• What: Custom fabricated and installed signs
• Company: Bill Ortwein Signs Inc.
• Address: 2806 E. 50th St.
• Website: www.billortweinsigns.com
• Telephone: 867-9208.
• Owners: Jim and Colleen Teal
• What’s special: Unlike some sign companies, Bill Ortwein Signs manufactures all its products, including vinyl and electrical signs, the latter of which few local companies build in-house. The company also maintains an experienced installation crew. “We found that we do best when we install our own products,” said owner Jim Teal.
• The origin story: Bill Ortwein Signs’ titular founder began manufacturing signs with his father, who entered the industry with his brothers in 1923. Bill Ortwein founded his company in 1964, and his son, Butch Ortwein, sold it to Teal in 2007. A fourth generation of Ortweins, Adam Ortwein, still runs the company’s art department.
• How long does it take to make: Simpler signs can be completed in a day while larger, more complicated electrical signs can take as long as six weeks, Teal said.
• Where it’s sold: Through a custom sign design tool/quote request feature on the website or via phone calls and in-person interviews.
• Price range: From $25 for the simplest signs up to more than $300,000 for larger sign packages.
• Expansions planned: Bill Ortwein Signs recently acquired a 40,000-square-foot building across from its office on East 50th Street. “We’ll maintain the current facility but will expand into the new building with some operations for larger signs,” Teal said. “Our growth efforts are centered around sales and additional production capacity. Our installation capacity seems fine.”
• Lessons of the trade: “I’ve learned a lot about business-to-business trade, state and federal regulatory requirements, a lot about signs, in general, and a lot about people, but not necessarily in that order,” Teal said, laughing.
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, young adults, technology and people of interest. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German. He previously worked as the features editor for Sidelines at Middle Tennessee State University. Casey received the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists Award of Excellence for Reviewing/Criticism in ...
related articles »
Belgian flooring manufacturer IVC says it will build a new $80 million luxury vinyl flooring plant in the U.S., which ...
Olin Chlor Alkali Products, a major employer here for almost 50 years, broke ground Friday on new manufacturing facilities valued ...
A self-adjusting swivel back allows the US+U case to be held in one hand and swiveled 360 degrees in either ...
What: A 200 kilowatt-hour solar photovoltaic system on the roof of a warehouse and manufacturing facility in Chattanooga