Distinguished Decals: Turning a talent into a business

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Jody and Shane Olsen have found a way to change their world, one sign at a time.
James Carnes | Copper Basin News

Kearny – It is a situation most artistic or crafty people know. Out browsing a booth, somewhere, they see a painting, a necklace, or something else that, while catching the eye, also catches the imagination. “I could do that!” they say to themselves.

Usually, because, the cost of purchase is prohibitive, they pass it by with only a small regret. It is something they can do, but, it is usually something they won’t do. Which is why, often, there is a booth at a fairground or swap meet, that says “Yes, but, have you done it?” or expresses a similar sentiment in different words. On seeing that sign, many are reminded that just because they can do it doesn’t mean they will do it, and, so, conceding the point, they effect a purchase, if possible. In that respect, for the businesses who think to use it, it’s a great sign.

Signs come into our lives in many ways. Shane and Jodie Olsen saw a sign, in more ways than one, which inspired the launching of their side business, Distinguished Decals.

“This all got started about five years ago, when I saw one of those cute little quotes that stick to the wall. I had to have it, but, it was over $50! I thought to myself, ‘I’m crafty. I think I can make something like that.’ So, somehow, we ended up buying a professional vinyl cutter and all the software, and, all the vinyl, and, all the tools, and, finally, started doing stickers!” said Jodie Olsen.

Their first big project was for Junior Radcliffe. He needed a sign, too, for his race car, #28k. “Boy, I don’t know what he was thinking, trusting us to do that; but, luckily, he did, and we have been doing his race car, ever since! We are proud to say we now decal most of the Kearny race cars.” Jodie Olsen said.

During the time they have been running Distinguished Decals, the Olsens have been learning and expanding their customer base, which now includes local businesses, unions and churches. Their biggest project, to date, was the Ace Pipe Cleaning vacuum truck, which came to them as a bare canvas this last July.

“We made and applied all the lettering and graphics, from the name badges to the truck numbers. This huge truck took approximately 8,100 square inches (56 sq. ft.) of vinyl, and, about four days to measure, design, print and install,” said Jodie.

Honored by the community support, they strive to return it by donating signs and stickers to local individuals and groups, such as Kearny Little League. So, you see, it was a usual situation for those with talent, but, it was not the usual result. Following the desire for a sign, they changed not only their lives, but, in ways large and small, their community.

As for the wall quote that got this all started? The one that they felt that they had to have, which inspired them to purchase the equipment? It never did get made. Instead, they created and printed another sign,that quotes Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Distinguished Decals can be reached by searching for them on Facebook or by texting 480-518-1823. Gandhi’s words of wisdom can be seen displayed in their office.

Staff (737 Posts)

There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.


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