After working for six years under her parents and doing everything the hard way, as she says, Brandi bought the business so her mom and dad could semi-retire. With advances in technology, the industry was changing, improvements meant you could actually see your design and bring it to life on a computer screen and make changes with a click of a button. Brandi loved this as you don't have to wait for paint to dry or get it all over you! Brandi went high tech and bought the software/computer/plotter equipment and with a 3-day crash course of how to run it she was off and running.
Ted thought she was nuts and said you're going to have to sell a lot of stickers to pay for that machine! Brandi has done just that! Ted's Signs has not changed its reputation of quality workmanship with a small town feel and of knowing exactly what you're getting before the job even begins. We pride ourselves in customer relations and the quality of every job since our beginnings in 1972.
Fast forward from 1996: Al Breitbach (Brandi's husband) had absorbed a lot of old techniques from Ted and was also like a sponge wanting to learn everything he could from him. He has a lot of knowledge when it comes to all sorts of problem-solving issues with old signs and is keeping up to date with all the new technology of updating signs to LED etc.
The Creators of Ted's Signs In memory of: Ted (1927-2009) and Joanne (1937-2006) Ted's sign is an established sign company that's been family owned and operated since 1972. Before Ted moved to the Brainerd lakes area from Minneapolis, he was a true city slicker that didn’t know much about the North Country.
He was a manager at Minor Ford, he overlooked the mechanics. Ted knew how to make customers happy and make the boss money. Joanne was a lifelong resident who grew up in the greater Brainerd Lakes area. When she graduated from school the country bumpkin moved away to the metro area for a short period of time, this is where she met Ted. They were a perfect match.
They decided to move back to the Brainerd area where they bought a home and settled in. Back then the five mile drive out here felt like you were driving way-in the sticks as Ted put it! Joanne took a waitress job at Log Cabin and managed the place for over 20 years. Ted, on the other hand, worked for a man named Ray who owned a sign shop right around the corner on Highway 371.
Most of the time Ted did not get paid but thought hanging around and learning everything from this man was like going to college without having to pay tuition! He was interested in learning everything he could from this veteran who could do anything from freehand painting of the signs to re-wiring an old beer sign; pretty much everything from the ground on up including installing and maintaining lit signs.
Ted thought it was fascinating to watch this man at work. When Ray passed away Ted finished up all the accounts for his wife, who had no desire to run the shop. Ted then decided he might as well start his own company and make the most of it. There was only one problem; he did not know how to paint! After watching Ray paint for years Ted put a brush in Joanne's hand! Looking over her shoulder he would say: DON'T BE SCARED TO PUT PAINT ON THE BRUSH!
She was a nervous wreck, but with trial and error and coaching from Ted she became an awesome painter - it's like anything else, the more you do something the better you get at it. From 1988-1990 their daughter Brandi went to Detroit Lakes Technical College to learn how to paint and improve upon the technique of filling in big letters on billboards with her mom.
Back then the only computer they had for doing signs was the Gerber 4g, which Brandi had no desire of learning at the time. Ted's Signs has not changed its reputation of quality workmanship with a small town feel and of knowing exactly what you're getting before the job even begins.
We pride ourselves in customer relations and the quality of every job since our beginnings in 1972. 2023 Update: We discontinued the bucket truck service and larger structural signs as it was getting too difficult to run that part of the business.
Because of the repetition of movement that you must do producing decals and getting older, Brandi’s daughter Brittny has been in training for years and now has been doing most of the decals and installation onto trucks and substrates. She also has the same standards of quality and customer service instilled in her veins being 3rd generation!
Brandi decided she needed to keep her brain active and pursue her other passion which was real estate. She went back to school and got her realtor license in June of 2018 and now is working with Edina Realty!
Being very successful she has recruited Brittny to be her teammate as she is truly a lifesaver when it comes to the techy side of this business and can do it from the comfort of her office at the sign shop while Brandi does most of the showing and mingling with our clients.