Integrity, respect, commitment to service, creativity . . . these are some of the basic qualities that we hope you will recognize as our client at Vic Kessler Signs Ltd. They are qualities we strive to uphold today, set in place by our dad when he started this business.
Vic Kessler, our founder and our dad, loved anything with a motor and a steering wheel. He started out in College Point, NY, where he learned to work on cars from Pop, our grandfather, who could fix nearly anything, armed only with a roll of masking tape. When Dad was a teenager, he mail-ordered away for some special brushes and practiced painting pinstripes on any smooth surface he could find, including his younger sister's skate box and his mom's refrigerator door. Dad started out small, constructing and painting signs in the family basement. Later on, he apprenticed as a signpainter with Mr. Ed Kral, who owned a sign shop right here on 162nd Street. Eventually, when Mr. Kral retired, Dad bought his business and the property that our shop now stands on. In 1980, construction was completed on our present building, which is a combination of a garage and a signshop. Dad designed it himself, making sure its appearance would enhance the neighborhood and that he could letter trucks, rain or shine.
On Saturday mornings back then, customers would line up their cars in the street in front of the shop for pinstriping, and talk cars with him. When he was done, he always painted his logo on the back: a set of footprints with a registered trademark symbol underneath. He referred to himself as “The Fastest Brush in the East.” We often get people who come into the shop to reminisce about the first car Dad striped for them. It's just so great.
From that humble beginning in the basement of his parents' house, Dad kept those basic principles foremost in his mind. His earliest customers recognized his honesty and appreciated his perfectionism. If he was pinstriping a car, creating customized graphics, building a hand-painted sign, or lettering a fleet of trucks, he always made sure that he and his shop were producing high-quality work. What started out as a small-scale business eventually became known throughout the tri-state area and beyond. It’s amazing. We are so proud to have had some of the same clients for more than forty years!
We still put Dad's feet on the back of every truck we do. And our customers can still depend on finding those basic principles set by him. He worked very hard to earn his reputation; we work very hard to keep it.