Paintmaster Decorating Center, a Benjamin Moore Paint Store located at 403 South Zetterower Ave., was sold recently to one of its employees - Danny Andrews. Paintmaster was founded by Donald and Diane Long 31 years ago. The store has operated in the same location since opening in 1986.
The Longs are well known local business and community leaders who worked hard to build a successful business. They earned a reputation for going the extra mile by providing extensive product knowledge and being very focused on customer satisfaction.
Donald Long late father William "Shorty" Long, was the "godfather" of paint in our community for nearly 30 years until his retirement in 1982. Shorty Long managed a corporate-owned paint store where he hired Andrews after graduation from Statesboro High School to work with him.
Andrews made a career with that company, moving to Griffin to accept a store manager position then later moved to Athens where he accepted a corporate sales positon. When Andrews left the company he was a senior corporate sales representative.
"Working in a national chain really allowed me to gain a lot of product knowledge about the paint industry," Andrews said. "As a corporate sales representative, I was continually learning about new products and industry innovations. After leaving the paint business for a few years, I continued working in sales. I moved back to Statesboro four years ago while working in sales for the Caterpillar fork lift division."
Upon moving back, Andrews began remodeling a home in the area. he painter he hired asked him to go by Paintmaster and pick out the paint colors. He enjoyed the visit and catching up with Donald Long and reminiscing about the "old days." Long asked him if he would consider getting back in the paint business and offered him a job.
"Little did I know that shopping for paint would lead to a renewed career in the paint industry and me owning the store only a few years later," Andrews said. "Working with Donald and Diane and their employees has been a great experience. They run a first-class operation and it is an honor to be in a position to continue the tradition of excellence they have created."
Donald and Diane Long said they are going to miss their friends and customers, but are looking forward to slowing down a little.
"We have been working 50 to 70 hours a week for so long," Donald Long said. "It is time to pass the baton and allow Danny, Winston Watkins and Tyler Frawley an opportunity to continue to grow the business.
"We have so many people to thank who have supported our business so loyally for the past 31 years especially the contractors and painters. This business is our baby. We birthed it and raised it now it is time to turn it over to Danny and the team. I know they will take good care of it. I also want to encourage all of our clients to continue to support Paintmaster."
Tyler Frawley, now a junior at GSU, started working in the business as a workstudy student. He and Winston Watkins have both worked in the business for more than four years.
"These young men are well trained and very knowledgeable about the paint business," Andrews said. "I am grateful they are continuing to work with me in taking care of the business and our customers."
Andrews moved to Statesboro when he was 9 and actually ran a paper route for the Statesboro Herald as a teenager. He is married to Ruth Thigpen Andrews. He said he is very happy to be back in Statesboro and is looking forward to this new challenge.