Dave’s Signs was founded in the winter of 1970/71, in a two car garage, in Manteca California, by Dave Rhoten. Dave was a single parent with an 11 year old son, Eric.
Initially the company was founded to design and market routed redwood signs.
The founder began to open up dealers for the product line consisting of different styles of routed wood signs by making sign displays and putting them in local hardware stores and lumber yards.
The line of signs proved to be a profitable business right from the start and Dave continued to design and improve the product line.
The business was successful in the first year, generating enough volume for continued expansion, and so new dealers were found and new displays were made and consigned to the same types of stores on a statewide and then slowly on a nationwide scale.
By this time Eric was a teenager and began to help Dave with the production of the routed signs.
With a little help and guidance from Dave, a former precision machinist, and a lot of work and practice, Eric began to be a first class “sign cutter” and did more than his share of sign production and did it all while still going to school full time and managing to have a normal “teenage” social life.
After the 3rd year of successful wood sign sales, and still operating from the garage, Dave began to get repeated requests for other wood products, especially wood letters and numbers, and so designed a line of wood letters and numbers and began to market them to the existing “dealer network” of hardware stores, lumber yards, and home centers.
After the 3rd year the “garage business” slowly grew and expanded to the point where it became necessary to move from the garage to a 4,000 square foot shop in a commercial building, and there, with Eric’s help, Dave built the company’s dealer network to over 400 dealers by the 6th year of business, and on Eric’s 18th birthday, Dave had the papers drawn up that made Eric a full partner in the business.
The business continued to grow and expand as the letter and number volume increased each year and by the end of the 10th year the company sales volume exceeded $200,000 and had five full time employees.
In 1997, nearly 27 years after that first winter in California, Dave decided to “retire” to Arizona.
Eric was married to his childhood sweetheart Vicki, and they had two beautiful children, Rachael and Ryan, and Dave knew that the company that he founded would be in good hands. So he “retired” and moved to Golden Valley, Arizona (near Kingman) and opened up the Arizona division of Dave’s Signs.
Subsequently Eric decided in 2006 to leave the California business environment and move the sign business operation to Arizona to be closer to “Dad.”
So far it’s been a good decision and together Dave & Eric are expanding more and more into “online” sales.
Dave and Eric both feel that E-business, the “internet”, is where the future of the business lies, and so to that end, this site is the continuation of that phase of Dave’s Signs.