staff profile - johnny palmer


Johnny Palmer is the founder and managing director of SXS DJ Equipment Hire Ltd. This page is a basic and potted history of his career in the context of working with SXS.

johnny palmer


Name: Johnny Palmer
Position: Managing Director and shareholder of SXS DJ Equipment Hire.
DOB: Undisclosed
Marital: Engaged to Cathy Shay - fellow director and head of Shreyas Decor
Born: Tasmania, Australia
Lives: Hotwells, Bristol
Pets: A Cat, Kita, who generously lets us live in her house. A dog, Dudley, who is a soft, gentle, and obedient Rotweiler.
Skill Set: General Management, Marketting Strategy/Design, Production Sales, Event Production Management
Interests: Structural Engineering, architecture, marketing, management theory and trashy 1970s zombie movies
Qualifications: BA in Business Administration, IPAF

Background & Life

Johnny was born into a good family in rural Tasmania. Growing up on a farm within a colonial culture taught him the importance of hard-work, the value of money and the improvisational approach he has held throughout his career.

johnny as a kid

Growing up in Tasmania was tough. Nothing more could be asked for in terms of love and support from siblings Charles and Jen, and mother Clare. However money was always very tight. All three kids had to get jobs from a very young age.

While shovelling horse-manure or rolling up barbed wire was essential to farm life, Johnny preferred the more entrepreneurial ways of earning cash. As a child he operated a walnut-harvesting operation (one dollar would get an imperial pound of the most amazing walnuts), a CD piracy operation (a fiver and you could have a custom collection of dodgy MP3s) and latterly was the resident DJ of a roller skating rink.

johnny again

Most notable was Johnny's rubbish business. Tasmania is not a wealthy place and an important part of waste management was the "Tip Shop" - a rusty shed situated by the local rubbish dump where the tip staff would sell anything that they found on the tip that might have some value. Johnny used to trawl these shopping for TVs, hifis, and sports equipment. $20 and a load in mum's car later he would sell his "product" to the local Cash Converters Pawn Shop for around a 500% markup.

johnny running

In his mid-teen years Johnny developed a passion for DJing, which was the start to his career in the events industry.


Moving to the UK at age fifteen was a formative experience. Cultural gaps were large and opportunities for a young ozzie even bigger. In his home-town of Ringwood (Hampshire), Johnny set up a series of innovative under-18s gigs that achieved instant success. They also recieved excellent media coverage and the support of the community.


Moving to Bristol to read Business Administration at UWE (University of the West of England) Johnny had to find a way of paying his way through his studies. DJing was his passion and turned out to be a good way of earning a living. DJing and compering student gigs in the week and doing corporate and high-end weddings at the weekend Johnny managed to pay the bills.

Through DJing Johnny bought increasingly more equipment and began doing basic production.

Two years of hard work and total re-investment resulted in SXS DJ Equipment Hire growing from nothing to being a small production company.

This cycle continued, helped immensely by staff, until the company became what it is today.

johnny palmer 2


Johnny is hugely grateful to all the staff, clients and stakeholders who have helped build the company. Johnny has never been given any financial assistance. "Except that five-hundred quid my grandad lent me for my first PA, thanks Gimber, you are always in our hearts".

In 2007 SXS DJ Equipment Hire became a serious player. Johnny purchased the freehold on a 5500 square foot warehouse in Bristol, the company won it's first six-figure job and all staff involved began to flourish.

2008 was an exciting year with the development of the warehouse, plenty of great media coverage, a legendary warehouse party and Johnny being shortlisted for "Bristol Entrepreneur of the Year".

Johnny now runs SXS DJ Equipment Hire with wife Cathy. The company recently hit turnover of £1m, employs eight full-time staff, produces in excess of 300 events a year and is forever growing in size, creativity and competence.

Johnny's future goals include the development of a powerful conglomerate of events-based companies that can offer the same stream-lined and value-added service that has grown SXS.

full details at