Our city is famous for its independent small businesses. They make Perth unique and different from the others and we love it. (Not that I’m at all biased!) One of our city’s great Indies is the printing and embroidery business, Sprinterz.
Kevin and Gillian McConachie started Sprinterz in Bankfoot just over eight years ago. The business has gone from strength to strength ever since, and they have built up a loyal client base that stretches from the Highlands in the north, to London in the south. The couple operate from a room at the back of their Bankfoot home which was previously a games room for their two sons, Logan and Aidan.
You’ll see examples of their work everywhere, from local sports teams’ kits, to the staff gilets at Perth Racecourse and Kevin and Gillian are always very busy at work! Despite that, they somehow manage to fit in holidays and time with their family and friends.
I recently picked up a canvas from Sprinterz – and what a fantastic job they made of it – so while I was there I caught up with the couple to find out more about their work and how they like to spend their spare time!
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Although our opening hours are 9am-5pm, our working day starts at 6am by getting everything prepared for the day ahead and answering e-mails (I often get a response from customers saying “you were up early!”). Then once it’s 9am, the phone starts ringing, e-mails are flooding in and there isn’t much time to catch your breath until around 6pm!
Gillian on the other hand works on some nights until 10pm. Gillian does what we call the 'finishing' - doing all the print and embroidery onto the clothing. I do all the preparation for her while dealing with most of the customers and suppliers. I also print the banners, canvas prints and posters on our huge printing machine. We also have our own mascot, Bailey, a long-haired Dachshund, who we look after for a friend during the working day and he always likes to give our customers a 'friendly' welcome!
What signals the start of your weekend / days off?
We work Saturday mornings, then I head off to the football or we meet up with friends. Sundays we might sneak in and do a bit of work, but it’s a good day to catch up with our two sons and their girlfriends and hear about how their week has been.
When we have a day-off, we try and have a long weekend. We love going on a city break and recently we’ve visited York and Krakow.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
We’ve been married 31 years on 21st June - you would never guess that looking at Gillian!
Top of your bucket list?
Venice for Gillian and Australia for me!
Worst job you’ve ever had?
Gillian tried her hand at Market Research about 30 years ago and let’s just say she didn’t last long. She was out in all weathers and trying to match up the criteria with the interviewees was really difficult!
I was a Smith’s Crisps salesman calling on supermarkets and cash and carry outlets, I'm sure the buyers had special training in perfecting their nasty sides! I am being polite here!
I lasted three months there, had enough of it and left to join Tennent’s the brewers as a sales representative visiting pubs every day. Apart from my current job this was my best job ever, understandably.
Who or what inspires you?
We both love a challenge, so when a customer asks us if we can do a specific job and it’s either complicated or almost impossible, it’s great to see it start off as an idea and finish with both of us going wow, that was a job well done!
Tell us about the weekend you’d love to live again?
For me, it was May 17th and 18th 2014 for obvious reasons. We were really busy the week before with lots of St Johnstone supporters wanting personalised t-shirts/football shirts and scarves for that great day. Then what an atmosphere in Perth on the Sunday! That night my sons and I attended the Player of the Year Awards at McDiarmid Park and had a great time.
What’s the best part about your job?
Positive feedback from customers. We’re lucky all our customers are nice, friendly folk and are happy to take our advice on the best way to make their products look good.
What’s in the perfect day off breakfast?
Sunday mornings consist of grabbing the newspapers from Nisa in Bankfoot, then sitting down at our dining table to a sausage, bacon and egg fry-up with a nice cup of tea.
Complete this sentence; The best things in life are….
Going out for dinner with our family or friends and enjoying a nice glass of wine or two.
Tammy Fleuchar is Club Manager at Fit4Less gym in Perth City Centre, fitness fanatic and loves keeping Perth fit and healthy.
January 9th Thursday 2020
Rehanna MacDonald plays Sinbad the Sailor in Perth Theatre's 2019 Christmas Pantomime Sinbad.
December 20th Friday 2019
SIsters Kathy Gillon and Liz Munro have a background in hospitality and when they saw the Berryfields tearoom they knew it was the business for them.
December 1st Sunday 2019