Healdsburg Signs opened its doors in February of 1981 as a paint retail establishment under the name of “The Color Shop”. By 1986 we had evolved into a full fledge sign shop, specializing in hand lettering, which was re-named J. Lago Signs. Our first “real” shop was located in a 1,000 sq ft hole in the wall without heat or air conditioning in the south west corner of Santa Rosa. I moved once more in 1988 before relocating to my home town of Healdsburg in 1990.
I found a partner and re-established myself in Healdsburg, CA, the town I had called home since I was 8 years old, and the town my wife, Tami was born in. Since both my partner and I had existing businesses with their own names, we compromised and changed our name to Healdsburg Signs. We incorporated right away and moved into a 1,500 sq.ft shop in a retail location downtown, about a block and a half from the Healdsburg Plaza. It was there that we discovered our niche as producers of the highest quality signage available. We almost immediately became the first choice in signage to the local wine industry, and of course, were also very popular with the local retail establishments, contractors and real estate companies. We found that emphasis on good design, and the use of high quality, long lasting construction materials was appreciated by our customers, and they came back over and over again.
About one and a half years after developing our partnership, we decided to part ways. I stayed with the company and my partner went out on his own so he could pursue other interests, leaving me by myself again. Right away I started to hire help. The first full time employee was my wife Tami. She started as the bookkeeper, and developed into customer service, estimates, and just about everything that didn’t have to do with the actual production of the product. By 1997 I had found what turned out to be my best “non family” hire. Mike Dale and I were both Fire Department volunteers at different stations. We met at an EMT certification class, and developed a friendship and working relationship that has withstood the years. Although he came to me with minimal experience, I could see the character and integrity in his nature that I new would be a great asset to my company. Today Mike is a master craftsman who puts great pride into everything he does. He has been a loyal member this company for all these years. He is as much a part of this establishment as I am.
In 1998 We moved from the 1,500 sq.ft. shop and moved to our own building totaling approx. 4,000 sq.ft about a mile north of our original location on Healdsburg Ave. Since then we purchased an additional building we use as a fabrication shop which totals an additional (approx.) 3,000 sq.ft.
As our business grew, we found ourselves with organizational issues that needed attention. After going through a number of office workers, in August of 2005 we hired Nicole Selberg. We noticed right away, her sweet and honest disposition. She took over the much occupied position of customer service clerk. It was not long before we noticed her organizational and people skills and decided to make her our Office Manager. Her skills in that area have not only helped us to communicate better with both customers and employees, but also keep track of production, making sure all products are received on time. Right now, I consider her the “heartbeat” of our company.
In early 2007, I received a fathers dream. My oldest daughter Erin, who had worked with us since she was around 14 years old asked to come and work full time. She has made the largest single positive impact here since Mike in 1997. She is a natural at design, and has the work ethic of a person twice her age. She continues her education at night, taking job related classes to hone her design, equipment and program skills. As of now, we have as many as 9 employees who have tasks that range from management, design, and production, to screen printing and facilities maintenance. Best of all, we are a close family of fellow workers, who enjoy what we do, and who we do it with.
Today, with an attitude of perfection Healdsburg Signs Inc. calls itself “A Sign of Integrity Since 1981.” We think it’s a catchy slogan, but to us it is truth. It describes the quality of our product, and the character of those who make it, along with the many years of experience associated with the sign business.
Along with the the “old school” methods of production, very few in our business even understand, we surround ourselves with the latest 3-D and digital technology. We also have the finest crew of employees anywhere and most of all, a desire to please you and at the same time build our reputation for years to come.
We’re proud of our extensive portfolio of customers and quality products. We have produced signs for the “Mom & Pop” business to the very largest corporation. We are very comfortable with both. We invite you to experience what it feels like to do business with a company that still puts its customers first.
We’ll see you here...Thanks, Jim Lago