Gary was pretty clear about his position on the business in his last few years. He described it as being on the off ramp to retirement. He was convinced that with an injection of some fresh energy and a little elbow grease, Star Motors would pop back to life. I think he was right, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do so.
I think the recent freshening of the building is the perfect example of what he was talking about. With the help of Gary, some friends, and a special customer things are looking bright and new again.
A good friend of mine, who would prefer to remain anonymous, really helped me get started by; creating the new website, designing the logo, and coming up with the color scheme.
Armed with those last two key elements I was prepared to figure out what to do with the facade of the building. The lighted sign desperately needed attention and was primary on my list but things didn’t come together there until a chance conversation with a customer, who is also a local business owner. I mentioned the sign to him and he turned me on to “Vern” at Hollywood Graphics. Mark Vernon answered my call and quickly showed up to survey the situation.
With only a copy of my business card and a ten minute conversation Mark created the new sign and delivered it about a week later. With a little rewiring to convert the lightbox to LED bulbs the sign was ready to light.
The metal sign was a bug that Leslie put in my ear. She mentioned that many downtown business now had “old-fashioned” metal hanging signs displayed on their businesses. I loved the idea and knew just who to call, a super talented former co-worker of mine who operates a side gig making signs. This is how it progressed…
I still can’t believe how awesome this thing is. I have received comments from just about everybody who sees it. The neighbor, Renee (Renee’s Ceramic Cafe & Entertainment), commented on how it was a work of art. I couldn’t agree with her more!
I had a pretty good idea from early conversation with my anonymous friend about how to paint the building. I was pleasantly surprised after a conversation with the landlord (Cornerstone Capital) that they were willing to help with the cost of painting the building, even though it wasn’t a budgeted item, owing to their interest in seeing the business do well. I matched the colors at the paint store and bought the paint.
I was fully planning to paint the building myself, but for Father’s Day my amazing wife and MIL decided to gift me a painter to take care of the building so I could focus on business and family. After another chance conversation with a long time customer, Joe Gauthier, he mentioned that following the closing of his business, the Buddhist Meditation Center in the Quad Cities (Yes, he drives from Davenport to have us service his Volvo!), he had fallen back on his painting skills. A craft he had honed painting historic Abbeys in Europe.
Being in need of a painter, I offered Joe the job. And boy did he deliver! Joe is meticulous and did just an amazing job on the building. I could not be more satisfied and am all too eager to recommend him to anyone that needs painting!
Thank you to everybody and, especially, Gary! He offered advice and support as well as labor. Working to repair the rotten trim on the outside, helping to raise the new sign, and providing the opportunity.
Hollywood Graphics – Mark Vernon – (319) 351-4175
Cline Designs – https://www.facebook.com/Cline-Design-1453177285006813/
QC Precision Painting – Joe Gauthier – (563) 639-5592