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Sharon Toji

Supp/Mfg./Whole/Assoc. I
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Everything posted by Sharon Toji

  1. We still have some money from our PPP grant, thank goodness, so today we wrote another salary check, 35 hours to our three full time employees, 15 hours to a couple of part time "as needed" employees. We actually got a couple of emails from some regular customers, like Pepperdine College. We also snagged a new customer, even though it's just tiny vinyl jobs. It is our landlord. I told them that if they would buy their signs from us, we'd just take out the cost of the materials for the time being, and put everything else back into paying them our lease payment. Hopefully a couple of months of t
  2. I don't think it is just Signs and Digital Graphics. The engraving magazine has also been closed down, I think, and they have replaced everything with one publication or maybe newsletter that will cover everything from signs, digital graphics, awards and engraving and stuff like embroidery machines, etc. It's a disappointment to me. S&DG originally had me write their articles on ADA Signs and appointed me as their "Expert" but when I couldn't any longer afford to have a booth at the NBM Show, they dropped me, although i was still listed as their resident "Expert." I had a real fondness for
  3. I am fortunate in that the three full time employees left in my business after the debacles of the Great Recession followed by the LAUSD IPad scandal which forced us to refuse to do work for our major client (i.e. Los Angeles Unified School District), are really good people and when we got 8 weeks salary from a PPP loan have readily given up unemployment that was actually more than 30 hrs EFT salary for them. And, they were willing to take 30 hours rather than 40 so we could use 25 percent for rent and utilities, and also so we could write small checks for our three part time "when needed" emp
  4. We came through the recession, and although we had used all our cash resources and had finally seen our staff dwindle and had to stop providing most of our extremely generous benefits, we felt hopeful. Sadly, some of this hope was because many competitors who had badly underbid us to the point where they could not actually provide what was required to complete their contracts, went out of business. We were still standing although badly battered. Now, we hope to also survive, but again, it is sad to hear that some of our possible success in doing so will because we will have less competition. C
  5. Over the 35 years I've been in the industry, I have read more ridiculous specs than I could count. It seems that often unpaid interns are cutting and pasting snippets together, and have no idea how signs are constructed. I have actually seen a spec for "acrylic metal sign plaques." We tend to look at the strings of words, pick the one that we can use, and go from there. Another annoying tendency is to provide drawings for signs that conflict with the written specs (and with the codes as well). Sometimes, the notes on the plans conflict with the drawings, which in turn conflict with the specs.
  6. How is it possible for so many contractors, clients and owners to lose paperwork! We finally started spending huge amounts of money first on FedEx, and then USPS certified mail just to get signatures. Then, you prove that you did send it and they did receive it (after it cost you bucks to have the proof) and they say, "well, we can't find it, so send it again." The other story is," the check is cut, and it's sitting on so and so's desk, but he/she won't be back in the office for two weeks to sign it. Sorry!"
  7. We thought we might have turned the corner in 2011 when we almost (not quite) broke even but pretty much retained our gross. But last year was a disaster, due to a lot of perfect storm stuff that I won't go into. Let's say that we no longer will do any installation work for LAUSD! It is hurting us to turn down all our chances to bid, but it's just too risky. We have cut way, way down, still have more stuff to try to sell, and are hoping we won't have to let anyone else go. We are so lean, it's ridiculous! But, we are in a new, much nicer, but much smaller space, and maybe it will give us a n
  8. When I was on our local school board back in the early seventies, I was also the Board President of our local Regional Occupation Program (ROP). I really believe in the ROP program, but now it doesn't receive enough funding (just like our community colleges, which are also starving for funding), and has long waiting lists. I also taught cooking in junior high school, along with academic subjects (because I had 12 years of 4-H -- thank goodness, and a mother who taught me how to do all that stuff), and two of my sons took automotive and electronics classes. I went to graduate school in Germany
  9. I am trying to reach you to give you a contact number. Call me at 949 929 6512. Sharon Toji
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