One In Five for Sunday 12 August 2012
Melrose Kiwi Concept Chairs began life in a garage with a staff of four. Now the company's celebrating 20 years in business, supplying a host of international clients, including many of the world's top wheelchair athletes.
The idea for the company was formed when Philip Melrose had a boating accident and struggled to find the right wheelchair for his needs. He enlisted the help of Mike Turner, whose expertise was in welding and manufacturing, and together they began designing and building wheelchairs. Over time, the small operation has moved out of Philip's garage and grown into a major export business that employs about 30 staff.
Mike is also actively inolved in wheelchair rugby, serving as a technician at the Sydney Paralympics and other international tournaments. He has also worked as a mechanic for many of the international wheelchair rugby teams.
As the firm celebrates its 20th anniversary, long-term staff say they feel proud of what they've achieved but have no shortage of ideas and enthusiasm for the years to come.
Katy Gosset took a tour around the firm's purpose built factory.