Formerly TABMA and Hardware Australia 1800 822 621 ALL UNDER ONE ROOF Government Advocacy IR Advice WH&S Services HR Resources National Conference & Awards Emerging Leader Program Insights & Stats Trade Credit Insurance Program Building Trade Credit Australia Cost Saving Benefits Industry Training (RTO) #5343 Trainees & Apprentices (GTO) metres long and 30 metres wide, which was also originally used to store over 4000 tonnes of grain. “We used the shed to store grain for some time, but it has since been transformed into an area we now use for engineering and spray painting. These are two side businesses I have developed over the years in addition to the hardware business. The sandblasting service first started out as a hobby of mine in 1978 but has since grown into a healthy side business. I have also installed a large paint booth in the shed, so I am well set up to paint semi-trailers, tippers and farming machinery,” he said. An extensive engineering facility has also been implemented at the rear shed which includes a sheet metal guillotine and folder, punching shears and bandsaw, and a variety of engineering equipment. Ron used much of the equipment to make one-tonne ute trays for a car dealer in Horsham. Above the store, Ron also operates a wide format sign business where he develops a lot of signage for surrounding businesses. “Rainbow only has a population of 600 people, so it is difficult to run a successful hardware store selling just hardware. I have diversified a lot from the original hardware store to survive but I have enjoyed doing it as well. I always wanted to be a builder and I guess I have done this in a lot of other ways through the sandblasting and engineering business. The work is spasmodic so it is hard to find staff that could take over this sort of work for me, but I love doing it,” he said. Store developments When Ron first bought the larger store in 1985, the building was over 80 years old and was in disarray structurally due to a severe white ant infestation that had destroyed much of the building. “The entire floor needed to be replaced as well as two walls which I have rebuilt over time. I have nearly rebuilt the whole shop and I have recently RETAIL FOCUS Ron Ismay's grandfather Tom established T. Ismay and Co. in 1923. DECEMBER '23 | HARDWAREJOURNAL.COM.AU 7