Leave the rat race behind and start a small business. Many people dream of doing this but Northamptonshire-based businesswoman Jackie Grenfell has actually taken the plunge and made it a reality. Following a health scare, she made the decision to quit the pressures of corporate life and do something she felt passionate about.
As a life-long lover of classic Volkswagens, Grenfell is putting all her efforts into setting up her dream business: Silk & Satin Weddings – a service that offers Volkswagen Type 2 split screen Campers for wedding hire. And with backing from her family, a quality paint system from Spies Hecker and first-class bodyshop support, she is well on the way to her achieving her dream of running a fleet of bespoke wedding vehicles, all finished to the same exacting standards with Spies Hecker paint and equipped with high quality products from a host of premium suppliers.
To get the business off the ground, Grenfell looked long and hard for the perfect camper; at the end of 2012 two came along at once. The two original 1967 Volkswagen Type 2 split screen Campers – affectionately named Jodi and Abbe – were perfect in almost every way, but needed some cosmetic attention. Thanks to her husband’s industry contacts, she knew exactly the right people to do the work.
Abbe and Jodi needed a complete makeover. Grenfell says, “obviously the exterior is what everyone sees first, and for wedding hire, it needs to be absolutely perfect.”
Both Abbe and Jodi were sent to Steve Digby and his team at Perfect Paint Centres Ltd in Milton Keynes, where Spies Hecker was selected as paint partner for the job.
“I wanted a highly-experienced, VW-approved bodyshop with a paint system able to handle the re-spray. Steve and his team are true perfectionists and have a real passion for classic vehicles. Spies Hecker is steeped in heritage with a proven record of providing specialised solutions for these unique paint jobs – together they were an obvious choice for us,” continues Grenfell.
The most important decision was choosing the colour to respray the camper. Grenfell wanted classic VW colours, but was keen to still have it be aesthetically pleasing and complementary to potential customers’ colour themes. Before making the big decision, Digby asked the Spies Hecker technical team at the Refinish Academy in Welwyn Garden City to match some of the vintage VW colours and provide spray-out cards in Permahyd® Base Coat Series 280.
“The team at Spies Hecker were fantastic. They really went the extra mile to help us to achieve our goal – at every point we were provided with a very personal service. In the end I chose Pastel White for the top half and Prairie Beige for the bottom half. Spies Hecker matched both colours perfectly with their digital colour matching tools – I couldn’t have been more impressed. Steve and his team also did a superb job of the respray,” says Grenfell.
Jodie Henly, marketing specialist, Axalta Coating Systems Limited UK and Ireland, says, “it was a real pleasure to be involved in this venture. Spies Hecker prides itself on its close customer relationships and its trustworthy paint solutions. A project like this, although challenging, provides a real sense of achievement when you see the end result.”
The last step in the renovations was the interior, which took a number of months to design. Unlike most VW split screen campers, Abbe and Jodi have spacious L-shaped rear seating areas. The space incorporates champagne buckets and holders for champagne flutes, providing a truly unique and romantic experience for any bride and groom. Both vehicles are furnished with luxurious upholstery.
Henly concludes, “Jackie’s passion shines through and will be the driving force behind making this business venture a success.”
Further information can be found at Silk & Satin’s website: www.silkandsatinweddings.co.uk