In 1990, Joanna and I bought our first home, a little flat in the west end of Dundee. I can still remember the excitement of moving in and having our own place to live. It’s where Rebecca took her first steps in 1993. I cycle past there every now and then, it makes me happy to do that and think back to all the happy times we spent there.
However, the one thing we didn’t have was a garden. And when you haven’t got a garden, then there’s nowhere to put a shed.
We moved to Perth at the end of 1993, our first house with a garden. Which meant we could get a shed. Much excitement. Now, uneducated as I was at the time, I believed that a shed was simply a shed.
Fast forward 20 or so years. By now we’ve moved a few times, lived in different parts of the country, and returned to our roots in Perthshire. Inchture to be precise. On my frequent training rides on the Perthshire roads, I’d often pass by Errol Station, and notice the sign that said Gillies and Mackay.
It didn’t mean anything to me at first, but in October 2015 I joined the Content Marketing Academy and met the force of nature that is Cara Mackay. Cara’s dad, John, started the company 25 years ago with his business partner Grant Gillies. They are two of the finest people you will ever have the good fortune to meet.
Gillies and Mackay make sheds and summer houses. But not just any sheds. No, these are the best sheds and summerhouses in the world! Take a look at their website. These are things of beauty. These are very much not ordinary. These are extraordinary.
Cara’s now taken over as Managing Director and is designing the business for the next 25 years. I’ve spent a good chunk of my career working in the construction industry, but this is not your typical building firm. They do things differently at Gillies and Mackay.
Recently I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with John and Grant and we’ve talked about the ethos behind the company. The thing that you notice straight away is the passion and care they have for what they do. They’re incredibly proud of their buildings, and rightly so.
By now you’ll have realised that there are shed companies and then there are SHED companies. The vision and imagination, care and attention, that has gone into building Gillies and Mackay, matches the craftsmanship that goes into every building they make.
Which just goes to show that if you can think big, and aren’t shackled by doing things the way they’ve always been done, then no matter what business you’re in you can be extraordinary. Gillies and Mackay prove that.