A former educator had to learn some lessons himself in order to launch his own vehicle wrap and signage business this summer.
Micheal Hawes spent 18 months training and researching the wrapping and printing trades in order to establish his own business, Devil is in the Detail, which he launched full-time at the end of July.
“I have worked in the education business for around 19 years and needed a new challenge,” he said. “With a lot of friends in the car trade, I spent a lot of time looking at potential work within that industry – going to see another wrapping company really sparked my interest.
“From an educational point of view, planning is a massive part of doing anything. I feel if you are going to do a job, you have to do it right – so I did a lot of homework.”
In setting up the business, Hawes approached distributor Your Print Specialists (YPS), who introduced him to the Roland DG TrueVis VG-640 wide-format printer/cutter. He took the machine on at his 158sqm premises alongside an Easymount laminating table, with the total investment coming to circa £22,000.
As a complete beginner, Hawes took Roland’s introductory courses in digital print at Coventry University and the Roland Creative Centre in Clevedon before fully establishing Devil in Selby, Yorkshire.
He said: “What drew me to the Roland machine was its versatility and functionality – it is a very easy machine to use. Its print-and-cut capabilities were a godsend for a newbie like me.
“Since taking it on, the majority of my work has been based around decals, stickers and other print-based applications, with a couple of printed wraps.
“Having the print capabilities means I have to keep my eyes and options open – there has already been a few twists and turns. If I get a print contract and that is where the work goes, that that is what I will take up. Mostly, I’m just trying to establish myself in the area now.”
With the kit up and running, Hawes’ next step is to enhance his brand awareness in the local area and to explore potential applications to go alongside vehicle wrapping.
Currently a solo operation, he said that another pair of hands would likely be needed in the future “given the nature of the work”.