When Doug Flanary went to work at Mike’s Signs nearly 20 years ago, it was a sure sign of signs to come.
For more than a decade, after eight years of learning the business from the late Mike Hunt, Flanary, 41, and his family have operated D’Signs, Inc.
By Don White, CV&T Staff Writer
We started out in our basement on Shelton Lane in Irvine,” says Doug’s mom, Lucy, a long-time teacher in the Estill County School System and currently an adult education instructor.
Doug’s father and wife have been involved since the business was incorporated in the fall of 1999. Lowell is a retired coach and teacher at Estill High, and Katrina is a state employee in Clark County.
Originally from Lynch, where he was a high school football standout, Lowell moved his family from Richmond to Irvine in 1970 and was instrumental in starting the football program at Estill High.
Also helping out in the store at 393 Richmond Road from time to time is Doug and Katrina’s daughter, McKenzie, 11, a sixth grader at Estill Middle.
Lowell and Lucy also have one daughter, Karen, who resides in Lexington where she is employed in the medical field by the University of Kentucky.
Doug, who attended Eastern Kentucky University, says his shop offers full service sign, graphics and screen printing work, business cards, and license plates.
His creations are spread throughout the community, including a sign marking the entrance off Winchester Road to Marcum-Wallace Hospital.
Most business comes from local people, schools, churches, and organizations, but there are some out-of-state clients.
“If you want your name put on something, I can do it,” says Doug, noting his favorite creative outlet is signage for race cars.
“The only problem with that is that it doesn’t last too long,” says Lucy.
Doug also laments the fact that other than Jimmy Crabtree, local race drivers are in short supply in Estill County.
Also not plentiful enough to suit the Sand Hill resident are places to indulge in his favorite activity outside the sign shop.
An avid fan of four-wheeling, he would like to see the national forest service set aside more land locally for legal riding.
If they do, who knows, he might even be willing to put up signage marking the trails.