This interview’s been a long time coming and features the man who helped kick-start Shutterway’s journey! Not only did our founder Gray Holland identify the niche for stylish security in the face of the dull, prison-like products of the time, he crafted Shutterway’s template design, too. Pleasing to the eye and incredibly robust, it was his inventiveness that ensured Shutterway flourished into the company it is today. We caught up with the busy man and posed a few questions to him:
1. Hi Gray, could you tell us a bit about yourself and how Shutterway came into being.
I enjoy designing and constructing things, especially something that has a problem and needs to be resolved. That was exactly how Shutterway came about. My eldest son asked me to design a security barrier that he could live with (not wanting to have that jail like feeling in his own home). My youngest son saw the potential in the early product and has taken the business to the level it is now.
2. What is your impression of the company and its culture?
I have always enjoyed being part of a team and that is the impression created at Shutterway. We have the right employees who make up a fantastic team and who strive to give good value and first-class customer service. We have received many accolades from customers as to this culture.
3. Do you have any particular highlights that come to mind? An experience that left you thinking at the end of the day: “Yes, that’s why I do what I do!”
Architecture is one of my great interests and creating something aesthetically pleasing is a constant highlight. I recall a client walking into an unfurnished room in her new, upmarket home and seeing Shutterway in the window openings and she remarked “it enhances the room!”
4. What aspect of your work gives you a feeling of satisfaction, and why?
Solving a problem which will make Shutterway work in a non-standard situation. It is a satisfying feeling knowing you have given the customer extra attention.
5. Have you met any people with interesting stories to tell, and if so, could you share one or two with us here?
There have been many over the years, however, one really stands out and this is architect and top mountaineer and rock climber, Mike Mamacos. Mike lived a life of his own and could apply reason to all aspects. Although I did not necessarily agree with all his reasons during in-depth discussions, I learnt a lot from him and was able to apply certain aspects to my life. Honesty and integrity made up a large part.
6. We can see why that stuck with you! Last question: where do you see Shutterway in the next 5 years, and as part of the team, how do you plan to help get the company to another level?
I would like to see Shutterway become a household name well within that time span, as I feel we have the potential. My present ambition is to finalise the introduction of our own designed lock into our gates which, I am sure, will set us well apart from the competition and will provide the necessary security required in South Africa.
Bolstering production is a continuous challenge and improvements in this field would be my focus.
7. Thanks for your time, and all the best!