Painting the town with family success
FROM growing up inside the family business to now directing it, Matt Haymes knows a thing or two about paint.
Although the Haymes Paint brand is now internationally used and recognised, Mr Haymes said since his grandfather founded the company in 1935, it’s taken some serious hard work and dedication to get it to where it is today.
“One of my earliest memories is dad going back to work every night into the early hours of the morning because things weren’t great and the business was struggling,” he said.
“He and mum had to work incredibly hard to turn the business around and in 1985 mum and dad borrowed a lot of money to purchase the business from the rest of the shareholders.
“Even to this day, we feel like we’re working for them, our parents, and we’re just custodians of the business.
“As a family, there were moments when we were at each other’s throats and had our own opinions, but we decided to all work to our natural strengths and as a team.”
With the Ballarat-born business now in its third generation, Mr Haymes continues the company’s Australian-made legacy alongside
his brother Tim Haymes, sister Belinda Haymes and brother-in-law Rod Walton.
Having operated for 86 years, Mr Haymes said the secret to the businesses success comes down to the achievements and passion of all the families involved.
“A lot of the gratification comes from having 340 families working for us across the country, and some of those have been with us for longer than I’ve been in the business,” he said.
“There are amazing stories of personal growth and achievement throughout the business and that’s the thing that really gets me excited.
“You don’t have to be a Haymes, it’s all the families that work in the business, are part of our distribution service, own independent hardware stores and are our trade customers and builders.”
Although many of Haymes’ major competitors are internationally owned, Mr Haymes said it’s not just important for the family but also the employees and clients to remain Australian made.
“It will be made in Ballarat for the rest of our natural days, we have to stay Australian owned,” he said.
“People in Australia are choosing to buy not just locally made but to look at where it’s owned as well, I think particularly in the last 12 months that’s separated us and given us some exceptional growth.”
“While people want to keep supporting Australian made and owned and buy our product, why would we sell, we have too much pride in it.”
In addition to the Mr Haymes and the wider company’s commitment to a quality product, he also said it’s important to the organisation to look after its communities.
“There’s a sizeable amount of money every year that we provide back into the local community through community sponsorships and support,” he said,
“It’s our way of saying thank you and it’s something we take enormous joy in, whenever someone asks we’re usually more than willing to help.
“Something dad used to say to us is if you’re not looking after a customer, you’re looking after someone who is, your people come first.”