Navigating Your Shop's Legacy // Taylor Kraenzel of Vizion Signs

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How did you get your start in the industry? Guest Taylor Kraenzel joins us to talk carrying on his grandfather's legacy and all the challenges that come along with taking over your family's sign shop.

Bryant Gillespie: All right guys.

Welcome to the next edition of
the Better Sign Shop podcast.

Brian Gillespie here, and as
always, I've got my friends and

colleagues, the Sign Shop, Yoda
Peter Carus, and the Sign Burrito.

Michael Riley . We need to
get a, another nickname.

I, I feel like we have to,
every episode, every week,

Michael Riley: It's.

Bryant Gillespie: Maybe
we need sign burrito.

If you're listening to this
right now, send us your

suggestions for Mike's nickname.

On the next episode, we
want to hear from you.

Michael Riley: We need to like hop on
Jasper and let a computer, give me a

nickname, see what it comes up with.

Bryant Gillespie: Yeah, yeah.

Let's get some AI involved, Some
nickname, so the Terminator.

Give you a new nickname.

. Hey, so what's new with you guys before?

Dive into all things customer experience.

Michael Riley: Well, I'm getting married
in two weeks, so it's been, I am like,

like stressed beyond belief right now.

It's crazy.

I don't

Bryant Gillespie: what, what
is the, what's your stress

level at like a one to 10?

Michael Riley: Oh, it's
cranked up to 11, man.

Like . It's just

Bryant Gillespie: It's full spinal

Michael Riley: tab . Yeah.

Uh, yeah.

You know, I'm, I'm handling it well.

It's just, it's very, it's
a lot of internal stress.

There's, we have a lot of, lot of
balls in the air right now trying

to get some stuff done in the house.

We have a bunch of guests that are
gonna stay here, so we're trying to

get bathrooms done and citing done.

And the house is just a wreck,
so trying to get a back,

Bryant Gillespie: but you're
not even stressed about.

The, the wedding part or like getting
married or any of that, it's just like,

Hey, we got guests coming to the house.

Michael Riley: The guests
are the most stressful part.

Yeah, no, like we don't know what
we're gonna do for food for the

wedding yet, so we're still, we're,
you know, that's, that's a little up

in the air , which is kind of a big
thing, so we need to figure that out.

Um, but now the wedding plans
are pretty, pretty solid.

They're, they're.

That's, that's for the
most part under control.

I mean, I'm sure that the, you
know, the shit will hit the fan

when people start arriving here and
parents and people get involved in

trying to, to help and everything.

But, um, yeah, it's really just, you
know, all the prep work, trying to get

ready and then I'm gonna shut the business
down for a week and a half, um, to go

on honeymoon and everything like that.

So just trying to get everything
done and ready is, Well, I

Peter Kourounis: got one

Michael Riley: question for you.

One question.

Lay it on me.

What's that?

You're gonna have

Bryant Gillespie: to
get closer to the mic.

Or some Pete who, who, who

Peter Kourounis: was that amazing
photographer that you had?

Michael Riley: Um.

We, we just, we hired a, you know,
a local wedding photographer.

Um, he's, he's a pretty,
pretty talented guy.

He, he's done quite a bit of, um, I think
like nature and landscape photography.

He's published a few books on, uh,
like, like photo books as well.

But, um, I, I mean, it's a pat, my, my
future wife on the back, like, you know,

she went to school for photography.

She's got a, you know, a degree in fine
art photography and she was a, a wedding

photographer herself for many, many years.

Um, so he just sent us the raw files,
which were, you know, fairly unimpressive.

They were, they were nice.

They were, well, well compos and
framed, but, um, but she actually

did all the editing on them and, and

Peter Kourounis: she's,
Oh, get outta here.

Oh my God.

Yeah, because I was gonna
give, I was gonna give your

photographer all the accolades.

Those were the best photos I have ever
seen, and I think I commented that.

I mean, it , I literally thought my
wedding photos might have been the

best, but that wasn't till I saw.

Your photos, so whoever touched
them up, I, whether it be your wife

or or the photographer the best.

If you haven't seen it and your
friends might go check it out, they.

Literally the best , I guess what is it?

Is that, is that, is that like a
wedding photo engagement photo?

What, what, what was that?


Michael Riley: Yeah, that was just an
engagement, like photo session that we

did, cuz she, she wanted to have like
a, a, a picture of us that we could

send out with the wedding invites.

Um, so we just did a quick,
like one hour beach session

with the guy, um, out at Sunset.


Um, so yeah, having like a beautiful
spot like that to have pictures

taken as well, really helps.

I mean, having, having a background.

You know, ass beautiful as that, like,
doesn't matter what, what the photo looks

like, Like there's no such thing as a bad
picture when you're at the Oregon coast.

So, but no, she's a, she's a, like
a photo editing, you know, master.

She's really, really good at it.

So she can take a.

Just a crappy, crappy picture and turning
into a, a pretty impressive work art.

So I'm, I'm always, I seen
some masterpiece as well.

Oh yeah.

She . I know , she's, she's made a few.

Photoshop is, uh, she's good at it.


Thank you, Peter.

Yeah, they, they we're really happy.

I'm excited to see how the
actual wedding photos come out.

He's gonna be the same photographer
for the wedding and the wedding's

actually gonna be on that beach as well.

That'll be our backdrop for the wedding.

So, um, the only thing that we're worried
about is, you know, we took those photos

in, in like mid-July when the weather
is pretty much perfect out there.

But the wedding is, is in late
September, um, which, Could very well

be like, you know, 50 degrees pouring
down rain, like sideways wind, you

know, like just the, the weather is
unpredictable in the fall out there.

So we're a little nervous that the
wedding is gonna have to be either moved

inside or we're just gonna get married.

And like the pouring down rain
on the beach, which I'm all for.

Like, I think like that's gonna be
awesome to get married in the, the rain.

Like, you know, if you're gonna have a
Oregon beach wedding, rain, prepare for

rain, rain should be involved I think.

I mean, it's just par for the.

but, well, I

Peter Kourounis: rained on my wedding.

Don't, don't tell my wife that she hates.


Be reminded I rained on my wedding
and it was devastating cuz we picked

this venue for an outdoor venue.

And then we got like huddled
into this like small little room.

So it was, yeah, it was, uh, not
the best scenario, but you know,

Michael Riley: still great part,
you get married, like, it doesn't

matter, like you're getting married.

Like, just, just suck
it up and, and do it.

And we're, we're, we're
trying to brace ourselves.


Like I'm actually like secretly sort of
hoping it rains cuz I, I love the rain.

That's why I live in Oregon
because it rains so much here.

I, I just think it's beautiful and
like a rainy day at the Oregon coast is

just otherworldly beautiful, but she's
a little less enthusiastic about it.

Raining so we'll, , you know,
kind of right in the fence here.

No, but yeah.


What about you guys?

What you guys been up to?

Peter Kourounis: Uh, I'm planning
something, but not planning a wedding.

I'm planning my son's second birthday
and my other son's baptism, so they

are within eight days of each other.

So it's a lot of I and I and I and
I'm, I'm just gonna throw this out

there, cuz Bryan, you got kids, Did
you, did you baptize your daughters?

Bryant Gillespie: Uh, yes.


We're not Catholic or
anything like that though.

Peter Kourounis: That's all right.

That's all.

Well, the first one, my first
son, it was a full out party,

like a full out extravagant.

, You know, I had dozens and
dozens of people at my house.

I, I rented everything, including like
a camel at my house, . This one, it's

like, let's just do it at a restaurant.

I swear to you, I feel awful.

I feel careful about it, but I'm
just like, there's a birthday with

the first kid and then there's
a, like a christening or baptism.

The second time, like for the
first, for the second kid.

And I'm like, this is too much
money happening at the same

time, so I'm just gonna listen.

It's a baptism and it's a birthday.

We're just gonna do the birthday
at home and we're gonna do

the baptism at a restaurant.

And, and my wife and I are feeling so
guilty about it because when my, when

my second son gets older, he's, I'm
afraid he's gonna ask like, Why didn't

you throw, I feel like I'm damaging.

being by this, you know, I'm not, It was,
it was not as exciting as the first one,

and here I am just feeling bad that my
second son happens to be just born second.

Bryant Gillespie: we're,
we're on the third kid.


Like I, I know like you're just
now on the second kid that's

kind of like the second kid.

You're, you kind of just like, you're
like, eh, but when you get to the third

kid, you're like, uh, like whatever.

Like, fuck it.


like yeah, like the first kid.

Like we did all the baby
proofing all the stuff.

Um, all the little things in the,
the outlets and all that stuff.

And like, now it's just like you, like
knock yourself out, you know, Like,

Oh, you wanna run around outside?

Hey, you wanna ride your bike without
knee pads and stuff like that.

Like, find, like, get after it.

You, Oh my God.

Don't feel bad, man.

Don't feel

Michael Riley: guilty.

I've heard that's the
way it goes with kids.

Like with, with every subsequent
one you have, like you your, your

helicopter parenting just kind of
like goes down a notch or two until

you're just like, eh, they'll survive.

Like whatever.


This is a hundred percent true.



See, I'm skipping all
that, that young stuff too.

I'm inheriting a, a, a 15 year old
stepdaughter, um, which is awesome.

She's, she's, she's cool, but she's
already grown up and so I don't have

to worry too much about all the.

Two I about her just dying

Bryant Gillespie: on a daily
basis from self-inflicted

Michael Riley: death.

Well, I, No, actually, I still worry,
worry about that for other reasons though.

Cause she, she's not always the best
at the logical decision making still,

but, um, less so I probably expect than
you guys with your, your young ones.

. Okay.

Bryant Gillespie: A hundred percent.


So what's the topic today, guys?

Michael Riley: Today we are talking
about customer experience and, and.

Uh, what you can do improve
your customer experience.

What, what makes customers keep
coming back and buying from you?

Uh, I think in the first place, and,
uh, we're gonna bring on a guest today.

Um, a lot of people probably
know the guy TJ Bak.

He owns GCI Digital Imaging
down in Cincinnati, Ohio.


If you spend any time on any of the
Facebook forums, like those damn sign

guys or Sign Shop Talk or anything like
that, you will inevitably, you know, see

TJ's name, um, thrown about quite a bit.

He seems to be pretty much the go-to
guy for anybody who needs, um, you

know, some big wide format digital
printing or fleet of rap sprinted,

or you're just like totally in a.

You know, in a rut and need
somebody to save your ass.

It seems like TJ is like the, uh, uh,
uh, the Superman , uh, and, and, and

apparently he's doing something right.

I don't know the guy personally, but
I reached out to him to, to bring

him on the show because he's just,
everybody raves about him in his

service and everybody just says like,
he just, he will bend over backwards

for you every single time and get it
done and knock it outta the ballpark.

And, and on a rare occasion, he
doesn't, he'll, he'll be Johnny in

the spot to make it right for you.

So, uh, he's definitely delivering.

Some sort of exceptional customer
experience, and I want to know

what and why and how, so I'm
excited to talk to the guy.

Bryant Gillespie: Do we, do
we just bring him on now?

Michael Riley: He, he, he's in the lobby.



Let's, let's go ahead and,
uh, let's bring him on.

He sent me messages waiting.


All right.

Well, let's, let's announce him in.

Let's, Yeah, yeah.

Let's do like an intro for him first.

Bryant Gillespie: Yeah.


Here, I'll stop the recording and then.

Michael Riley: Bring 'em on.

Just bring 'em in.



Navigating Your Shop's Legacy // Taylor Kraenzel of Vizion Signs
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