PAINT stripping may always takes something away, but for businessman Carey Parsons, its real attraction comes from the new lease of life it gives to items which may otherwise have found their way onto the scrap heap.
Together with fiancee Anne Joslin, the 42 year old operates Westcott-based A&C Soda Blasting, which offers an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional sand blast based paint stripping.
The firm has been chosen for The Bucks Herald’s local business accelerator initiative, meaning the couple will receive a substantial amount of free advertising and access to expert business mentoring over the coming months.
A&C’s services can be used for stripping paint off car bodies and components as well as for a variety of other surfaces.
What impressed judges was just how big a market the firm could potentially attract, with a huge number of vintage car enthusiasts and racing teams based in Bucks and the Home Counties.
It is something that Carey is also hugely excited and passionate about.
“We offer a service that nobody else does and it is also environmentally friendly which is something we really care about.
“Soda blasting is so versatile and soft in its application. You can do metals, plastic, glass, engine parts – I’m constantly thinking of new things we can clean and rejuvenate.
“It is restoring old things and giving them a new of lease of life which is the side I like. If you can just clean them up you can get use out of them once more.”
Carey is now targeting racing teams which need to remove paint from the bodies of their cars.
“I can get it right back to the carbon frame so they paint it again, for example with their new sponsor’s logo on it. There’s quite a few race teams around here.”
He said the business was formed back in November 2010 after he discovered the benefits of soda blasting.
“The irony was I was looking to do my own Mustang. I didn’t want to sand blast it because it would have a detrimental effect. So I saw about soda blasting and thought I would run with it and I have still not had a chance to do my own car!”
Carey is currently building a purpose-made premises at the firm’s home in Lower Green.
“It will free things up. At the moment we are limited by the weather conditions because we are outside. I thought this wasn’t the way to go, so we have got a purpose-built booth and office. Without a doubt it will look a lot more professional.
“I’m just going to go with the flow at the moment. It would be nice to expand a little bit, take on one or two local people in the future – but how far down the line that is I don’t know. I’m just going to play it by ear and see what demand there is.”
And he thinks advertising in The Bucks Herald will provide a big boost to his firm by attracting customers who may have private collections of vintage cars, as well as those who may be after different services.
“I really can’t believe we’ve won this,” he said.
The business accelerator scheme is a national initiative run by the Newspaper Society to boost firms during the economic downturn.
It is being backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, who said: “Congratulations to all the winners of the local business accelerators scheme. It’s brilliant that so many promising young companies, from such a wide range of sectors, are benefiting from this excellent initiative. Entrepreneurship, creativity and ambition are essential for our economic recovery and through local business accelerators, newspapers such as The Bucks Herald are supporting some great new British businesses to grow, and helping to boost their local economy.”