Which best describes You?

What Best Describes You?

  • Full Time - Owner - Retail Shop

    Votes: 67 43.5%
  • Full time - Employee of Sign Shop

    Votes: 15 9.7%
  • Full Time - Work From Home Shop

    Votes: 35 22.7%
  • Part Time - Sideline to Another Retail Business

    Votes: 2 1.3%
  • Part Time - Work Somewhere Else, Do Signs Nights & Weekends

    Votes: 33 21.4%
  • Strictly a hobby - Do Some Work For Friends

    Votes: 2 1.3%

  • Total voters


New Member
Just wondering who's on the site, and how much signs are a part of your work?

Me -- I have a retail storefront and signs and graphics represent 85% of my business. The rest being made up by Auto & Truck Accessories which is what got me into signs almost 20 years ago.

I do cut vinyl, outdoor digital printing, banners, a little wholesale work, automotive graphics, and going to be expanding into T-shirts and Mugs this year.

What about you?
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New Member
Retail Sign shop here.. We do a mix of bigger accounts..and small accounts, do vinyl, engraving, digital printing IN house, sub out neon and other signage we need. We do alot of promo items in house (t-shirts, mouse pads, mugs, etc.) and also sell business cards etc to offer a total package to our customers.
And do wholesale digital printing and signage for a few of big sign designers who dont make their own signs only design them.


Certified Enneadecagon Designer
I put "Full Time - Work From Home Shop" but I am more a Freelance/Design that happens to have a shop at home that is hardly used.


New Member
I picked "Full Time - Owner - Retail Shop"

But we are a full time sign contractor with an Industrial Shop


New Member
woops I messed up. I put full time retail shop. I used to have a shop. Now I am all over the place. I work from home but go out and install the jobs and talk with the customers at their location.


New Member
I do CNC Machining-Cad Cam
Established in 1994.

Sign and graphics is a small (but growing) portion of my revenues. The cad cam aspect fits well with vector files. I may get more serious with vinyl as some point in the future.


New Member
New to business ( less than 3months ) Just starting out in a converted bedroom with access to my garage. Hope to be store front within 3 yrs.:Canada 2:


New Member
How to succeed?

I have been working for two years helping two gals start a vinyl sign company. When the buisness slowed down they layed me off!!! So I started my own buisness out of my home. I need to learn as fast and as much as I can since my hubby may be layed off also in the near future and this could become our 2nd career. My question is how do I learn the sign business from the bottom up? I live in a large city where there are alot of sign companys. Any suggestions? I have invested in a Qe60+ plotter and LXi 8 software that I have been working on for the last two years. I am thinking of buying a heating press and doing tee-shirts. I have two boys 17yr. & 20yr. that want to get into the car decal buisness also. What would you do? p.s. I love this site found it by accident and have been on it reading all posts practically every day. I can't believe how much I have learned from just reading all the posts. Thanks Terollee:thankyou:


New Member
Learn how to do high margin jobs. Tee shirts are a grind and very low margin. I'd figure out how to do ADA Signage, Lobby Signs and Corporate work. Maybe a display or two.



Premium Subscriber
I picked the top one. It fit the best for me.

Sometimes I think it’s a hobby because I enjoy it so much. Then a customer walks in the door and brings me right back to reality.
No wonder I :beer :beer



New Member
i started out in 85 full time when you could still work outa the trunk of your car and do what the old timers called "snappin". i would go to a store tell them i paint letters....they would decide to have me paint their name on the window/door/wall/truck and i would open the truck of my car, get out a stabelo pencil, and a yard stick . lay a top/bottom line, draw in the letters/graphic, tape top and bottom if i was doin a letter that needed that.....throw some paint, collect my money and go home.
this was nice. then i got the plotter, now its was go measure, go home, cut. tape and go back and STICKEM.
collect the money then pay the vinyl/tranfer tape supplier!!!
been home based most of my 20 yrs. had a store front for 2 ys, then went back home. had a MOBILE SIGN WAGON, 3-4 yrs but with price of gas, its not doable anymore.
built a 24x30 shop at the house, gona be 62, so iam set.
sleep till 10-11 am work when i want............

Craig Sjoquist

New Member
full time home advertising signage....32 yrs hand lettering with schooling....most of my work now is... window splash .. some logo and perment signage. likes window splash
...1...customer buys more then once a yr.
...2... at storefront short amount of time in ..sales, work performed, collection of funds, .
..3... not alot of inventory to do job, not alot tools & equipment to do job, and
....4 ...the advertisment attracts ppl when working and after, automatic sales for me....
all this while learn computer design related stuff
thank you
n enjoy life


I selected the top one but I'm not retail. You have to call and make an appointment to meet with me. I only do select custom work most of which are old established clients.


New Member
So I've been at this awhile.....

For many years I operated my business from commercial locations. 1st shop 1973 - 1977 was a three car garage right off the main route (working alone doing custom hand lettering/pinstriping, etc). Outgrew that location and from 1978 - 1993 moved to a larger 3,500 sq.ft. building right on the main road. Things were going great. Work came in left and right! In a matter of time I was operating a full service shop with 3 employees. Got one of the first computers in my area in 1984 - the Gerber 4B (the older folks on this site should remember those!) Sheet metal fabricating equipment, complete wood shop and a small crane for installation.

Worked my *** off! During the early '90's I was becoming burnt-out with all the daily pressures of business and more important - the economy was failing. So I had to make a choice. Stay on and struggle or down-size. Looking back - I made the right choice.

I've been operating my business from my home since then. Which I enjoy very much! It may not suite everyone but when you get older it seems the quality of life is more important. The home based set-up I have now works well for me. I'm zoned for business right near Main St. My garage and separate office area are all attached to the house (never have to go outside even on the crapiest of days). I'll look for a photo to post.

Anyways...thanks for letting me ramble!


New Member
like to say full time retail shop, but not by choice, but because of lack of jobs in the area. I must do other jobs that makes it a part time job.


New Member
Full time home based, really too large for home but making it work.
Rephrase, home too small, yard too small and no place to park 2 cranes.
I have to find a bigger house with a garage.