What began as a college hustle, creating dirt bike graphics for motocross races, naturally evolved into a successful career in the printing world for Alex Lund, co-owner of Bismarck Sign Company in North Dakota, also fondly known as “the sticker lady.”
Through working at various printing businesses, Alex learned about printers and the many possibilities for providing innovative products compared to the other local shops that all used the same materials for everything. Before starting her business, she thought, “If I had control over my own marketing and my own products and no one holding me back, how much more could I do?” Using her background in design and graphics, she and her business partners, Jennifer Francis, and Wayne Munson, rallied to make things better and started their own business, Bismarck Sign Company. “We got together and decided like, hey, let’s do it. We don’t like where we’re going right now. Let’s take the leap.”
When facing a challenge, Alex prefers to talk to someone instead of email to discuss her challenges and the best ways to work through them. That’s where Ramiro comes in, her LexJet Sales Representative. Alex says, “The one thing that stands out about Ramiro above and beyond any other sales reps I’ve ever had is he would always do the research and help me out … I felt like he was always on my team trying to help me out.”
Looking for what products would be the best to focus on for her customers during the pandemic, she turned to Ramiro for help. Alex noticed local restaurants all over town had printed sheets of paper taped to their doors, letting customers know if they were open or if customers were able to go inside. However, they did not realize that with tinted windows, drivers-by could not see the message, and those businesses were losing potential income. Her shop decided to act, and they created 30×30 inch bright yellow signs printed on HP Matte Air GP and donated them to every business that wanted one. That decision to lend a hand ended up helping her shop, too. “People were super grateful and survived through it.” When those businesses were back on their feet, they knew where to go when they needed a service Bismarck Sign could provide.
Having experience with vehicle wraps, well before air-release liners or repositionable materials were available, has made her a true expert. Alex is also a firm believer that vehicle graphics can change your business. She believes that having vehicle graphics on all her company’s vehicles has solidified her company as a trusted local company name they see daily when their vehicles travel around town. “I’ve been able to convey that same message to my customers, and there are not very many customers I have where I’ve just wrapped one vehicle. They start with one, and then they come back and do another, and then they come back and do a trailer because they instantly find out how much business a wrap draws in … especially contractors that are out on job sites and driving from location to location all day every day or parked at job sites in high traffic areas.”
Some of her shop’s go-to products are HP Matte Polymeric Overlaminate, General Formulations 285 RoughMark™ for textured walls, and HP Matte Air GP. With the frigid winters in North Dakota, they have to know which materials are best for specific applications, which is why they are trusted providers in their area for their knowledge and expertise.
Her vision and graphic design knowledge, as well as having a great team, have allowed others to take notice. Last year, Bismarck Sign Company was honored with the Bismarck Mandan Chamber’s Business of the Year award, confirming that what they do has a significant impact! They also helped start “Empowering Women in Business” as part of the Bismarck Mandan Chamber, allowing women to meet other local women, expanding their professional network, and discussing the hard truths women face every day.
Achieving success hasn’t stopped Alex from looking forward. Once a year, her shop gives out a free wrap to a nonprofit, and they have the community vote on which nonprofit will win a free vehicle wrap, wall graphic, or graphic for their storefront. Alex’s shop continues to provide many free stickers to nonprofits and schools, keeping with her name as “the sticker lady.”
Aside from vehicle graphics, Bismarck Sign Company is known for large signs, channel letters, real estate signs, and signage on job sites. To take a look at their products and what makes them a local favorite print provider, check out their website, bismarcksignco.com.
With two young children in tow, having survived a pandemic, and facing an uncertain future with supply issues and a staff shortage, Alex knows they are in for an exciting journey. “It’s been eventful, to say the least, but we have been able to grow each year in graphics and the sign side of things.”
After the many challenges and obstacles the business has experienced since it began, the glue that holds the three partners together is their drive to succeed and not believe failure is an option. Each one is very motivated to be successful, doing whatever it takes. And the most significant impact on their business? They remember it’s all about giving back to their community and creating customer loyalty by going beyond the extra mile.
To learn more about their favorite LexJet products, contact a LexJet Customer Specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit lexjet.com.