Orange Dog reigns supreme at Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. Photo: Tim Cuff.

Orange Dog is top dog

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Fifteen years ago, Jason Monopoli and his wife Jennifer started a business in their lounge.

A conversation with an acquaintance led to the discovery that the ‘Service sticker’, that non-assuming sticker that workshops put in the corner of a vehicle’s windscreen, were not customized or charged for.

“All service stickers to that point were supplied free-of-charge by the major oil suppliers such as Mobil or Castrol, and featured their own logo and involved print runs in the hundreds of thousands.”

The gap in the market led to the birth of Orange Dog, now based in Wakatu Estate in Stoke.

“At the time, no one was doing what we are doing so, as well as starting a new business with very little experience, we also had to create an entirely new market.”

Jason says creating the need involved finding a way to effectively target those workshops, illustrate the marketing opportunities that customised service stickers presented and then convince them to change a work-life habit and then actually pay for them.

Fast forward 15 years and the automotive print suppliers took out the Supreme Award at the 2018 Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Business Awards on Friday night.

Director Jason says the win is testament to his hard-working staff behind the scenes.

“We have always stayed low key, we haven’t really put ourselves out there, but we decided to enter the awards as a team building thing which ruined ‘our under the radar’ approach a bit.”

Jason says now that they have had the weekend to let it sink in, he is incredibly proud of what his team has achieved.

“I think it is our niche as a business that sets us apart. We compete with other bigger businesses because we just decided to focus on one aspect and do it really well.”

Now the company is looking to grow even further afield.

“We are pushing into Australia more as we like bringing that money into the region, which may have got us a few brownie points with the judges.”

Jason says all businesses which entered should be immensely proud.

“I hope everyone else got as much out of it as we did.”

This year was the 30th anniversary of the Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, which also marked 160 years of the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce.

For a full list of winners, turn to pages 14 and 15.
a wonderful reflection of the region’s diverse and thriving business community.

Ru says this year also marks 160 years of the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve been around for a long period of time, helping to shape the region into what it is today”.