For one-year anniversary, Sign Dreamers of Rowan install inspirational messages across county

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, September 7, 2021

SALISBURY — To celebrate the one-year anniversary of a business that’s exceeded their wildest expectations, Anna and Luke Allman decided to spread a little joy during Labor Day weekend.

A display in front of West Rowan Elementary School encouraged people to, “Reach for the stars.” In front of St. James Lutheran Church in Rockwell, a display told passersby, “You are blessed.” In Spencer’s Park Plaza, a display featuring miniature superheroes told people to, “Be brave.”

Initially, Luke said, the goal was several installations to celebrate Sign Dreamers of Rowan’s one-year anniversary. The number grew to 12 after an assist from Kristen Trexler, who went to East Rowan High with the Allmans. Anna said the sign-installation project fit perfectly with the company’s mission.

“Our whole company is to spread happiness and joy,” Anna said.

As part of that mission, Sign Dreamers of Rowan held a Facebook contest for people who participated. Sandy Edwards found and shared all 12 of the installations and received a free sign. Granite Quarry Elementary School shared multiple installations and received 50% off.

“We look forward to continuing to spread joy around our community,” the Allmans said in a Facebook post announcing the winners.

Josh Bergeron / Salisbury Post – Anna Allman, left, and Luke Allman seen through a hole in one of the letters in a ‘Be Brave’ display placed in Spencer on Friday.

Sign Dreamers of Rowan started on Aug. 21, 2020. Then, Luke projected the business would install 10 to 15 signs per month. Now, Sign Dreamers is averaging about 60 installations per month.

“It just kind of blew up,” Luke said.

Because of graduation, May was the busiest month yet. The business installed more than 125 signs and, for the first time, had to turn away customers because there were simply more letters needed than Sign Dreamers had in stock.

“Up to date in May, we had not told anybody, ‘No.’ We had made it happen,” Anna said. “But when we got to May, it was just pure madness. We didn’t have enough letters to do it.”

With enough letters, Anna estimates she and her husband could have completed 40 installations just the night before graduation.

On weekdays, Anna and Luke work full-time jobs. Luke is a certified public accountant, which means he’s usually focused on Sign Dreamers’ financials. Anna is an elementary school teacher and sparked the idea for the business when helping with an installation for her principal, Rockwell Elementary’s Jennifer Warden.

To thank Warden for hard work during the pandemic, Anna and her colleagues in 2020 rented letters from Sign Gypsies in Davie County for $150, which included a $70 premium because it was outside of the business’ usual territory. The visual impact of the sign and that there weren’t any local options planted an idea in Luke’s mind. A few days of research led Luke to opening a Sign Dreamers franchise in Rowan County.

From the first day until the one-year anniversary, there have been plenty of inspirational moments — from engagements to state championships. In July, Sign Dreamers was behind the installation that greeted Kassidy Sechler when she returned home after being hospitalized for 10 days. The China Grove teenager was rushed to the hospital in July after experiencing a medical emergency during a travel softball game.

“That one came in and I looked at (Luke) and said, ‘We’re doing this one for free.’ I don’t care what it takes,” Anna said. “The ones that really tug at our hearts, we really try to make it happen. … I can’t tell you how much joy they bring us.”

To contact sign dreamers of Rowan, visit signdreamers.com/sign-dreamers-of-rowan, search for Sign Dreamers of Rowan on Facebook or call 704-239-5263.

In addition to the Allman family’s Rowan franchise, there are nearby Sign Dreamers locations in Cabarrus County, the Lake Norman area, south Charlotte and the Triad.

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