'Nah, this isn't going to work': Now his business is global
"I ACTUALLY nearly didn't do it," Andrew McLellan said of his job as a hail damage repairer.
"I thought 'nah, this isn't going to work'."
Twenty-one years later, the Gympie father and owner of Global Hail Repair said the job has taken him not only all over Australia, but to America and Europe too.
Speaking from Adelaide, where he is in the midst of fixing more than 120 cars damaged by violent hail storms, Mr McLellan said it was a career he had not really planned for.
A former detailing manager at Toowoomba Holden, he said it had been his job to call the guy responsible for fixing dents in cars - a job he eventually stepped into as demand increased.
"He just got busy, and he was looking for a guy to train and fortunately for me I was the one he chose."
While the logic behind the job was simple - if a dent can be put in, it can be taken back out - he said making an impact in the market was not.
"It was quite tough at the start because even the insurance companies didn't believe that it could work," he said.
"So we spent a lot of time trying to convince everyone that the actual process worked."
Mr McLellan said the travel opportunities had made the business fantastic at the start, but with a family in Gympie now it was not always ideal.
"It's lonely, it's not good for family life," he said.
A family man who enjoys playing sport with his children, he said it was his passion for sport which had opened the door for his career in the first place.
"My football career actually got me my first job in a dealership," he said.
"The local dealership sponsored the A Grade team."
It was a step which has taken him around the world, and he said the difference in how some cultures approach something like hail damage could be remarkable.
"When you work in America, they don't really care about their cars there.
I was working for a brand new car yard, and they didn't care how well you fixed the car - they just wanted the actual dents to be smaller.
"Normally, you don't even attempt it if you know you can't get it right, but this dealership just wanted it better.
"It looks horrible, but customers are just buying them left, right and centre.
"I think it's more of a throwaway thing over there."