Signs and … Hurricane shields!
You’ve heard that old saying about necessity being the mother of invention? In Andrea Yeager-Munsey’s case, it was frustration, not necessity, that led her to start her current enterprise, Florida d’ Signs.
“Andrea had a thriving water sport business for years along the beaches,” says her husband, Carson Munsey. “She started WaveRunners and Parasail in the 1990s, and she had clients from Tierra Verde north to Sand Key.”
She’d grown the business to 12 locations and knew the value of branding her business with eye-catching signs, but she just couldn’t get the materials or designs she wanted from the sign companies she approached.
“Andrea finally just bought her own sign making equipment and did it herself,” says Carson. “Other business people liked her signs and approached her about making signs for them, too. Soon there was enough sign-making work to draw Andrea into it full time.”
Florida d’ Signs can provide signs for any purpose, from yard stickers to wall-mounted signs, signs on the sides of trucks, signs atop posts (see ours at left), even large, electronic signs that can be programmed with changeable messages.
Carson says the largest sign they’ve installed is the electronic sign at the Island Inn on Treasure Island, while the smallest was a sign a woman requested to introduce her show cat.
“That was something,” Carson chuckles. “We’d been debating the wisdom of keeping a brick-and-mortar storefront because so much of our orders came to us online. One day, this 85 year old lady came in needing a sign to display for her Siamese show cat. I spent a lot of time with her, because the cat’s name had to be written in Chinese, and the tag was only going to be the size of a cigarette pack! I explained that we had a $25 minimum on orders, and she insisted that she wanted, no, needed, that little sign. I accepted the order and we had it ready for her within three days, but the next day we decided we would take Florida d’ Signs ‘virtual.’”
Help during hurricane season
Carson, with a technical background as a high-end fire protection engineer, says this year the company is moving into a new niche: hurricane shields.
“It makes sense,” Carson points out. “Outdoor signs have to be built to withstand heavy winds and rain, so we’re accustomed to working with weather-resistant products. The shields we’re marketing can withstand the winds from a Category 5 hurricane, and they have two distinct advantages over traditional hurricane shutters and the plywood sheets that many use to cover their windows.”
First, the hurricane panels are lightweight and easy to install. Constructed of 16mm RDC Polycarbonate, they weigh just 1.6 pounds per square foot, and are mounted directly to exterior walls. Home and business owners can easily install their panels themselves.
Second, the panels come in three shades: clear, white, and black. The clear and white options allow light in: no more sitting in a darkened house or storefront for the duration of the storm.
A third benefit is recognized after the storm has passed: thin and lightweight, the panels are easy to remove and store — they can easily slide under a bed or be stacked against a wall without taking up a lot of valuable floor space. Unlike plywood sheets, these panels won’t rot, so they can be used year after year.
Hurricane season starts this Friday: Be Prepared!