A BRAMLEY business is celebrating a milestone anniversary having been in the area for a quarter of a century.

Greenhouse Graphics will mark its 25th year in operation in November, after it was founded in 1993 by husband and wife team Ian Crossley and Timi van Houten from their home.

The pair moved to England from Singapore where they were both working as teachers and came up with the idea for the company, wanting to focus on building an environmentally friendly graphic communications business.

Since then, the couple have taken the business from strength to strength, winning countless awards and growing from just the two of them to 13 members of staff operating from two units in Bramley, with a turnover of £1.2million.

The business now has clients across the country, from individuals to large pharmaceutical companies, with work including anything from business cards to exhibition posters and banners.

As former teachers, both Ian and Timi are keen to nurture their staff, offering them training opportunities and encouraging them to continue learning.

One of their longest serving members of staff started out as a machine minder before taking a course to become a production manager, later progressing to a director.

“It’s nice to know we have played a part in his development,” said Ian, who also takes on apprentices, with two currently employed by Greenhouse Graphics, adding: “It’s exciting that we are bringing young people into the business.”

And the ethos of life-long learning is not just expected from staff, it is something the couple strive towards too, with Ian studying for a Master of Business Administration at the University of Winchester.

Ian, 54, who used to be a professional cricket coach in Singapore, said he never envisaged the business becoming such a success, and said: “When I have the time to sit back and think about it, it’s quite an achievement and it’s a tough world for businesses. We have been through a few recessions. I never thought we would be where we are today when we started off. We started with an idea and enthusiasm, but our plan was to survive and get over the early hurdles.”

Working alongside his wife was never one of those hurdles, however, and he said the pair complement each other, adding: “We are both very different and have different skills. Timi is a good people person so she works as the account manager whereas I’m technical, so I look after the business development and technical matters.”

The company has a host of awards to its name, many of which reflect its dedication to sustainability.

In fact, its philosophy is to achieve business success without sacrificing the plant or exploiting people, placing equal value on people, the planet and profit. Greenhouse Graphics’ journey started with promoting the benefits of recycled and sustainably sourced papers, and over the years it has introduced technologies and innovations that have led to numerous local, regional and national awards.

The company was the first UK commercial printer to install PV Solar panels in 2005 and in 2010 became the first UK print centre to introduce a carbon calculator for printed products, giving print buyers key carbon information at the estimating stage.

Ian is passionate about supporting other local businesses, and helps people running community magazines in the borough.

“We have been producing these for over 20 years,” he explained, adding: “That’s something I’m particularly proud of. A lot of the people running these magazines are community minded volunteers so I’m glad we are associated with this.”

Asked what he enjoys about running Greenhouse Graphics, Ian said: “It’s a changing environment like a lot of businesses, and there’s a creative side and a technical side and a customer focused side and, because the business is always growing, there’s a business management side. I walk in the door thinking I will be doing one thing and end up doing something else. No two days are the same. We are always on deadline, and that can be quite exciting, it’s never dull.”