HID­DEN in the tran­quil for­est of Ju­lat­ten has been a local char­ac­ter who - with the help of his late-wife Josephine - cre­ated a multi-mil­lion dol­lar in­ter­na­tional paint com­pany.

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

Back in the ’60s Jim Cobb was a hum­ble high school art teacher, help­ing his stu­dents be cre­ative and shar­ing his pas­sion for the craft.

“There was a new art pro­gram and it needed bet­ter art ma­te­rial for school and I started mak­ing school paint and it mor­phed into paint for artists,” he said.

“Hav­ing an art back­ground makes it eas­ier to fig­ure out what paint should be - most com­pa­nies have a paint chemist for house paint, they don’t know how to make artis­tic paint which is more com­pli­cated.

Mr Cobb opened a small fac­tory at Kings Cross in 1965 and still has a paint fac­tory in Sydney as well as Penn­syl­va­nia, USA, un­der the Chroma name, man­u­fac­tur­ing paint specif­i­cally for artists.

The com­pany’s success, ac­cord­ing to Mr Cobb, was a com­bi­na­tion of tim­ing and mak­ing “re­ally good paint”.

“To start a busi­ness you’ve got to be re­ally fo­cused and ded­i­cated and the big­gest ad­van­tage I had was tim­ing,” he said.

“It was eas­ier to start a busi­ness back then, and it helped hav­ing an art back­ground and know­ing how to make paint.”

Mr Cobb and his wife Josephine de­cided to move to Ju­lat­ten 15 years ago for a sea-change from the hus­tle and bus­tle of Sydney life and ran the busi­ness from home.

“Most peo­ple want to move north to a warmer cli­mate but move to south­ern Queens­land - but I thought we might as well go the whole hog and go trop­i­cal liv­ing in a real trop­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

“With my wife, we came up here to dis­tance our­selves from the com­pany in Sydney and thought we’d re­duce the work­load but we had a fax, phones, in­ter­net and we were able to run the busi­ness from here.

“It worked quite well un­til my wife Josephine died, she did the hard work on the com­puter.

“I can’t use com­put­ers and I felt pretty mis­er­able and thought I need a change of place.”

Mr Cobb has moved closer to the com­pany in Sydney and is keep­ing him­self oc­cu­pied in his busi­ness and their Ju­lat­ten prop­erty nes­tled in the rain­for­est is up for auc­tion with Vista Realty on June 16.

And all th­ese years later, Mr Cobb is still pas­sion­ate about art, re­cently re­turn­ing from Ross River Creek near Alice Springs where he painted 13 land­scapes.

Photo by AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

Time to move on: paint king Jim Cobb and (in­set) his Ju­lat­ten hideaway

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