THE co-owner of a new Uttoxeter business has told how his terminally ill wife was the inspiration behind finally taking the plunge and going into business.
Martin Tomlinson has named his new garage in Dovefields Industrial Estate after his wife Debbie Jane who is suffering from bowel cancer.
He and business partner Richard Portsmouth opened DJ Tyres and Exhausts and Mr Tomlinson told the Advertiser he was determined to make his wife proud with the exciting new venture.
He said: “She wanted to see me doing it. She heard me complain about other people not having an idea and saying I could do it better so she said why not do it.
“From my point of view it is about making her proud and from a business point of view we’ve always said we can do better and now it is about putting up or shutting up.
“I wanted to name the business after her which is why I called it DJ Tyres and Exhausts as her name is Debbie Jane.
“That was the name I wanted and Rich said OK.
She has helped us a lot where she can, as has Rich’s wife Holly who helped design our leaflets.
We are really a family-based company with family values.” The two business partners have a combined 40 years of expertise in the motoring trade and have worked at numerous national chain garages.
Being independent and able to have the freedom to do what they want is a big bonus for the pair and they admitted the lack of that had been a frustration with working for big chains.
Mr Tomlinson, 40, said: “They are all bound with having to sell certain branded items. We can sell what we want and give the best value for money.
“We are at the reins ourselves and don’t have someone from head office telling us what to do to do our job better when they have no idea themselves.”
Mr Portsmouth, 35, added: “There is too much control from above from people who don’t know what is going on — they’ve no connection to the person coming through the door. It is those working on the shop floor who tend to see what is going on.”
Mr Tomlinson said he is happy to be in business in Uttoxeter and will be looking to pass benefits on to the local area in terms of employment and utilising other nearby garages.
He said: “I have worked in Uttoxeter for a good few years. I find the people to be an open sort of folk round here and they tend to be very genuine.
“Working up here I know the people and I know the supply routes. We are trying to use everything we can locally and when we hopefully expand we hope to employ from the local area as well.
“We can refer to other local garages for things such as MOT’s and hopefully they will refer to us for tyres and exhausts etc.”