Manufacturing Success in a Pandemic

September 20, 2020 in Torrance, CA~

The secret to a sustainable business is to treat people well, day in and day out. And it is equally important to persevere. There is great wisdom in this simple philosophy, and the owners of 3V Signs embody this view. Between the ribbon cuttings and grand openings, the social media posts and new hires, it is sometimes hard to see the small decisions that lead to the big ones. Ten years ago, some key events allowed Pat and Stefanie Dacy to open 3V Signs & Graphics in Hermosa Beach, California. The pair officially launched their new sign business with a Ribbon Cutting on October 28th, 2010.

A Decade in the Making

That big event was preceded by smaller, fortuitous (in hindsight) events. At that time, Stefanie, already self-employed as an insurance agent and distributor of a card service, contacted Sign Biz, Inc, a business development company located in Dana Point, CA. This corporation provides start-up programs and ongoing support in a worldwide network of industry-leading sign companies. When Stefanie’s husband, Pat, was downsized out of his job as District Sales Manager in the pharmaceutical industry, they both knew it was time for an entrepreneurial venture, with the support of Sign Biz. The growth of visual communications drew them to the sign industry, both for its creative aspects as well as for the health of the industry overall.

Fast Forward Ten Years

Fast forward ten years, through successful growth, community involvement, and product evolution, and along comes a pandemic.

During a pandemic, when many small businesses are choosing to retrench, the Dacy’s made a leap of faith and made a big, bold move. They took on a new lease for a larger facility with more overhead. They acquired new equipment after careful research. Once again, this new milestone’s timing seemed fortuitous.

“Our lease at the old location was coming up August 1st, and at the same time, we had discovered a need for even faster production. This would mean new equipment with a footprint too large for our prior site. There was fear, of course,” explained Stefanie. “But at the same time, we carefully negotiated all of the training on that new equipment, and during a pandemic, it can be a very good time to acquire something like this.”

The same can be said for the new leased location. Pat explored larger spaces, found that most were in poor industrial complexes. Those would not meet the needs of 3V’s clients, who may visit the shop and sit down for a nice consult in a clean environment.

At the right time, a location came up which met the requirements 3V Signs had set for this expansion: Clean, accessible, and much larger than their old digs!

“We are now bigger, better and faster,” adds Stefanie. “Two actions have made a major impact on productivity: (1) acquisition of a digital flatbed cutting equipment plus complementary printing equipment, and (2) relocation from 2100 to 4400 square-foot site, which provided an opportunity to design with workflow in mind. The move itself was fast, and we continued to get orders made and delivered during the move at the hottest time of the year. Now we are organizing the space and ten years’ worth of inventory and related.”

“It’s going to take some time to find a place for everything we have so much more room you’d think it would be easy.” The Dacys and their great team have made it look easy. It was a bear of a move, but the new shop is big, bright and rolling with orders already.

“What I’ve seen our business owners accomplish underscores the point: Conceive, believe, achieve. Persistence—combined with planning and faith—is still the best formula for long-term success.”
~ Teresa M. Young

Establishing a profitable business is noteworthy itself — but knowing how (and when) to scale up that company is the next big challenge. Stepping out of the comfort zone and making the decision to expand and finding the courage to do so successfully is what separates the entrepreneur from the small business owner.

“Downturns or challenging times are seen as good times to start a business.”

“Downturns or challenging times are seen as good times to start a business for two reasons,” said Rashmi Menon, entrepreneur in residence at the University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. “One is, there is less competition for resources. The second reason is that whatever changes we face, positive or negative, bring up new customer needs.” For others, the timing can mean low interest rates for borrowing start-up capital, cheaper equipment as businesses sell off inventory or lower lease rates as landlords scramble to fill empty spaces. There is also an opportunity to partner with other entrepreneurs in related industries. This is another way that the Dacys increased their product offerings and turnaround times: An expert engraver, Oscar Yustman of Precision Laser Cut, is co-locating with a 4′ x 4′ lasers in the 3V Signs shop to augment offerings and abilities.

“Ever since they opened, Pat and Stefanie have always sought out new product lines and capabilities,” says Teresa M. Young, President/ CEO of Sign Biz, Inc.

“They’ve contributed to our Network’s knowledge bank, been a key part of our live store training program and put the right people into place. For each major decision, they follow a solid set of rules: Research, explore and implement. They are an inspiration!”

About 3V Signs and Graphics

3V Signs & Graphics has an experienced team of in-house designers, consultants, installers, and specialized equipment to deliver virtually any visual communications product. Licensed electrical sign contractor and dynamic digital signage experts complete a robust suite of services. Visit or call:

3V Signs & Graphics
2808 Oregon Ct, L3, Torrance CA 90503
For a Vibrant, Visual Voice for your business and our community