I started in the signage industry as an apprentice at Gracie signs in 2004. After a lazy and unmotivated 6 months, I discovered a passion for the industry, but also an unwillingness to learn. As with everyone's first job, I needed to be fired in order to gain respect of the workplace in general. My passion was mainly due to the wide range of tasks and projects that fall under the "Sign Writing" trade field. With the majority of jobs being customised to each client, it's the opposite of repetitive and each job has a hand made, customised feel to it.
I had a break from the industry for a few years before being offered a casual job at Signs of Excellence. I Learned a lot about the industry, the suppliers, the expectations of customers and how to operate the machinery involved.
It was here that I designed, printed and installed my first full car wrap in 2009 on a Mazda Mx5 convertible. 2 years later I designed, printed and installed my first boat wrap (One of the first in North Queensland). 6 years after starting, I was itching to start a business of my own, with the dream of one day wrapping a vehicle or boat worth $1,000,000 or more.
In January 2013 I started The Sign Guys NQ with a friend I had made through the industry. Myself and Kai started with the bare basics and slowly worked our way up to employing casual staff and eventually 2 apprentices (It was here that I learned a very solid appreciation for my previous employers). We handled jobs as small as $20 For Sale decals to the 1300 Smiles Stadium signage contract when it changed over from Dairy Farmers Stadium. Leasing a shop inside of Tsv Marine we focused mainly on boat and vehicle wraps. The largest being full Semi Trailers, Truck cabs and the Magnetic Island Ferrys (see Gallery for photos). I even had the opportunity of working on a $900,000 Rolls Royce... but it wasn't a wrap... or over my magic $1,000,000 target. Everyone warns you about going into a business as a partnership but for 5 years we ran smoothly and efficient. Naturally, over time each of our priorities eventually shifted to the point that we decided to separate and continue in the industry on our own.
And so began Coastal Graphics NQ & Kraken Wraps.