BikeBiz sits down with Andy Griffiths, founder of touch-up paint company G-Paint
This piece first appeared in the January edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here
Can you give us a little background on G-Paint?
G-Paint is a family run business based in rural Norfolk. The story began about eight years ago when my previous business, Golf Irons UK, a golf club refurbishment company, produced the paint for in-filling the graphics for all types of golf club, offering bespoke colours and finishes.
With a growing number of golfers wanting to do their own customisation, we started to sell the colours online, but very soon with the high demand for the individual paints, it became evident that this could be a great business opportunity.
So, in 2019 we looked at how to capitalise on this discerning market with targeted branding, packaging and a new website, and of course a new name: G-Paint. In case you were wondering, the ‘G’ comes from Griffiths – my surname!
What area of the market does G-Paint target?
Well, anybody who cares about the appearance of their bike, from the avid road rider, the hipster on his fixie, the no-holds barred downhill rider, to the parent maintaining their child’s lightweight bike and all those in between.
Let’s be honest, untreated chips in your paintwork are unlikely to cause serious damage; it’s just nice to keep your bike looking good. So, it might just be cosmetic, however, G-Paint could protect your frame from further corrosion damage and ultimately protect your investment when it comes to passing it on or selling it.
What makes G-Paint unique?
Clearly, there’s a big gap in the market. Cyclists aren’t being catered for when it comes to repairing the inevitable paint chips and scratches. Previously, you had to put up with those, maybe even resorting to a very expensive bike strip down and frame respray. But we offer the only DIY bike touch-up paint proven to work on a variety of materials, with outstanding durability under the harshest of conditions.
That’s just not possible to achieve with nail varnish and tins of enamel paint. The ‘all-in-one’ paint system means you don’t need primers or a clear top coat – saving you time and money. We made it even easier to apply the paint in a more controlled manner with the inclusion of the G-Paint brush. Just clean the area as instructed, apply the paint and let it dry. It’s a no fuss, quick and simple method to retouch your bike!
But even if you don’t see a match for your bike’s paint in our range of eight popular colours, then it’s time to start mixing your own. We have created a simple colour theory page on our website, based upon our paints, which will give you the confidence to start mixing your own colour. Take time to experiment and test on an inconspicuous part of the frame, so if it’s not right, you can remove it before it dries and have another go.
How has Covid-19 impacted your business?
Cycling has always been popular. In an odd way, Covid-19 has just increased that. Most of us have had time to think about what’s important and made lifestyle changes. Some have spent more time in the garden or made home improvements, and it’s been the same for other things we love doing, such as sport.
We look after and cherish the things we love, be it our favourite putter in the golf bag or the bike that helps us escape the everyday humdrum. In fact, during lockdown, sales of the golf paint grew by over 200%, and we stepped up production and moved into bigger premises to meet that demand.
How have you found the move into cycling?
Just over a year ago, I got back into cycling. Norfolk is a great area to ride off-road, however, after one incident (or should I say accident-packed ride), I came home with some damage to the top tube of my bike. I decided to repair it with paint from my workshop. That’s when it dawned on me that no other companies were offering touch up paints for bikes. My lightbulb moment!
The current global shortage of new bikes, and consequently, the increased demand for good used-bikes, has created a significant gap for a tried and tested, quality paint for those looking to maintain their pride and joy.
What are your plans for 2022?
Since the launch at the end of last year, we’ve had enquiries from as far afield as New Zealand and South Africa, and we’re already on sale with retailers in the UK and US. We’d love to be at trade fairs and cycling events to show people how easy it is to use, but in the meantime, we will concentrate with our online marketing and streamlining our production methods to meet demand.
It’s an ideal time to launch G-Paint for bikes into the market and I’m extremely excited about the future, and what it offers the greater cycling fraternity.