Creative Vinyl creates social distancing supplies

DOWAGIAC — During the COVID-19 pandemic, paying attention to signage can aid in social distancing, according to one business owner.

Pam Spivey, owner of Creative Vinyl Signs, 54950 M-51 N., Dowagiac, said her business, which makes custom signs and graphics, is also creating social distancing items.

About a week ago, somebody mentioned to the sign owner how sneeze guards could be useful for small business owners looking to keep themselves safe when stores open back up to the general public.

Now Creative Vinyl is creating those sneeze guards. The 36-inch-tall and 14-inch-wide boards can be created for any size counter and take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to complete after an order is placed. The guards are constructed to sit on a counter space and provides 6 inches of open space at the bottom to pass items through.

“The sides are made out of a product that we make signs out of with our boards,” She said. “We have cut those down, and then I get the clear acrylic from my vendor just like I would any other board.”

So far, Spivey said the sneeze guards have generated some interest, but she expects they will gain popularity towards the end of the month, once stores reopen.

“We have interest in it, but right now, a lot of the stores are still doing curbside service so they are not really having people come into the stores yet,” Spivey said.

Inside her own store, Spivey has a sneeze guard on the counter.

“When people come in, they recognize they need to be social distancing,” Spivey said. “I would say 90 percent of the customers that come in are wearing masks. I do feel like people are following the right protocol. I would think that they would get more popular once the end of the month gets closer once people can come into the stores.”

As part of its social distancing offerings, Creative Vinyl can also create social distancing floor decals, banners, signs and stickers to help send messages about keeping both customers and staff safe.

Spivey said her business has created floor decals for a grocery store to use by the check-out lines. The decals remind people to stand 6 feet apart while they are waiting in line.

The business has also created banners helping businesses and restaurants alert customers that they are still offering curbside services and has also created yard signs.

Aligning with other local businesses, small changes are taking place at Creative Vinyl as staff wait to open back up to the public.

“Our son works here, so he started coming back in this week, and then we have an employee that is working off site, so he can log in with the computer and do design work and stuff,” Spivey said.

Although business has quieted down for the custom sign shop, Spivey sees social distancing supplies as helpful for the community.

“This is a nice opportunity to offer items that people can use to get through the crazy times right now,” she said.