Ireland's Publication for the refinishing & associated Industries

Former Dragon Hilary Devey’s new bodyshop

Renowned UK businesswoman, entrepreneur and former TV Dragon Hilary Devey opened Bodiwork by Devey, a state-of-the-art accident repair company, and The Design Studio, for non-automotive projects, in Sevenoaks, Kent, in March 2020. Bodiwork by Devey and The Design Studio are working exclusively with Spies Hecker – one of the premium refinish brands of Axalta, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings.

Joanna Power, Director of The Design Studio, says, “our highly skilled and experienced technical team took the decision to work exclusively with Spies Hecker because of the tailor-made solutions, consistent, reliable products, excellent digital colour management and the personal expertise and support they could offer us. And Axalta’s ethos on ecology and sustainability was also a key deciding factor, as this is something we take very seriously.”

Axalta worked closely with Bodiwork by Devey and The Design Studio to help them set up their dedicated Spies Hecker mixing room, organise the on-site training and get them launch-ready.

For its first project, The Design Studio took on the restoration of a 12-foot high gorilla sculpture, which had been gifted to a large conservation and animal charity. The multi-faceted mould and cast fiberglass sculpture had suffered considerable damage when on display previously. But the Devey team was determined to restore the gorilla back to its crowning glory. The funds for the restoration project were gifted by Devey herself as she felt it was such a worthy cause.

The imposing sculpture will be on permanent outdoor display, exposed to the elements, so it was important that the paint work should not only look fantastic but also be hard-wearing and durable. And to achieve the iconic silverback black, which has a purple and silver shimmer, Power worked closely with and Scott Watson, Axalta’s Technical Support Representative in the UK, to come up with a bespoke colour, aptly named Midnight Diamond.

The sheer size of the sculpture and the fact we were using a bespoke colour made the project very interesting and luckily he fitted into our largest spray booth. The complete restoration took our technical team six days, first carrying out the necessary repairs to the sculpture itself and then concentrating on the paint work,” continues Power.

The bodyshop used a range of products from the Spies Hecker Hi-TEC Performance System, including Permahyd Hi-TEC 480 Basecoat.

Jodie Henly, Marketing Specialist for Axalta in the UK and Ireland, says, “Working with Bodiwork by Devey and The Design Studio has been such an interesting venture from the very beginning. The first major project has already seen us create an exclusive special-effect colour to bring this extraordinary gorilla sculpture to life. We are looking forward to collaborating on many future exciting and unusual projects.”

To find out more about Spies Hecker contact your local distributor or visit

To find out more about Bodiwork by Devey and The Design Studio visit