Julie's Sign Shoppe loves supporting local businesses and giving Reno residents more ways to show their support for the local economy.
We would love to see you wearing one of our new, comfy t-shirts!
We Fixed Banners!
"In 30 years of sign and banner production I've never worked with such durable, high-end material. Banners are now really fun to make!" - Julie
We have engineered a new banner material that will withstand the hot Nevada sun and cold Nevada nights! Request a Banner Sample>>
Check out these First Impressions!
We have been busy designing, building and installing signs around Northern Nevada. Sometimes a business needs to update their branding to maintain a positive first impression. We have been working on branding upgrades for Wells Fargo, Greater Nevada Credit Union and Farmers Insurance. We are also working on local family-owned businesses like Canvas Junkies, Jason's Beachside Grille On the Lake, Todd's Body Shop, Reno Guns & Range and many more. The economic forecast looks great for our town!
Growing city, growing team!
How long will my sign take?
There are many factors to take into consideration when calculating your sign's completion and installation date.
Add it up:
Yes, your sign could take as long as 3 months from design to permit to build to installation.
Should I check in to see how my sign is going?
We will give necessary updates as your project advances in our production schedule. You are free to email or call to check on the status of your project, but because we have a minimal crew that can slow the process down.
“I’m not gonna make it!” Julie Wilson thought to herself as she flew off her motorcycle and headed toward a guardrail. She had been heading back home from Tahoe, riding motorcycles with her husband Kim, when she lost control of her bike around Mt. Rose two years ago in 2013.
Wilson doesn’t remember all the details, but when she awoke, she was lying on the pavement with a severed leg, a ripped liver, broken ribs, torn arms, broken hand, and torn knee. Her helmet protected her some, but her face was smashed with her eye socket and sinuses crushed.
An off-duty nurse, a psychologist, and a police officer stood nearby with her husband—all trying to discern how bad off she was. With her own two hands, she took off her helmet, prompting her husband to say, “Well, I think her head is okay!” At that moment, Wilson went into shock. The psychiatrist dropped a white pill into her mouth, and off she went in an ambulance.
“Someone was looking over my shoulder,” Wilson recalls. She knew it was only a guardrail that had saved her from flying into oblivion off the cliffs around Mt. Rose. What she didn’t realize was more than a post or piece of metal was prepared to preserve her sign business and help her get back to life as usual again.
In 1999, Wilson opened Julie’s Sign Shoppe in Reno, Nevada along with her business partner, Christine Harkness. Over time, Wilson’s husband, Kim, joined them, as well as her three children: Travis Landes, Maryann Chirstman, and Janell Brown. Christine’s son Trevor also joined the team. “It is very much a family business,” Wilson says.
Even though Wilson is part owner with Harkness, with the business being called Julie’s Sign Shoppe, a lot weighs on her. “I get blamed for everything that goes wrong and accolades for everything that goes right,” she says. Harkness holds a construction permit and as Wilson says, “The business would not be where it’s at today without her.” Wilson doesn’t make each individual sign, but she manages the bigger accounts and runs the business. “I care about my customer base. A lot of people depend on me, and I take that seriously,” Wilson says.
Julie’s Sign Shoppe was going well at that time two years ago, but there were challenges. “There aren’t a lot of people who are skilled in making signs, so we all put in a lot of hours.” Wearing several hats, Julie had become Mom, boss, payroll and disciplinarian. She and her family would put in 14-hour stressful days—all focused on getting jobs done for their clients. “We fought a lot,” she says admittedly. “But the accident changed the way we work together.”
Wilson underwent several surgeries. “By the time they got to my face, I was tired of the surgeries. I just wanted it to be done,” she recalls. “I told the doctor he needed to wait.” Though he had planned an outing at the later time she requested, he obliged. “I spent one week in intensive care, one week in the hospital, and then six weeks at home, where my husband took care of me.” Wilson says.
Her struggle was not just a physical one, but a mental one as well. “Going from 12-14 hours a day and making decisions, to being an invalid and needing someone to take you to the bathroom is very difficult mentally,” she says. She wanted desperately to be there for her business and clients, but now she would have to focus on her own physical recovery.
Meanwhile, at Julies’ Sign Shoppe, the rest of the family along with Harkness had to pick up the slack. “Everyone had to chip in and do my job,” she remembers. A humbling moment for all of them, her kids and business partner had to add the extra burden of Julie’s accounts on top of their own jobs. They pushed through to meet deadlines and keep business running as usual. Wilson began to see that through a crisis, she could rely on her family.
With Julie’s Sign Shoppe serving a customer base that includes international businesses, many of her clients did not know she had the accident. They did not make an announcement and kept working. “A lot of customers…understood,” pausing as the emotions come back, through tears, Wilson continues, “and they waited.”
Gradually, Wilson started going back to work, increasing her hours. Now, two years after the accident, Wilson is back to her 12 to 14-hour days. Some of her children have gone on to work elsewhere, but everyone at the business continues to help one another.
“We are working side by side and are more tolerant of each other,” she says. “We strive to have a good relationship with our family, employees and customers.” While the business is taking on new projects and growing into a new building, Wilson likes to keep things in perspective after the accident. “It’s just a sign; tomorrow is another day.”
Written by Amanda Lynn Hinson
Why I’m Getting a Car Sign for My Business
I can’t believe how many signs I have seen today driving by. Yes! Drive-by signs advertising in motion as I sit here on my porch. And I’m enjoying the colorful messages in this little residential area.
First, was one of those over-sized pickup trucks with its topper in place. Across the tinted window, a white outline of a woman dances and announces the studio and dancewear shop. The truck pulls over, and a family of three gets out to make a visit to my neighbors. Immediately, though, I want to ask—is that your business you’re advertising?
“How can I get my kids to your dance studio?” I call out from my porch. For some reason, a family getting out of their car is more approachable than a random dance studio advertisement in the White Pages. The wife tells me her experience as an instructor, and we have instantaneously built some kind of relationship; with me finding out all her skills and expertise, and the lady able to make a personal invite to her studio.
Next, the semi-truck barrels down my street. A neighbor boy hears the rumbling of the truck, and he rightly steers his scooter to the sidewalk. As I look on for his safety, the semi slowly drives past my gaze with a vivid image of the American flag. My attention is piqued, and here I go looking on to see what company is written on the semi and all the services they provide. Wow, I’m already thinking about how effective a sign on a moving vehicle is, that I wish I had a sign out there on my minivan.
A few thoughts come to me, and I daydream about my minivan declaring my home business to all my neighbors and everyone in the shopping parking lots. Wow, I think to myself, just imagine the easy marketing a car sign would do for my business. How many people would call me because they’d have my information. And since I do my business from home, my vehicle is my best legal route to having a business sign!
As I think about what my sign might be, what design and message I may put out there on my own minivan, a small car drives slowly through with yet more signage! Is this a “sign” to me that I’m thinking in the right direction? Maybe. The car could have been a chick magnet in itself. However, the colorful and creative decal swirling around this car pointed out the company’s business and expertise in such a way that I was ready to type in their web address, even if it was for something mundane like insurance.
I’m getting enough signs to get the message. A sign on my car is not only a conversation starter that could bring in business, but it provides the kind of mass marketing my home business and any usual business would need to make a constant presence in my town. Time to get a car sign.
Celebrate the 4th of July in the Reno/Tahoe area with any of these events!
4th of July at Artown
Free Evening Concert and Fireworks
July 4, 2015
7:30 PM - After Dark
Star Spangled Sparks
July 4, 2015
4:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Genoa Americana Celebration
Mormon Station State Historic Park
July 4, 2015
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Fourth of July on the Comstock
July 4, 2015
Noon - After Dark
Red White and Tahoe Blue
Incline Village/Crystal Bay (North Lake Tahoe)
July 4, 2015
Events going on all day
The polls are open for RN&R's Annual Best of Northern Nevada contest, and we are excited to be in the running! Please show your support for local businesses by voting for at least 10 of your favorites.
Just click on the image above to get to the ballot. Thank you for your support.
You can never get a do-over on a first impression. That's why it's crucial to hit it out of the park on the first try. First impressions don't just apply to the dating world: they are also important within the business world. As a local business owner, the face you present to the public must catch their eye right away and imprint a positive impression quickly. As a savvy business owner, you know you can go about this in several different ways, through carefully selected interior and exterior signs, banners, vehicle wraps and more. One way to do this is to consult with your local trusted sign shop to provide these items.
Seven seconds. That's all the time you have to make a first impression, according to Business Insider, so make it count. The power of first impressions doesn't just encompass your company sign, although that is certainly a big component of your approach. There are many other advertising techniques you can employ to make that all-important mark on your prospective clients. The way you choose to brand your company will make you stand out above your competition, so don't leave this up to chance and don't go it alone. Hiring a reputable sign shop to provide you with the materials you need to make your company more visible is your first step. The first impression is critical, yes -- but you also need your message and branding to have some staying power to retain the customers you've attracted.
From design and color choices to theme and size, the type of signs and banners you select need to pop. This means careful consideration must be given to the materials, special effects and graphics production capabilities, punctuated by workmanship that's superior in quality. Many factors go into deciding the right approach, from your target audience to climate (your exterior signs need to be able to withstand the elements) to logo adherence. Choosing the right sign shop to assist with these aspects will lead to cleaner, more consistent, more effective signage that will capture -- and keep -- the attention of your clientele.