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Stripes and Graphics enjoys a mini adventure

Stripes and Graphics enjoys a mini adventure
With a 30-year history in the striping and detailing of Minis, Sean Beeston’s heritage working with the iconic automobile brand as a signmaker is unique.

Starting out in the 1990s as a valeter with a box of car stripes, Beeston grew his business via recommendation, supplying and fitting graphics to a growing number of Mini dealerships across the Midlands and North West. Since then, an investment in a Mimaki CJV150 printer/cutter has further fuelled the Stripes & Graphics business, which has developed new product lines, expanded the team and attracted new customers.

When Stripes & Graphics purchased its Mimaki CJV150 towards the end of a turbulent 2020, the business soon took new directions as it reaped the rewards of bringing print in-house.
Beeston explained: “We’d previously out-sourced our print requirements, but as the business grew, we needed to ensure that we gained tighter control over our supplies. The Mimaki has been central to our growth as, throughout the pandemic, we were able to offer a wider variety of products that met the needs of both new and existing clients.”

In addition to supplying and fitting vehicle liveries, Stripes & Graphics enjoyed strong demand for shop signage and window graphics, and the addition of new products, including floor graphics and safety signage, helped it to boost profits and stem the downtrend of a depressed motor trade. However, when that side of the business picked up, the introduction of further new options, such as pull-up banners and dealer branded facemasks, also opened up new revenue streams too.

Further, there has been another added advantage. Beeston confided: “Aside from the fact we can offer a wider product range, we’re also saving around £4-5,000 a month by outputting digital print on the Mimaki ourselves.”

After purchasing the CJV150 from Mimaki Authorised Reseller Partner, Granthams, Beeston appreciated the level of training and technical knowledge his team received post-installation. He said: “Granthams have been superb. We were up and running in a day, and the Mimaki, alongside the laminator that was installed at the same time, have become an integral part of the business ever since.”

Motor GroupStripes & Graphics is now a true family enterprise, with Sean’s wife Jackie overseeing the accounts, and sons Robbie and Lewis joining the business to help cope with the increasing demand. “We pick up nearly all our customers through word-of-mouth,” Beeston continued, revealing that an example of this is a large order for wrapped point of sale units that benefit from the high print quality of the CJV150.

He added: “We’ve never previously been able to deliver full colour print at this quality, so offering high-end point of sale material is a real advantage for us.”

One client that’s benefiting from Stripes & Graphics expanded product range is Acorn Motor Group, the highly-rated Kia, MG and Suzuki specialists with multiple dealerships across Staffordshire and Cheshire. Stripes & Graphics now supplies all the vehicle graphics for Acorn’s new cars, as well as producing branding and signage for use across the dealerships. It is even involved in supplying and fitting the paint protection film for Acorn’s high-end ‘Specialist Cars’ arm, which involves working on Ferraris and Bentleys to ensure they remain as pristine as when they leave the showroom.

With rising demand, Stripes & Graphics has recently relocated into brand new, 2,000sq ft premises in Ollerton, near Market Drayton, Shropshire. Commenting on the move, Beeston said:

“We’ve always offered a mobile service, fitting graphics and window tints on-site at car dealerships and vehicle accident repair centres, but the new premises have provided us with a fresh opportunity too. By offering a clean and controlled environment in which to apply graphics, along with a studio for handling logo design and branding work, we have elevated the scope of our service once again.”

Still supplying customers whose business he first won over 25 years ago, Beeston sees a bright future for Stripes & Graphics. He concluded: “Robbie and Lewis share my philosophy of delivering high-quality custom designs and it’s fulfilling to see the business serving our motor trade customers so well, whilst at the same time, bringing new customers from other industries on board with innovative and exciting products.”

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