Introducing Jill and Darryn Astill – the network’s newest license owners who are bringing fresh energy and local business experience to KiwiSpan Tauranga.
In September 2021, one of the network’s longest-running license owners, Len and Donna Hogg, passed on KiwiSpan Tauranga to Jill and Darryn Astill. “We actually knew Len and Donna, and worked with them to put up a KiwiSpan shed on our own property,” said Darryn.
Having had the KiwiSpan customer experience, Jill and Darryn realised the quality of both KiwiSpan’s product and service. As well-established business owners in the region with previous collaboration with the Donovan Group brand, Jill and Darryn were thrilled to take over the Tauranga license when the opportunity came.
Jill and Darryn are no strangers to the construction industry. With a thirteen-year background in engineering and fabricating, Darryn is well-versed in structural building and design. In 2007, the duo established Ground Up Services, a Tauranga-based fencing business specialising in rural and lifestyle fencing, landscape construction, and retaining walls.
Darryn and Jill’s prior experience has been helpful as the entire construction industry continues to experience supply delays and shifting market conditions. Jill explains, “As long as you’re open and honest, and you don’t try to make something sound different than it actually is, people are often very understanding. Transparency goes a long way.”
Jill and Darryn are combining industry expertise with a solid understanding of the local market and previous business success.
As a family of four, the Astill’s are ingrained in their community, and support several local sports clubs, schools, and events as well as sponsor food bag donations through their local New World.
Taking on a business in the midst of last year’s pandemic meant that Jill and Darryn trained with the national office entirely through distance learning and zoom meetings. Jill explains, “The process wasn’t hard, but certainly a very different experience being unable to meet in person. Everyone was incredibly helpful and encouraging through our transition period.”
Jill and Darryn have transitioned into the KiwiSpan network with confidence and a willingness to connect and learn. “The support we get from Head Office is wonderful,” Jill explains, “There are no silly questions, and we feel that we can ring up any time and get direct, clear answers.”
Looking ahead, Jill and Darryn strive for success and growth. “We have a good brand so it’s an easy product to sell,” says Darryn, “but we’d like to keep pushing and achieve great things in our region.”
In their first year of business, Jill and Darryn have traveled around the North Island to connect with other licensees, from Wellington to Whangarei. They look forward to meeting the wider KiwiSpan network at this year’s annual conference in September, and to being more established in the licensee community.
With more projects signing on, Jill and Darryn were able to expand their team in March by adding another full-time staff member.
The team is nearly finished with projects inherited from the previous licensees, and are now beginning a range of new exciting projects, from habitable buildings to beautiful lifestyle sheds.
“We love that these projects are all bespoke,” says Darryn. “We’re starting to gain a reputation for offering unique and very high quality sheds – and we’re excited by how much momentum there has been over the last year.”
As a national network, KiwiSpan offers experienced industry leaders the opportunity to own and operate a regional license with the support of Donovan Group. For more information about becoming part of the national KiwiSpan network, view our regions for sale or download the Licensee Prospectus.