Bowe's Electrical to celebrate 40 years of spark

FATHER AND SON TEAM: Kevin and Chris Bowe say their business will continue to strengthen along with the Lockyer Valley.
FATHER AND SON TEAM: Kevin and Chris Bowe say their business will continue to strengthen along with the Lockyer Valley. Francis Witsenhuysen

ONCE Kevin Bowe worked for more than 50 hours straight to get a job done, but his hard-working attitude is not the only reason Bowe's Electrical will turn 40 next year.

"That was a commercial job,” Kevin said.

"We worked continuously for two full days and two full nights straight and then part of the next day to get that done.”

Although that's the kind of above-and-beyond service and reputation Kevin's business has prided itself on over the years, the Gatton local revealed he never started up in small business for the money.

"I've never worked for the money but for the satisfaction of providing the service we do,” he said.

"It's always a benefit when you get it - but that's always been at the back of my mind.

"It's always been: receive the job, do the job, complete the job, satisfy the customer and then think about the money later.”

Bowe's Electrical began in July of 1978, as Krenske and Bowe's Electrical when Kevin was 22 years old. After 10 years Kevin decided to "do his own thing” and established Bowe's Electrical in 1988.

"When you are on your own, you can do more of what you want, when you want,” he said.

"Greg (Krenske) began heading more down the farming road - but we are still mates and get along well.”

WHEN IT ALL BEGAN: Glen Lester, Greg Krenske, Brian Mullholland and Kevin Bowe in 1980.
WHEN IT ALL BEGAN: Glen Lester, Greg Krenske, Brian Mullholland and Kevin Bowe in 1980. Photo Contributed

At age 17, Kevin decided to approach Noel Crozier of Crozier Electrical for a job.

"I always liked anything electrical and working outdoors with my hands, so it seemed viable,” Kevin said.

"He didn't have anything going at the time, but he made an apprenticeship available for me. I worked for him five years.”

Kevin said the electricity trade had been a good and prosperous business venture.

"I'm glad we got involved in it, because it's a diverse trade,” he said.

"If one avenue is quiet - like domestic operations - then the farming installations will be busy.”

Having lived in the Lockyer Valley his whole life, Kevin knows the area like the back of his hand, which came in handy because over the life of the business, they have been going flat out servicing the region.

"We do a good job, provide a good service and we are reasonably priced,” he said.

"Customers keep coming back - we still have customers now that we had when we started.”

Kevin said his business has flourished because he has worked hard to build his client base, coupled with the ongoing support from suppliers and loyal customers.

"Earlier in the piece we would work really long hours to get that client base and to get more customers involved,” he said.

"But we had less people working for us and we had lots of opposition at the time. I believe we've survived because we've built up the clientele and established trust with the customers.

"We've also invested in machinery to expand - so

we are able to do different jobs.”

When Kevin was blessed with his son Chris, he slowly began to bestow all of his electrician's knowledge onto him.

"He started learning about equipment when he was about five years old, he was like a sponge,” he said.

"Then he started officially started working for me at 15. He's learnt very well.”

So well in fact, about three years ago Chris began the transition of taking over the business.

"Chris and I work well together, but we have really good communication,” Kevin said.

"Taking over a lot of the organisation is a working process. But it is relieving, knowing one of us can go away and know that the other's got it covered and it's in good hands.”

After all the years of hard work, Kevin said he is still hands-on with tools and still enjoys his job.

"Chris will be starting to have it more in his hands and it will be up to him to look after it,” Kevin said.

Topics:  bowes electrical electrician gatton lockyer valley small business

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