Bobby Wintermute started his sign shop in 2010 because he didn’t want to show up to work, clock in and do what someone else told him to do.
In the almost seven full years since he first opened Graphic Displays, he’s learned that instead of one boss, he now has 500 bosses.
But, he’s still loving what he does. And, when he moved into his new location at 705 S. Elm St. in Creston about three weeks ago, he started offering new services within his business.
Wintermute, a 2005 Creston High School graduate, still works on signs and offers picture framing. Now, he has added a hobby section and storage units to his business.
“It’s a different environment every day,” Wintermute said. “You come to the same place, but it’s a completely different problem every day and a completely different set of things to fix the problem. You don’t run into the mundane clock in, do the same task for eight hours and leave.”
The biggest addition to Wintermute’s store has been the hobby section. Included in the hobby section are drones, Traxxas RC cars, air soft guns, Legos and model kits, such as model cars, rockets and trains.
He is looking into the possibility of adding some paintball supplies based on customer feedback.
“I did look at those items, specifically, and basically tried to pick items you can’t buy in town already,” Wintermute said. “But also, just the fact that when I was a kid, it was hard to buy things that were interesting and creative. You’d have to drive to Des Moines to do that.”
Wintermute said he feels dejected when there’s nothing to do from week to week unless there’s a big event going on in town. He hopes that with the new hobby section in his store, families can create their own entertainment.
Long-term, Wintermute hopes to add Traxxas RC parts to his store, as well.
“I’m not going to lie, I’m new into all this stuff,” Wintermute said. “I used to do some of it when I was younger. I am, by no means, educated in half of this stuff, but it was simply things I’m interested in from afar. I may as well take that interest and go with it.”
Graphic Displays was originally located on Union Street, just east of Elm Street, before moving into the same building as Quick Pawn on Highway 34.
Wintermute sold the T-shirt side of his business in June 2016 because it was the least profitable aspect of his business and took the most time.
Then, when his father, Steve Wintermute, sold the Quick Pawn building on Highway 34, that was his opportunity to go out and get his own building.
Wintermute purchased the old Rug Doctor building located at 705 S. Elm St.
He completely gutted the interior of the building. Wintermute said he looked at it as more of a new construction project rather than a remodel.
The project included new siding on the exterior of the building, new concrete in front of the building, new floor, new barn-board paneling on the interior and new wiring.
“The only thing that’s in the same place is the toilet,” he said. “I hand-built all the tables and counters, everything in here. All the shelving stuff for the hobby section is mostly reclaimed stuff or fresh built. Pretty much, it was down to studs and I started all over. If I want to be here for 20 more years, I may as well do it right from the very beginning.”
In addition to the new building, Wintermute also recently added storage units to his business.
He bought the storage units on Highway 34 by Cromwell Road and also bought the orange storage units on South Chestnut Street, previously owned by Lois Monday.
“Those were completely random, just cold-called them randomly and they happened,” Wintermute said. “I just lumped them into this business so it’s better marketing all around. They just drive down here, fill out the paperwork and go out and put their stuff in them.”
Graphic Display’s store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Wintermute can be contacted at the store by calling 641-782-4135.