highly qualified, took over the workshop in April 2019. Wilkinson is a born and bred Aucklander, growing up in Greenlane, and going to Auckland Grammar School. He had 13 years experience behind him, training at Boss, Onehunga.
He gutted the old workshop, filling a large bin, repainted walls and floor, and his landlord put a new roof on the building. New signage, and new equipment, including an inventer spot welder, were added to the business.
Ryan has a passion for his work, and has an old Escort at the back of the workshop which he is restoring - his own pride and joy. Business has been tough this year, especially of course because of Covid-19, but is picking up.
Wilkinson is pleased to be in such a central position, with lots of homes and apartments in the vicinity. Local clients don’t have far to go for his services, while so much industry has tended to move away from residential areas.
Professional Panel and Paint seeks to be unashamedly local and parochial, echoing the Ponsonby News mantra - ‘stay local, shop local, support your local businesses.’ He urges locals to “just drop your vehicle off to us and we’ll fix it.” When I asked about his experience and qualifications, Ryan quite reluctantly admitted he was, in 2009, the New Zealand Painting Apprentice of the year - the winner of the Golden Gun Award.
There is a happy/sad dimension to this young businessman’s story. His business’s official name is Wilkinson Bros Ltd, a tribute to his brother lost several years ago at just 35 years of age. Part of the finance that allowed Ryan to buy Panel and Paint came from a small legacy from his late brother, so he named the business accordingly - a lovely touch to his four years older brother.
Ryan Wilkinson is a personable and articulate young man, keen and enthusiastic for his business, who in our opinion at Ponsonby News, deserves to succeed. Ryan has two fulltime staff, who feature in the accompanying photo.
Small businesses are never easy to run, especially in times of global pandemics, but Wilkinson has made a good start. We urge locals who have suffered a dinged vehicle to check him out. He’ll sort you out with skill and the latest techniques.
Professional Panel and Paint, 34 Mackelvie Street, T: 09 376 1069, www.professionalpanelpaint.com
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