A Big Hello from the Black Hills!

Signgrl

Member
Hello everyone! I just found this site this morning from a Google search. What a great find! I am excited in getting to know some of you, asking questions, and helping less experienced ones.
Here's a little bit about me: It all started in 1996. I was kind of thrown into this business out of the necessity to get my mother off my back. I will explain. We owned a janitorial business and my husband always worked nights. I had two girls to raise and was tired of being home with a sleeping husband and being a single mother. My brother had the bright idea of starting a sign business since hubby was artistic.... Well, we couldn't find anyone who wanted to work nights to take over my hubbys position so..... meanwhile we bought a plotter, a Pictura 310e (remember that royal piece of crap??) computer, etc. with borrowed money from my mother. After a few months of no money generated from sign work, mom started calling. I started feeling so guilty for hubby not doing anything with our new purchases, I decided to gird up my pride and cold canvass. Now, remember, I had absolutely NO idea what this business was all about, let alone what could be done with this equipment. That day that I went out, I acquired a fleet of semis!. On my way home, I thought, "What the hell did I just do and how am I going to get out of it?" LOL. Quickly I had to learn SignLab 4.95, the plotter, Pictura, weeding, taping and a general knowledge of design, color combos, etc. I knew nothing, nada, zip.
It all started there that day in June of 1996. I have happily owned and operated this business for 13 years now. It has always been a one woman show. I am extremely successful and comfortable. I still only use SignLab and yes, I have upgraded many times. I am on my 2nd plotter and some have even called me the 'tape' queen. I do work in many states and have nearly 600 clients. 80% of them regulars.
I think its time to move into digital printing. I know, I know, it's about time, right? Just trying to get ideas about the best machine and any and all info I can find on the subject. I find myself in the same predicament as when I first started this business. I know nothing, nada, zip about the printing aspect of sign shops. Can someone point me in the right direction? I am a fast learner :)

~Signgrl
www.sierra-design.biz
 

Baz

Very Active Member
Isn't this one of the best intro if not the best we've seen here so far? :biggrin: Welcome to :signs101: Signgrl, from up north!

Congrats on your drive and success :toasting:

As far as getting into digital printing, many here will give you allot of info on different machines. It depends allot on what you intend to be producing with your printer, your shop setup and of course your intended budget. You've come to a great place. :beer
 

Idea Design

Very Active Member
:Welcome: to :signs101:

Where 'bouts in the Hills are ya? We're just down the road from you in Gillette.

I'm coming thru there on Friday on the way to Watertown to pick up a race car chassis and tin.

Edited to add: I followed the link and saw you were in Spearfish. Nice town, was just in Belle Fourche over the past weekend.
 

Signgrl

Member
Hey Neighbor!!

Hmmm, according to a few of my clients, there aren't any sign companies in Gillette.... you may need to rethink your advertising funds.... :Oops: LOL. (Just Kidding)
I'm in Spearfish. Check out my website. You may have seen some of my stuff.
www.sierra-design.biz
 

Idea Design

Very Active Member
We operate out of the shop at the house, and I have a full-time career in engineering, so the client base we have is repeat and word of mouth. Don't do too much advertising, but my wife works in radio locally, so we've got that covered should the need ever arise. We stay pretty busy. I try to offer the best product I can without being the cheapest cheapo out there.

Congratulations on your success; we started with a 24" Graphtec and finally took the plunge last december.

I've been set up with full digital printing capabilities for a little over a year now, so if there's anything we can ever do for you, give a shout.
 

Dave Drane

Very Active Member
Welcome from Down-Under Signgrl. congrarulations on your hard work and determination.
You sure have a good site and I love your work. A little advice though, why would you want to buy a printer in this economic climate. there must be heaps nearby to you who you could outsource to. It will still be your work, just email the file get the job back and put on 300%... Sometimes.
 

Jillbeans

Major Contributor
Hello from PA.
Are you familiar with Tim Peterson of the Flat Earth Sign Co.?
He does some fantastic stuff.
Love....Jill
 

The Big Squeegee

Major Contributor
Welcome from OK

Outsourcing the printing to get started is a pretty good idea. Printers are not like plotters. They need to be used or the repair bill will be too high for you to see any real profit.

I have been through Spearfish a few times. The last time was about 1987.
 

Signgrl

Member
Yes, Jillbeans! I am in awe of his work. He does a lot of signage in Deadwood, SD. His work is amazing! I think he still calls me a vinyl jockey...doh!
biggrin.gif



Hello from PA.
Are you familiar with Tim Peterson of the Flat Earth Sign Co.?
He does some fantastic stuff.
Love....Jill
 

sarge

Active Member
welcome from Puyallup .. my wifes mother was born in elkton and grew up in spearfish .. i am pretty sure they still have family there and in deadwood .. one of my best army buddies lives in rapid city and last time i talked to him (years ago) he was the manager of ramada inn there .. and my most favorite place in the world is mt rushmore .. i have been there i bet at least 40 times .. my mother in law now lives in montana and is a snowbird right now is yuma ..
 
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