From inception up until the setting up process, how did you start your business?
In 1970 our father, Anthony Skliros, established the first Greek-speaking monumental company Anthony & Preston Memorials in Melbourne, effectively laying the foundation for our family’s strong roots in the Victorian stone industry.
After years of trailing our father through the stone dust it was inevitable that Peter would follow in his footsteps, earning his Master Stonemason qualification.
Recognising the demand for a superior paving and building product, we built a dimension stone facility at the site of a bluestone quarry in Lara, Victoria and as such Victorian Bluestone Quarries was born in 1999.
We have since established a strong local and international clientele base consisting of councils, architects, landscapers and construction companies. Together we run both businesses.
Did your Greek-Australian background help you or impede you during your early days?
Our Greek-Australian background imbedded in us strong family values and connections which have assisted us in not only our business relationships with each other, but also with our clients, in particular our non-English speaking clients.
Determination and hunger for success, qualities which our parents demonstrated on migration to Australia, have been instilled in us from a young age and as such constantly drive our own ambitions to succeed in both our professional and personal lives. Our ambition stems from the determination our parents had when they migrated here.
We are the only Greek Australians in this business. In fact our family connection is so tight that all 6 family members contribute to the running of both our businesses!
What would you say stands out as the comparative advantage of your business over the competition?
Our advantage lies in the superior quality of our product. Our bluestone is a local Australian stone and a traditional Victorian building product. We also have flexible manufacturing processes to cater for unique requirements.
Our strong product knowledge and experience also assists us in providing great customer service to our clients, who are proud to support an Australian made and owned product.
How is business currently?
The current economic climate has not affected our business – councils continue their roadworks and people continue to invest in developing their homes and gardens. In fact, we recently won the Australian Stone Architectural award for best residential project.
What is your vision for the future of your business?
Our goal is to continue to expand and promote our product both locally and internationally as well as remaining knowledgeable of developments in stone quarrying and cutting technology.
Do you have any tips for young entrepreneurs?
It is important to remember that setbacks are to be expected however your strength lies in picking up the pieces and pushing forward while learning from your errors and enjoying the experiences and successes along the way.