The Winds of Change
It has been a while since I have written and thought it best to get back into the habit I set as a goal for myself. Since we last spoke, so much has happened, hasn’t it? For our family, like many others, this past few years have been emotionally and mentally trying but are so grateful that we weathered the COVID storm unscathed. It was a time of reflection and complete personal transformation. I will never be the same for the better. And to be honest, these past two years have been amazing for my professional growth as well.
For Majopage, it was a time to pivot. With retail lockdowns, DIY sign-making kits and supplies were added to the lineup. They were so well received we need to add a Shapeoko CNC and a 36 x 55” 150w Boss Laser cutter. These two amazing machines leveled up production tenfold. There were challenges. As with all new machines and a learning curve, parts were broken, and replacements weren’t easy to get. Not to mention the inability to have a service technician pop over and see what the issue was. However, we all muddled through and learned enough to be more confident in servicing our own machine. This in the end will be substantial savings in the years to come.
As many may or may not know, I am a veteran of the sign industry. My first sign job was engraving gravoply plastic tags for electrical panels for my dad. At the time, I was 10 and we were living in Accra, Ghana, West Africa where he was assisting the Canadian Government to build a water treatment plant. Fast forward to today, that is over 43 years tell people where to go and how to get there. Growing up, I was always the one making signs for dances and school events. I went on to study Illustration at Sheridan college because I thought graphic design was boring. All to find out there were more graphic design jobs than there were illustration jobs. One of which was in a local sign shop that had me go from computer operator to owner. This led me to design and create signage for many national and international companies such as Shell, Loblaws & Rio Tinto Alcan. Today, my expertise has me working as the National Signage Manager at the TCT. It also gave me the honour of being one of the six women to win the Women in Signs Award from the US industry magazine, Signs of the Times. I am now a contributing columnist for this great magazine. You can see my first article here.
Winning the award also provided me with the confidence I needed to develop my second side hustle of signage consultation. Selecting only the work I wish to do, I now work with large companies to coordinate the design, manufacturing, and installation of new signage throughout large commercial and industrial spaces. I recently complete a small project for First Ontario Center in Hamilton and am about to start working with the Royal Botanical Gardens in multi-phase, multi-year signage revamp through their trails. That’s going to be so much fun. It is also my plan to start offering coaching for those interested in developing their skills in the signage industry.
I know what you are thinking by now. How do I find the time to have a family, work full-time, and run two companies? With my job, I have always worked remotely & I have flexible hours. I also have great support staff that I rely on. Same too at Majopage. Chelsea takes on a lot, as well as many other family members who were laid off due to lockdown procedures. Soon enough, it will be time to hire again as we continue to grow.
Speaking of growth, those who have followed us for the last 10 years. You have seen Majopage go from me working off the kitchen counter to building a garage in our backyard. However, we’ve outgrown that with the growth & I am pleased to announce we’ve moved into a new industrial 2000 sq ft space located in Aldershot (Burlington), Ontario. It is so exciting to see my little ‘vacation money’ side hustle grow into a sustainable business that employs, services, and gives back to our fantastic community.
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