A Day in the Life of Rowan and Tonya from KiwiSpan Wairarapa

Izzie | 03/30/22

Rowan Thornton and Tonya Harrison first opened the KiwiSpan Wairarapa franchise in late October 2020, and the following months were a whirlwind of hard work, reward, challenge, delight and many learning curves.

 

Rowan and his partner Tonya were drawn to KiwiSpan for many reasons. The New Zealand brand, founded in 2003, designs and builds quality steel sheds that are tailored specifically to every customer. The Wairarapa team were excited by the product and reputation of KiwiSpan, as well as the opportunity for growth in their region. Tonya says that at its core, the business helps deliver dream sheds to everyday Kiwi’s around the country. 

 

When the two saw the chance to own and operate their own KiwiSpan business, Rowan and Tonya jumped at the opportunity. It was a natural step for the couple who were craving to get more out of their respective careers and build something for themselves that would provide financial stability for their growing family. Before owning KiwiSpan, Rowan and Tonya founded RTC Construction, mainly subcontracting in the shed building industry. The pair say that owning their own construction business prepared them well for the career change and was a great stepping stone to KiwiSpan.

 

As a jack of all trades with experience in structural engineering, Rowan is no stranger to a construction site. He spends his time running all of the day-to-day duties on the building site. A typical day for Rowan includes managing customer quotes, visiting potential clients on site, liaising with subcontractors, organising material deliveries and overseeing projects. Tonya’s background is predominantly in administration and marketing, and much of her role in the business is supporting Rowan in delivering a seamless customer experience. Her duties include paying bills, invoicing out claims, and implementing marketing activity in their local community. It’s a perfect balance!

 

Tonya and Rowan knew from day one that they wanted to build a strong team around them. While their team is small and close-knit, every single member has been instrumental to their early success and navigating the challenges of starting a new business. 

 

What they didn’t expect was the rapid first year growth of the business. Being in a location that was previously trading very little, Tonya and Rowan exceeded KiwiSpan’s own expectations within their first year of trading. In fact, the Wairarapa team have even rivalled their neighbouring regions in sales which is an impressive feat for the newcomers. It goes to show that Rowan and Tonya’s strengths, while different, are a great combination for success. 

 

While this growth has been incredibly rewarding, it has brought challenges around ensuring that they could still deliver a high level of customer service. Adding Tonya’s sister Emelia to the team as an Office Assistant has been a great way to handle the increase in enquiry, while Tonya says it’s been rewarding to watch her sister flourish in the role. 

 

When asked if purchasing a KiwiSpan business was the right move for them, the couple said yes – 100%. Even though it is hard work, and there are some late nights, the couple are proud to be working towards financial stability for their family. More than that, they’re proud to be involved in a collaborative network that supports them while delivering “cool-as” buildings!

 

If you’re interested in purchasing your own KiwiSpan license, you can learn more about our territories for sale here.

 

 

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