Peter Kourounis from Sign Shop Consulting
I’m a graphic designer and graduate of Devry University with a background in Technical Management and Marketing. I’ve built my reputation for being an avid enthusiast of the sign and print industries.
I had started my sign company, Sign Me Up Signs and Advertising solutions, in 2009 and quickly grew that company to a few corporate-owned locations before franchising the business in 2015 and growing that to over 10 locations in NY, NJ, and PA. 10 years later, along with my partners, decided that we sell the rights to Sign Me Up to Fast Signs international
Now in act two of my career, I’m involved in many things. But I stay active in the industry by offering Sign Shop Consulting and Unlimited Graphic Design services on a monthly retainer for sign shop and print shop companies. I also am an active contributor to the Better Sign Shop Mastermind Facebook group by offering up weekly content on the ins and outs of operating a successful sign shop in today’s current economy.
I’m very excited to bring this platform to you. I sincerely hope that by listening to these episodes on the podcast that you can take these BEST practices and throw them into your operation so that you can find the same operational excellence that we have. I’m very accessible, so if you have any questions, I urge you to reach out to me whenever you want because I am always willing to help out my fellow sign shop and print shop owners.
Michael Riley from Letterbox Sign Design
I’ve always been fascinated by signs, wayfinding, and placemaking, and the way graphic design could interact with architecture, landscaping, and the built environment. So back in 1997, at the ripe old age of 16, I decided to embark on a career in signmaking, taking a job as a vinyl slinger in a mom and pop vinyl shop.
In 2000, after completing degree in visual communications, I set out in hot pursuit of the American dream and started my own sign company. For the next 13 years, with some long nights, hungry days, and a lot of help from friends and family, that company grew into a respectable enterprise.
While that growth allowed me to get my hands in just about every facet of this industry, it also meant my role in the company moved ever farther from what brought me to this industry in the first place - love of design.
I decided it was time for a change, found a buyer for the company, and made my return to civilian life. Seeking adventure (boy did I find it), I headed west - from my Ohio hometown all the way to Oregon. It’s here that I put in a few years as a designer at a large electrical shop before the call of entrepreneurship became too great to resist, and, in 2016, Letterbox was born.
Now, when I’m not designing signs for my clients from my comfy home office (yes, usually in my pajamas), I spend my time tending to our herd of cats, gorging on travel documentaries, or soaking in all the natural wonders that this beautiful state has to offer. I’m also eyeball-deep in a soup-to-nuts renovation of our house — read about it here if you’re so inclined.
Bryant Gillespie from Better Sign Shop
I'm the founder of Better Sign Shop.
But you might also know me from shopVOX. I spent 7 years there working directly with 400+ sign shops and print shops on improving their pricing and workflow. I've spent 1000s of hours talking shop with shop owners of big shops and smaller shops. I’ve seen all sorts of pricing models and complicated spreadsheets. I’ve helped create workflow and systems for sales leads, estimating, order management, and more.
Before that I spent 4.5 years helping a small sign shop in Illinois double revenue to over seven figures in annual sales. I did a little bit of everything in the shop - playing the role of 'get it done guy'. I'm sure you know that one. The owner and I pulled a lot of long hours together. It was a lot of fun, but also stressful at times.
Through those experiences, I've seen the industry from a lot of different angles than most ever get to. I've learned what works well, and what doesn’t work so well. In what spare time I have, I help shop owners create better experiences for their customers with marketing, automation, and systems.