In 2022, Ben and Anne McClure took the plunge into owning their own automotive panel and paint workshop following the retirement of Ben’s previous employer. Two years on McClure Refinishing has become a trusted name in the industry, with the pair working to provide opportunities for the next generation.
Tell us about yourselves and McClure Refinishing.
McClure Refinishing is a family-owned and operated automotive panel and paint workshop, located on the site of the old Rowan’s Body Works in Currajong. Ben has been working in the industry for 20 years this year, starting as an apprentice at Rowan’s and worked there right up until the business closed when the owner decided to retire.
We had been discussing starting our own business prior to COVID hitting in 2020, so Rowan’s decision to close in 2021 was the catalyst we needed to bite the bullet and strike out on our own. Anne has worked in various industries and is able to draw from this knowledge and experience in operating the ‘business’ of the workshop.
We provide the full range of automotive repair and refinishing work, from smash repairs, fleet maintenance, buff and polish, custom paintwork, and everything in between.
We also have three young, very energetic boys (8, 4, 2 years) who definitely make life interesting. They can often be found hanging around the workshop getting up to all sorts of mischief!
This month we celebrate two years in business, and proudly employ 11 staff. We’re passionate about education and growing the industry through apprenticeships and working closely with local schools for their work experience programs. We’re also advocates for the Women in Automotive initiative.
What has been the most challenging aspect of starting/owning McClure Refinishing?
Juggling the work/life balance has been the absolute hardest part of becoming business owners as we’re sure most would agree! Neither of us are very good at delegating so if there’s additional work to be done, we tend to do it ourselves. Managing that and a young family has been quite the experience but getting better at it as time goes on.
What is a fun fact about yourselves?
Ben – I get more excited about a rusty $500 paddock find than I do about most $100,000 vehicles (not that I’d turn down a Nissan GT-R if someone was handing me the keys to one!). I also remember most people by the car they drive and not their actual names.
Anne – Growing up around Childers (Bundaberg region) I used to be in a rock band with my family (Dad + two of my brothers). I started out as the drummer when I was 10 then moved to keyboard when I was 12 and we became a four-piece – “Ratchet & the Loose Bolts.”
What is the best piece of career or business advice you have ever received?
You never know it all! We’re all continuously learning and growing regardless of what stage in business we’re at.
Going forward, what is next on the cards for McClure Refinishing?
This coming year we’re going to be focusing heavily on customer education in the world of vehicle repairs. We’re about to launch a series of informative short videos and posts around topics like choosing the right insurance for you, choosing the right repairer for you, how the repair process works and looking after your vehicle amongst other relevant topics. We hope that by educating customers it empowers them in their decision making and also strengthens the industry as a whole.
Main image – Ben & Anne McClure, owners of McClure Refinishing.
Images Credits – All images supplied.