LABELLE- Struggling to open up during the pandemic, like many other small, local businesses, the Sign Shop & More has overcome many challenges over the past year.
“My intention when I started was to have a DIY Craft Workshop. I wanted to do classes for people of all ages, women and men. Due to Covid it has been difficult to set my small shop up for that,” said Sonia. “I had Covid in March of 2020, I caught it again in early October and was hospitalized. I was told I could very well have died within 24 hours had I not gone in. That scared me quite honestly. I have been taking steps to keep my shop safe. I have Hepa Air Purifiers with UV-C Lights.”
The shop offers a wide variety of vinyl, embroidery and sublimation, focusing on creating some happy memories and meeting each business’s needs. They sell custom alcohol-based hand sanitizer and masks, too.
“I started [making hand sanitizer] last year, when we had a nation-wide shortage. Now I sell a variety of masks as well. I want to keep myself, my family, and my community safe!” shop owner Sonia Freeland Spencer, explained.
Newlyweds, Sonia and Mike Spencer recently tied the knot, and they now co-own the shop together.
Born in Clewiston and raised in LaBelle, she said both of the couple’s families have lived in Hendry County for around 100 years, and that’s exactly what keeps her connected to the community, “Family. It is everything to me. I have tried living in other states and I can’t stay away long.” She said, “No matter what people here believe or don’t believe, they seem to always help each other out. I love seeing how people come together to raise funds for someone that is sick, or they pay for the car behind them in a drive-thru, or give them a break on their bills because they know how tough this last year has been.”
“Currently it is just myself here. My husband will be starting to help me out soon. I am looking forward to teaching him the ropes,” said Sonia.
When asked what services the shop offers, she said, “So many things! I can add vinyl to just about any item either provided by the client or myself. I do yard signs, vehicles, shirts, hats, masks, and so much more.” She went on, “I offer sublimation items also. That is a special ink that turns to a gas when heated to over 355 degrees and bonds with mostly polyester materials. Once it cools below that temperature it becomes permanent. We can do that on clothing, auto accessories, signs, and so much more!”
“We really try to meet the needs of individuals and businesses. We have a strong focus on business promotional and marketing items,” she added.
“I love to design, and that is a huge part of my job. Someone comes to me with an idea in their head and I have to try to make it a reality,” she said. “But, when I finish a project and I see how happy that person is, with what I made with my own hands and heart, that’s what is important to me.”
“Currently we are gearing up for some last-minute Mother’s Day shopping," said Sonia. “We are able to add photos to many items using sublimation and we know how mom loves to see our smiling faces.”
Spencer believes in treating others as one wants to be treated. She hopes to grow her business into something the community can use and be proud of. When asked about her business philosophy, she responded, “The Golden Rule. I have tried my best to live by that since I was about 12.”
The Sign Shop & More is located just north of the county line, on the right, at 1662 N. State Rd 29 in LaBelle.
To find out more about The Sign Shop and More, visit them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thesignshopandmore/
Contact them by phone: 239-980-2255 or send an email: email@example.com