Sisters brush up on starting a business

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Southland sisters Braidee and Jackie Dempster have started their own painting business.

SOME will know them as the Siamese twins, others call them the horse and carriage.

Southland sisters Braidee and Jackie Dempster do everything together, and it is no different when it comes to their career.

The pair recently set up a business, Dempster Painting and Decorating, after about 20 years combined learning the tools of the trade from their father Southland painter, John Dempster.

“We work together, hang out together after work, we’re together on the weekends,” Jackie said.

Before they had even started high school, both had already got their hands on a brush.

Jackie said her and her sister eventually went on to get painting qualifications after school, and in 2017, she brought home the title of Master Painters Apprentice of the Year.

A family affair year, they had only ever worked with their father.

“Getting work experience from dad was always easier because you’re family. We could always ask him questions and he could be upfront with us.

“But dad’s getting older and we don’t want to work for anyone else.”

While some siblings would clash, working with her sister was a lot of fun, Jackie said.

“We have the same vision and the same personality… never really fight, we’ll have a bit of a bicker and then just get on with it.”

While work was previously based in Nightcaps, they were now looking to grow their clientele in Invercargill, where they lived, she said.

Braidee said despite being shy, they were more than willing to take on “whatever is thrown at us”.

“It’s really out of our comfort zone but everyone’s been so supportive, especially builders [in the area].”

Having local contacts and getting referrals through word-of-mouth had been their plan of attack, she said.

Jackie said one of their most valuable contacts had been their paint representative, Bevan Brown, who was the same representative their father had worked with for more than 45 years.

“If we ever need advice he always helps or comes and drops paint off to us.”

From now, it would be all about continuing to build the business for the Dempster sisters.

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