KEMPTVILLE - If you've gone shopping in Canada since the 1970s, there's a big chance you've seen one of Jarvis Peacock's signs.
Jarvis Design & Display Ltd.'s signage and in-store wall graphics have been part of this country's retail landscape for 46 years. Her signs are prominent from coast to coast.
"I started in my mother's basement making snowflakes," Jarvis says, adding she landed her first big contract making the white cut-outs for seasonal window displays. Moving into design and signage followed naturally, she says
"I learned everything as I went along." Jarvis started her company in Ottawa and later moved it to Kemptville in the 1980s.
At peak periods, she has had as many as 75 employees with installation crews all over Ontario and in other parts of Canada.
"I think if anyone said I'd be in this business 40 years later, I would say they were crazy but here I am. I don't have any regrets. I've had my share of challenges but somehow I have always been able to overcome them."
Some of her major contracts have been with The Bay, LCBO, Loblaws Properties Ltd., including No Frills, Real Canadian and Atlantic Superstores, Your Independent Grocer, ValuMart and Wholesale Club, to name a few. More locally, her company has created signage for the Royal Ottawa Hospital, the federal Treasury Building in Ottawa and the new Kemptville Retirement Living centre.
"We can make any kind of sign you need. We digitally design, manufacture and install signs," she says, from large exterior projects, architectural and corporate signage systems with coast-to-coast installations, to three-dimensional letters and logos, interior wall signs, banners and marketing materials. Jarvis and her team can also do signage and directional wall materials in braille.
"It's an interesting business where you develop a huge network of people," Jarvis says. "I enjoy the creative aspect, working with people to efficiently create something that is eye-catching and uniquely represents their company."
Story and photos courtesy of the Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office