Newly-opened garage, DMK Autos, is not just a business – it's the fulfilment of a lifelong dream.
Owner, Don Neil Mackenzie, was interested in mechanics from a young age. His wife, Dina, explains: “Don Neil started his apprenticeship back in 1996. He has worked in a couple of garages in Stornoway and developed his skills, but he always wanted to work for himself rather than someone else.
“While our family was young, we just couldn't commit to the hours required to start a new business. But, last year, Don Neil reached the point where he decided if he didn't do it now, he would never do it. So we said: 'Let's do it!'”
The couple secured their premises in the summer of 2018 and the work of renovating what was previously part of Macaskills Home Store on Caberfeidh Road soon began.
Dina says: “The shop needed a lot of work to convert it to a garage. Don Neil is a fully-qualified MOT tester, so we needed to get the place up to MOT standards. The whole process of getting it ready took us from September until the end of last year.”
Don Neil left his job at the end of the year and the adventure of working for himself began.
DMK Autos opened its doors on January 28, 2019 – fully-kitted out and ready to supply car, van and motorbike repairs.
“We have been very busy so far,” explains Dina. “We do all the usual mechanical repairs that you would expect, including servicing, electrical work, diagnostics, clutch replacements, air con servicing and recharge, winter checks and, of course, MOTs!”
So far, the garage has been far busier than Don Neil and Dina imagined. “It's been great,” enthuses Dina. “You always expect the first few months of opening to be quiet, because even on a small island it takes time for word to get around.
“But Don Neil has a very good reputation and word has spread quite quickly that he is open for business in his own right.”
Don Neil has even been able to take on a new employee, Aaron Bradbury. “Our plan was to recruit someone at the end of this year, but we have been far busier than we anticipated,” reveals Dina. “Aaron worked with Don Neil previously, which was nice, and he joined the team on 25 March.”
The mantra at DMK Autos is simple: provide a good quality service at a reasonable price. Dina relates: “Don Neil loves his job – and he likes to make sure he gets to the bottom of anyone's car problems. I am able to come in the afternoons, so I can help out with the admin side of things, such as invoicing, answering the phone and taking bookings.”
The couple make a good team and DMK Autos is open for business at Caberfeidh Road, Stornoway, HS1 2SE.
They can be reached on Tel: 01851 704016 or by visiting their website: www.dmkautos.com.