Celebrating my first client 25 years on, a night out with the former GWS boys.

John Stanley – Formerly GWS Shopfitting

In July 1993 we produced our first ever job, a move card for GWS Shopfitting. It was a time when they relocated from the Crossways Business Park in Dartford, to Gravesend. This was Job 00001 – to put it in perspective, we are now on job 13,169.

And so it was, John Stanley, a co-owner of GWS Shopfitting, along with his work partner Paul Bright became my first client. They had an amazing partnership, with Paul driving the financial side of the GWS business while John was the business winner. John, with all that he had on his plate, still found time to empathised with me starting High Profile and all it entailed. He quietly instilled confidence in my ability and encouraging me from the sidelines.

For those of you not local to Gravesend, these guys worked hard over the next five years building a successful company. They employed over 140 staff, becoming one of the largest employers in Gravesham, designing and installing shopfitting equipment throughout the UK. Make no mistake, their clients were big and included the likes of Shell, Homebase and Sainsbury’s . Orders were for multiple store refits throughout the UK. They grew the company and sold it in 1998 for in excess of £18M.

We worked with GWS for five years producing corporate brochures; sales flyers; stationery and a corporate identity – don’t forget, this was before the days of websites.

What impressed me about John was his incredible positive attitude to winning business. He was so confident about his team’s capability, he could commit to tight deadlines and what seemed impossible requests over the phone without hesitation – that must have been some sales edge over the competition. To this day he has kept his relationship personal with his clients, ensuring systems and processes are kept firmly in their place.

You can always get hold of the guy – that should tell you something about his commitment.

Over the 20 years that followed, John was involved with various other ventures, keeping High Profile as his preferred marketing and creative services supplier.


What I have learned from John

  • Deliver on time and exceed your client’s expectations
  • Stay positive at all times
  • Believe in your own capability