A little about us from our founder…..
I am guessing that our story begins a lot like yours. Your life is not bad. You just want a little bit more from life than your mundane job was giving you. You have a desire for independence and want the freedom to chart your own destiny.
I love science! I was trained as an engineer at RIT, and I love chemistry and technology. By early 1990 I was working as COO of a specialty fluorescent lamp manufacturer. Here we made great strides in creating phosphors that allowed the lamps to be used to cure jaundice in babies, kill bacteria, or just give you a better tan. The mix of electricity, chemistry, and technology was exciting to me.
Exciting- but not fulfilling. Somewhere in the sterile environment of lamp making, I was cheating my creative side. My parents met while in art school, my uncle was a famous painter. Art was in my blood, creating a longing that just wouldn’t go away.
After one particularly long day of work I went for a drive. I drove to the top of a hill and gazed into the valley below to ponder… what next??? As I looked at the lights twinkling below, it hit me like a lightning bolt- as clear as if God had written it on a card and personally handed it to me. I wanted to make neon signs!
Neon signs represented old time craftsmanship at its best. Each sign begins as a straight stick of glass that is heated over a fire and hand bent to the perfect shape. New designs would give my artistic genes a chance to flourish! But the opportunity to use my years of experience in the lamp industry was there too! I could use my expertise to create colors never before available in neon, make the signs last longer, and make a classic product better!
The years that followed were tough- working double jobs, catching cat naps in my truck, a diet consisting almost exclusively of tuna sandwiches. It was in this period that I found my third passion- Helping small business owners. While things were tough in the beginning, I learned to really appreciate my customers, the folks who were doing the same thing I was- pursuing the dream. While most have a passion for what they actually “do”, we have all had the rude awakening of the necessity of accounting, marketing, and regulations. I realized that my products- my passion- held an opportunity to help. Neon signs have long been known to be one of the best marketing tools of a retail business- and I could help make them accessible to the small business folks who need them.
Neon is the best advertising for retail business. It’s like social media for your window. Offering passer-by a glimpse of what you have to offer, giving hints about your personality, and even letting people know that you are OPEN right now! Best of all, neon does it's job 24 hours a day 7 days a week for years, all without distracting you from your day to day activities! From the very beginning we built a different experience for small business owners. We began with the Tanning Industry and created the sign designs these salons needed to prosper. We were able to make the signs inexpensively in batches. I was able to use my engineering experience to pioneer a way to send the signs via common carrier (Jantec Neon Products was the first neon sign manufacturer in the country to do this.). This made the signs much less expensive than going to a local sign shop. When you own a small business, every penny counts!
Over the years we have expanded our markets and now proudly serve salons, restaurants, smoke shops, financial industries, and many more. But if you don’t see what you want, don’t worry, we have designers on staff that can help you create the sign you need. Using our “neon only” business plan still lets us create custom signage at a fraction of the price of a local sign shop.
When our retail customer began asking for specific branded signs, we realized that brand owners needed help too. Smaller brands couldn’t meet the huge minimum order requirements needed to import from China, local sign shops were too expensive, and delivery of a delicate product could be a nightmare. Jantec now has programs that can help you advertise your brand regardless of the quantity you need. We even take care of shipping them directly to your retailers. No headaches or hassles, you have more important things to do!
I stopped bending glass in my basement many years ago, but I have not forgotten my roots. My passion is helping your business succeed. I am guessing that our story begins a lot like yours- with a desire for independence and the freedom to chart your own destiny.