May 15, 2019

5 Years in the Making.

When you’re a small business some things go quickly because there’s not much red tape to go through.  You make a decision and you run with it.  Other times…it seems like things take F O R E V E R.  For me the things that take forever are the things that have the biggest price tags and I’m uncertain about them because they aren’t within one of my personal areas of expertise.  Sometimes its not having the money, but other times I find that I’m ready to invest a little but I worry about being taken advantage of and overspending.  My exterior signage has always been one of those areas for me.

It started out as literally not having the $ and not knowing if Plume was going to be more than a short term experiment.   So, on the day I opened 11.1.13, this is what I painted and hung out by the road.

Bless my heart.  I tried.

And bless my husband for hanging it for me that first early morning on my opening day.

Later I added the little  hours sign that hung from the bottom. And that sign served me well for about 18 Months.  Cost:  $40 for the wood, paint and hardware to hang it.

Over time, I realized I had a little money to spend, but I didn’t know the best way to spend it.  In Spring 2015, I forked over $400 and upgraded to this one.

It’s hung there for the last 4 years, been blown down a few too many times, about to fall out of the frame and it’s faded quite a bit.  It was prettier than my hand painted original but although you can read what it says just fine in this picture, it was difficult to read from a car going by at 50mph.   Proven by the fact that even after almost 4 years, I’d still get people who came into Plume, say they’ve been driving by for years but had no idea what was inside.  That’s what convinced me I needed to finally invest more money into a better sign.  One that is not only readable from the cars driving by, but that is more descriptive about what’s inside at Plume.

I started the process of bidding out new roadside signage back before Christmas.  The first company I tried to work with never got back with me.  Their sales rep visited and took pics and then never sent me a bid.   Even after I called to follow-up several times.  I’m not sure what happened…maybe my budget was too low.  (Trust me when I tell you, exterior signage is expensive.  SO.  EXPENSIVE.)   Whatever the reason, it was a bummer because it took me 5 Years to get up the courage to even meet with a company to talk about a sign.

I contacted another local company, Impact Signs, in February and my rep Claude was helpful and kind.  We finalized the design and I paid my deposit in early April.  I was anxious to get it but they told me 45-60 days so I just kind of had my mind set that it would be the end of May before it was done.  Monday they called me and said…”We’re installing  your sign TODAY!!”   

I was so excited!!!

The best part was as I was driving away from the shop after they put it out I immediately got a phone call from one of my customers who had just driven by and saw it.  That was so encouraging to me!

Monday I just kept driving by, turning around, driving by again.   I probably did that about 20 times. Now we’ll see if it does it’s job.  Maybe I’ll have more people who have “just been driving by” take a little detour into Plume this week.
I won’t tell you the final cost, but it’s A LOT more than $400 and while I’m thankful to have it, it still is certainly not my “dream sign”. And I know there are plenty of small businesses who pay even more for their signs because they’re in strip malls or places that have restrictions and requirements for their signage, so I’m not complaining.   I’m just going to keep on driving back and forth in front of the shop, looking at it.  I think its made the whole shop look 100 times better.   Well that, and all my flowers and new flower pots.

In other news…when I’m not driving by and staring at my new sign this week, I’ll be in the shop helping box up all the Graduation Cupcake Orders we’re compiling.   Lots of Mizzou and Tolton cupcakes going out this weekend and then we’ll be focusing on the other local high schools next week.  If you need Graduation Cupcakes, it’s not too late to order!

Hat’s off to you, graduates!   Especially the three sweet seniors that we have on our team.

See you in the shop!