Charity Bootcamp for LLS

It’s funny how things happen sometimes. In January, the Signmaker and I went to some Chamber meetings and events. The Chamber is all about being involved in the community and giving back. I got all excited, I think the Signmaker got excited, I couldn’t really tell, but I had no idea where to start.

The options are endless, and I never like to commit to something I can’t commit to fully. Then we got busy at the sign shop. I mean super busy. Like “work ten – twelve hours a day, eat dinner in a tired fog, fall into bed and do it all over again” busy. Any ideas of getting more involved in the community faded further away.

Then something fantastic happened. An opportunity came to us! A personal trainer friend, Meg Shike, announced that she and a team of people (Team Izzy Weaver) wanted to host a monthly charity bootcamp to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society, but they needed a place.

And it hit me. We have a place. A big space, that can be cleared to make a huge open space.The time commitment is doable with our hectic schedule. We get to do what we wanted to do which is get involved in the community, and we get to have fun doing it.

SO… if you are free Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 8am. You should come out and join us for a free bootcamp run by none other than the lovely Meg Shike. The only request is that you bring a donation of your choosing for LLS.

These bootcamps will be held every month, so check out this website for more details. The dates are under “Charity Bootcamp”

I hope you enjoy this lovely weekend, it looks like it’s going to be great!

– The Signmaker’s Wife

A Second Chance for Sign Faces

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We hear the mantra all the time. If you have kids that watch the Disney channel you might have a catchy tune come to your head. (From my days as  a nanny)

Many of us are trying to do our part to make better environmental decisions. I want to talk about how that can translate to signs. The great thing about reusing signs is that it translates to more than a warm fuzzy feeling that you saved one last thing from going to the land fill. It means that you actually save a few bucks in the process.

Now if your sign looks like this one, you will need a new sign. We can do some great work, but we aren’t magicians.

Torn up sign

Photo credits: http://tapple.org/~monalisa/somethingstinks.htm

Things like coroplast and other cheap sign materials aren’t worth saving, but signs made from aluminum, acrylic or other long lasting materials might have a chance.

  • Regardlass of the letters fading etc, the overall sign is not dented or rusted
  • The Current Graphics can be removed
  • If it is Acrylic, there is no yellowing

Many times there’s a better chance of reusing a sign face if the new design has vinyl that covers most of the sign face. That way if there is any fading or discoloration it will be covered up. 

Other ways to save money is in reusing sign frames. Sometimes the faces are beyond repair, but the frames they come in cost a pretty penny in and of themselves. Many time with a fresh coat of paint, sign frames can look like new.

Ultimately we need to come out and verify if the signs you have can be refurbished.

If you think your sign frame or faces can be reused, gives us a call. The Signmaker will take a look and let you know if they can be freshened up.

Go out and enjoy the expected warm sunny weather this weekend!

– The Signmaker’s Wife

Married Couple Being Chosen for a Fly By of Mars: Sign Me Up?

Last night I was browsing through the Associate Press App on my phone looking at headlines, and I came across this: Tycoon Wants to Send Married Couple on Mars Fly By. Of course I was intrigued. Apparently there is a wealthy gentleman that wants to send a married couple to space on Jan. 5th 2018. They will fly within 100 miles of Mars and return home. The trip is expected to take 501 days. There is minimal testing being done before hand, so really it’s a great experiment. NASA is intrigued, but won’t touch it, because the risk is too great. After reading the article, The Signmaker and I made up a list of Pros and Cons.

Pros and Cons of Mars Trip

PROS

Never Before Seen View of Mars

According to the article, the ship will pass within 100 miles of Mars. I would love to see Earth from space, so I can’t even imagine getting that close to the red planet. It would be amazing!

The Signmaker aka MacGyver

Seriously, he LOVES MacGyver. Whenever he comes up with a great solution to something, I tell him he was such a MacGyver. He gives me a sheepish grin and his ears always turn a bit pink with pride. It’s so cute!

Potentially a Stronger Marriage

After spending 501 days alone with just the two of you. Never knowing if you are going to make it. I would hope your marriage would be unshakable when you got back.

Zero Gravity Fun

You’ve seen the NASA videos where there’s balls of orange juice floating around, and all kinds of crazy things. It would be pretty cool to experience zero gravity. And does that mean I would have less wrinkles on my face? One thing this article mentions, is zero gravity sex. The Signmaker and I didn’t know what to think about that one. There’s were many pros and cons to that topic alone. Maybe this being a private endeavor we’ll hear a few details that NASA has been keeping hush hush for the last 30 years.

Reading List

I always have way too many books that I want to ideally read. The problem is people keep writing books that I want to read! Maybe I would finally read Anna Karenina or The Count of Monte Cristo or any of the other 1,000 page books I’ve been avoiding.

Men are from Mars

This of course is a little tongue in cheek, but again after spending 501 days with JUST The Signmaker, I would hope and pray that I would understand just a little bit more about him.

CONS

No Showers

Yeah… I love a good long hot shower. It’s where some of my most brilliant ideas come from. Bird bathing doesn’t sound like fun. And can I say again, it’s for 501 days!

Recycle Drinking Water

All I’ve got to say is I hope that filtration system is better than a Brita filter. And can anyone explain how the the body sweat is recycled?

501 days with no family or friends

Now, if you and your spouse decide to make your own list of pros and cons, and you are think, “Spending 501 days with just you is definitely a con”, let me tell you from experience, keep that one to yourself. Spin it in a better light, like I would miss my family and friends.

RV size living quarters

Now I put this in the con section, because I think I would have cabin fever after about 1 week. but I was also thinking that cleaning the place would take no time at all. So maybe this is also a pro

Space Food for 501 days

I’ve seen those NASA videos of them playing with their food. Squeezing it out of tube and stuff. I don’t think I could do it for 501 days. I love cooking. I love eating fresh ingredients. I love steak and vegetables and different textures.

After reviewing the list I’m not sure if I would like to be signed up for this one. I think The Signmaker and I will stay earthbound for now.

– The Signmaker’s Wife

Coleman Construction: Creating Beautiful Spaces

“I love making things beautiful.” A repeated phrase as I talked with the owner of Coleman Construction, a company that  has been concentrating on residential remodeling for 28 years. Many times when a homeowner looks into remodeling, they don’t know where to start. A designer? An architect? Coleman Construction is a design/ build firm which means they have the ability to work with a homeowner from the first ideas to the completion of the project.

Besides creating beautiful spaces, owner, Skeeter Coleman, is also realistic when it comes to the project budget. He has been in business a long time and understands the resources that are necessary to truly serve the client in a professional manner.  Unless the client changes their mind, the price quoted, is the price of the job.

Not only does a homeowner get a designer and constructor in one, Skeeter is very focused on the relationship between himself and the homeowner. He holds weekly meetings with each homeowner throughout the remodeling process and, they discuss budget, timeline, satisfaction and any other topic that needs to be addressed.  Working well with his client is very important to Skeeter. Good communication and trust create a much better experience in a stress laden endeavor like a remodel; he tries to make sure those two factors are in every relationship he has with his clients.

But I’ve talked long enough, it’s now time for his work to speak for itself. These are pictures of one house that was completely transformed. It’s interesting because I lived near this house while it was being remodeled, but did not know Skeeter at the time. Whenever I would pass it I would be amazed at the work and wonder what company was doing the remodel.

First, let’s take a look outside.

BEFORE

Front of House Before

AFTER

Front of House After

BEFORE

Side Yard Before

AFTER

Pool in side yard

BEFORE

Before back Before back of house

AFTER
After back After Back of house

Now just a few pictures from inside.

This Kitchen remodel blew me away!

BEFORE

Kitchen before remodel

AFTER

Kitchen After Remodel

Here are some remodels of the bathroom. Unfortunately I don’t have any of the full bath, but the tile work in the remodel is incredible!

BEFORE

Before bathroom

After bath after bath 2

As you can see Coleman Construction does incredible work. Skeeter has incredible vision for a space. I could not recommend this company more if you are interested in any sort of remodel. If want to see more of his work, check out the company’s portfolio. There are 100’s of amazing pictures showcasing beautiful craftsmanship.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

– The Signmaker’s Wife

Great Balls of Fire!

If you have been following Suremark on Facebook, you will know that the Signmaker has been busy with a really unique vehicle wrap.

Our friend, Mark, owner of Ashbusters Chimney Services brought in his Spyder Can Am for us to wrap. Everyone at the shop already loves the wrap we did on two of his pick ups.

partial fire pick up truck wrap

I mean how can you not love those flames? They make the truck look so cool.

He decided to wrap his Spyder to look like his truck. I think the Spyder looks great anyway, but when we put flames on it, the cool factor went way up.

Here’s a picture of it before the Signmaker worked his magic.Spyder Can Am

Here’s some pictures of the printing process and the Signmaker applying the vinyl.

Spyder vehicle wrap

Even though this thing was so small, it took a bit of work. There are so many small details, and really curvy parts that make the job fairly complex.

I took a bunch of close ups and put them all together to show the detail that went into just the back end of the Spyder.

Vehicle Wrap Process

The best part was that when the wrap was complete, Mark said that we could take it out for a spin. We just drove it around the parking lot, but it was enough for me to fall in love and now want one. I’ve wanted a motorcycle for years, but the Signmaker is quite hesitant about me owning a motorcycle. This seems a bit safer so maybe I have a chance.

Daniel riding Spyder

Here is a picture of it complete.

Finished Spyder Wrap

If you ever see something that looks like a ball of fire flying down the highway, that’s probably Mark that just passed you.

I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day and enjoys their weekend! Me, I will be dreaming of owning a Spyder.

– The Signmaker’s Wife

Defining your Purpose and Audience

We recently had returning customers contact us about making signs for a new location. Because they have worked with us before, they had a long list of details. The measurements of the space, the material they wanted us to use, etc. Everything, except what they wanted the sign to say. When asked about the wording, they hesitated. Here was something they hadn’t considered. I talked through it with them, and we settled on something. It got me thinking about all of our other customers and how it might help to know the elements and thought that should go into designing a sign, especially the words on it.

PURPOSE:

This may seem like a no brainer, but for our customer, this was the first question I asked. What is the purpose of the sign? For them, the purpose of the sign was to identify the business. So all we did was designed their business name in a cool, eye catching way. We didn’t include store hours, we didn’t put bullet points of what they do, because that wasn’t the purpose of that sign.

What is the purpose of your sign?
Are you trying to catch people’s attention?
Are you trying to build awareness about your company?
Are you wanting to identify your business?
Are you wanting to convey information?

Sometimes the purpose is multi-leveled, but it’s a good place to start.

AUDIENCE:

Who is the sign for? And don’t just say your customers. Who are your customers? Who are you trying to market to?
If your answer is anyone who wants to buy something from me, then we’ve got some leg work to do still.

Do you mainly do business with other businesses or consumers?
What age category?
Economic status?
Is there a huge company that sells what you sell? Maybe you should think about marketing to a niche group that the huge company isn’t specifically targeting.

Just because you market to a specific group of people, does not mean people outside that group aren’t going to buy from you, but it’s better to be focused in your marketing than scattered all over the place. And the concentration may help you develop your sign.

For example, let’s pretend that you own a yoga studio that is in a business district. Having a sign that tells people that you have classes around the lunch hour and just before and after regular work hours would be really helpful to increase business.

With that sign you have identified it’s purpose: to give information.
You have identified your niche: you are targeting the professionals in the surrounding buildings.
Your sign is telling them that you provide a service that is convenient for them, and works with their preset schedule.

With a little bit of thought, your signage can become a powerful marketing tool. At Suremark we are happy to help walk you through the process. Give us a call: 615-255-544. or email: info@suremarksigns.com

Enjoy your weekend!

– The Signmaker’s Wife

Pylon Panels & Wind Don’t Mix

There’s a small shopping center on Trousdale near Harding that up until 6 weeks ago, I didn’t even know existed. But all of a sudden it seems everyone in the plaza wants new signage, and they have thankfully called Suremark.

Our most recent customer is a catering company know as Chef Penelope Catering. This week we made their panels that will be displayed in the pylon near the road. On Monday the Signmaker and I went out to the sight to take the existing panels out of their slots. They were in good shape, so to save Chef Penelope a bit of money we offered to refurbishing the existing panels and put her information on them.

Monday may have been the worse day ever to decide to take the panels down. It was SOOOO windy! The Signmaker first tried to remove the panels himself, which was not a good idea. Visions of him being thrown from the ladder by the wind as the panel was torn from his hand made me quickly suggest that I help. We set up our two ladders, climbed onto our respective ladders and waited for the few seconds when the wind would relent enough for us to remove the panel. We stared at each other through squinty eyes as the wind tore through our hair and clothing. The ladder swayed ever so slightly under me, and I was thankful for the grassy ground that would potentially be my landing. There was a break in the wind and we quickly slid the panel out of its spot. In the grass it was gently laid. One down, one to go.

It seemed that we stood on our ladders the second time twice as long. The wind tore with a vengeance. It would taunt us by letting up for a couple seconds before beginning again with twice the fury of before. Finally a lull and with quick work we had the second panel down. The Signmaker carried one panel to the car and I carried the other. As I waited to load my panel into the car, the wind pick up again. I almost lost my footing twice as the wind buffeted me and the panel. The Signmaker paused and watched humorously as I struggled to control the sign. He joked that I would be blown away as a kite. Something I didn’t find very funny until he took the panel from me and loaded it with the other.

Back at the shop, the panels were scraped of all the old vinyl. The dirt and adhesive were washed off and the new vinyl was applied. The next day we went back to install the refurbished panels. It was still windy, but not as bad.

Pylon Sign

I am in love with the bright red vinyl and the lettering cut out to reveal the white acrylic underneath.

Chef Penelope pylon

I hope everyone stayed safe during the tornadoes that went through a couple nights ago. Have a great weekend!

– The Signmaker’s Wife