Starting up a sign and knife business

Pictured are Brandy and Corey Dupree. Brandy is holding a sample of a handmade sign she created, and Corey is holding some homemade knives he made.

School teachers Corey and Brandy Dupree have a new business. They have combined two very unusual skill sets to create unique personalized gifts. Corey makes handmade knives and Brandy makes personalized signs.

What makes the signage unique is the technology available to copy a handwritten note and recreate it with vinyl lettering onto a sign. Mothers and fathers who cherish their children’s notes, a grandmother’s handwriting or a hand written note from a husband or wife can be displayed for future generations.

What makes this process even more amazing is the fact that a person can take a picture of the note with their phone, send it to the Duprees via text and they can produce the final product. It couldn’t be easier.

Brandy said another great gift idea for wedding and anniversary gifts is a family name with the year of the wedding placed underneath.

“It is always so nice to give a personalized gift and the cost is so affordable,” she said. “Our signs start at ten dollars.”

They have great ideas for other family signage, such as “this is us” with the year of the wedding underneath. Another signs verbiage is “Not step, not half, just family.”

Home décor signs are also part of the merchandise they produce, such as the laundry room signs that are growing so popular these days. The Duprees are open to suggestions for other ideas for home décor signs.

Corey’s knives are made from steel he repurposes into a blade, and he also makes the wooden handle. He said he personalizes the knife by etching names, birth and anniversary dates, or a message such as “Happy anniversary,” onto the blade. Etched pictures are also placed onto the blade. Corey also hand makes the leather sheath that houses the blade.

“It all started as a hobby and making gifts for friends and family, and we saw how much people liked these personalized gifts and realized that it had the potential to be a business,” Brandy said. “Our children are artistically creative as well, and love getting involved; it’s a family business.”

Pictures of their products can be found on Facebook under Brandy-Corey Dupree. Contact the Duprees at 256-599-8308.

— Marla Ballard’s Spotlight on Business appears each Saturday.

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