Luke Ferguson has been working hard behind the scenes for the past six years to take on the family painting and decorating business, Raphaella.
Now, as his mother and Raphaella founder Mandy Logan heads to Australia, he’s ready to become the new face of the Warkworth-based business.
It is not the first time he has had to face the spotlight. He was only 12 years old when he appeared in Home and Garden magazine with his mother after she renovated her villa in Hill Street, Warkworth.
The article helped kick off her business, which at the time was set up to be run by women. Mandy says she was the only female decorator in the region then and she had to fight hard to be recognised. But as the years went on she employed whoever was best suited to the job.
She says one of the qualities Raphaella is known for is a high attention to detail and level of finish, so she has trained her son to the same standard.
Luke says it has been challenging meeting her expectations, but after six years of training he is grateful for the experience and could not imagine working differently. He has also been managing the business, staff and clients in the past year in preparation for running it day-to-day when his mother leaves.
Mandy will still be the managing director in the background.
Luke says he is happy for his Mum, who raised three children as a solo mother and ran her own business, and as this is the first time she has done an OE. She is not even sure if she is returning and has a one way ticket to Byron Bay with her dog, Barry.
“She’s had her time working; it’s time for her to put her feet up and live a little,” Luke says.