Finalist Spotlight: Kel Décor

kel decor

Gemma Kelly is the woman behind Kel Décor, a painting and decorating contractor based in Stonehaven. With four successful years in the industry under her belt, the company is now up for the Home / Building Improvement (Interior) Award at this year’s Trades Awards. Gemma speaks to us about how she tackles each of her projects and what made her become a painter / decorator.

You’re up for the Home/Building Improvement, Interior award – congratulations! What made you want to pursue a career in painting and decorating?

“I actually fell into painting and decorating. From when I started academy I was determined to get an apprenticeship as a plumber! However even scoring very highly at the Tullos Training Centre at 16 and getting in touch with loads of plumbing companies, no-one was even willing to give me an interview which made me apply for any trade apprenticeship I saw advertised. I finally got an interview and got the apprenticeship and it turns out all those years helping my mum have paid off as I now have a fussy eye for detail. Probably the best thing to happen was becoming a painter decorator, I love my job, if I can call it a job.”

What have been some of your favourite projects to work on?

“I’m not going to lie, some of the best jobs I’ve been on have been because of the clients. I recently completed a job for a 93 year old and loved listening to some of the stories she’d tell me while I was working. Stories about the life after the world war 2 right up to her finally retiring. I could tell she didn’t get many visitors so it was lovely to be there for her to have a yap to. Another job I loved doing was for a young boy who was AFC mad! We decorated his room white ceiling/walls/woodwork with a AFC red Colour matched feature wall. It was such a simple job but the joy on that little boys face made it a brilliant job.”

When starting a project, what is your first thought?

“Every new project is exciting to start. With such a wide variation of clients, we get to do some pretty awesome decorating refurbs. We always get in touch with our clients the week before the proposed start date, this is just to confirm paint colours, and specifications for any feature walls and to provide and additional help/info the client may need.”

And how would it feel to win the Home / Building Improvement (Interior) Award?

“Absolutely amazing!! I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am and where KelDecor is. It’s not what everyone thinks being self employed, you have to always keep the your dream/ goal in your minds eye and not let a stressful day make you doubt yourself. It also wouldn’t just be myself Gemma that would win or KelDecor . It would be everyone that’s supported me on this adventure – my clients, other trade contractors, friends and family that would win. I’ve been truly humbled to even become a finalist and humbled by everyone that’s personally got in touch to congratulate me. If KelDecor won, I hope it would encourage other young woman to pursue a career within the trades and follow their own dreams.”

View our full list of finalists and book your table at the Trades Awards 2019 now.

  • Stewart Milne Group
  • AACP
  • Barratt Homes
  • Cala Homes
  • Evening Express
  • Flexistore Aberdeen
  • Glulam Solutions
  • GPH Builders Merchants
  • Life property Management
  • Nicol of Skene
  • Richard Irvin
  • Safety Scotland
  • Thorpe Molloy
  • Mearns and Gill