Tim Toone and Dion Duffey are the owners and founders of 256 Signs. 256 Signs is located at 24706 Bethel Road. Their business does signage, lettering for storefronts and vehicles, vehicle wraps, and just about any type of signage, signs, and banners you request. I wasn’t sure what “vehicle wraps” meant when I was talking to Tim and then he asked me had I seen the Boys and Girls club van which I had and then I knew what a “vehicle wrap” was. 256 Signs is responsible for this type of work and many others around the area (for example Ardmore Telephone Company, United Pest Control, Calhoun Community College CSI Training Unit).
Many of you here in the Ardmore know Tim because he is our Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief. He works for both the City of Ardmore and the Town of Ardmore. Dion works for Huntsville Utilities. Tim is originally from Michigan, but his parents moved from this area when they were a young couple to Michigan because of the Auto industry. As they grew older their wish was to move back to Ardmore and Tim brought them back here to live as they requested and he had all intentions of moving back to Michigan but he found that he really liked the area and he ended up staying as well. His dad died in 1999 and his mother died in 2014. He loves this area and Ardmore has become his home.
Tim and Dion started working together in 1994 with 256 Signs but when they started it was a part-time venture and business because neither of them had the time to devote to the business. They found that when they were working together in the Fire Department that there was a great demand for signage, and this is how they got started in the business. They learned the business themselves and have developed their skills over the years. Around 1999 they walked away from the business because it was so demanding and concentrated on their careers. In 2015 they realized that their demand for this type of business was greater than before and decide to try to work in the evenings on the business. They have continued working together and their business is thriving because of support from the community but personally I believe it is greatly because of the quality of their work. They do hire some part-time employees as needed but most work they handle themselves. I asked about the name “256 Signs” and Tim told me it reflected our area, (as in area code) but I did not catch on immediately! To be honest, Tim got a good laugh!
When I asked Tim about what was most difficult about the business, he told me in this type of business the technology is amazing, and you must keep up with it if you are going to produce a quality product. In the past twenty years, the quality of the product has improved greatly, and he is so impressed and proud of the product they are able to produce. He also said their biggest challenge is time. When I asked him what he wanted his business to be remembered for he said the quality of their work and he wanted his customers to be happy.
They don’t do a lot of advertising other than having a Facebook page because they are a small two-man operation. It is a challenge for them to keep the Facebook page current. But an advantage of their type of business is that you can see firsthand the quality of work they do when you look at a sign, banner, or a vehicle. When you ask the person, who did their sign, banner, or vehicle, they make the recommendation and/or referral and to me, this speaks volumes! Tim and Dion do quality work and you see this all-around the Town and City of Ardmore as well as our surrounding communities! We are fortunate to have such a wonderful Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief like Tim Toone as well as a business-like 256 Signs here in Ardmore!