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Ronnie and Tyler in front of a Red Hill Fire Department truck

Small Business Spotlight: Brantley Signs

Contributed by the Tallassee Chamber of Commerce

In 1959 when Ronald Brantley came back to Tallassee after a tour of duty in the Army, he opened Brantley’s Barber Shop in what was Myrt Strickland’s Café on Gilmer Avenue in Tallaweka. Ronald started helping Mr. Osteen and took a mail order course to learn more about the sign business. 

At that time, all sign making was a slow process of painting and hand-lettering each sign one at a time.  Many people have worked at Brantley Signs over the years either painting boards, building decorations or helping with other things involved with the business. 

Brantley Signs grew and moved across the street to what was the old Pontiac Place. There it expanded and in the 1960’s added parade float building and screen-printing signs. Yet, the highly skilled art of hand-lettering signs was continued. To this day, Brantley Signs still hand-letters many of its signs, the wall around J. E. "Hot" O'Brien Stadium has hand-lettered signs painted on the concrete blocks.

Brantley Signs is a family owned business and in 1986, son Ronnie took it over as Ronald continued to cut hair and operate the "Coffee Break" TV Show.  Ronnie and Tammy have had Brantley Signs since then and continue to do business in the same way. 

"We still hand-letter signs, screen print and build parade floats but now we also do vinyl lettering and have added the tent, table and chair rental business to Brantley Signs," Ronnie said. "In 1995 we needed more space, so the business was moved to its current location on our farm in Kent.

Moving to Kent was a scary decision. There have been many sign businesses to come to Tallassee since 1959 and we didn’t know if we would be able to maintain our customers. It turned out to be a great move.  Not only did the people of Tallassee remain our customers, but the town of Eclectic, the Lake Martin area and lots of others have become great customers also. We are not a fancy business. We don’t have a showroom. What we do is keep our overhead low, give quality product and charge a fair price. This has worked since 1959 and still works today."

Ronnie painting the overhead sign for Tallassee Jewelers downtown

A family business like sign painting or float building is something you must love to do. When Ronald was sent to Desert Storm, Ronnie took over, and when Ronnie was sent to Bosnia and Iraq, Tammy and the girls took over and kept the business running.

"There are great industries and businesses in the area that offer wonderful salaries and benefits and we would prosper working for them. But there is nothing like going out each day to Tallassee, Eclectic, Reeltown or wherever this business takes us, and knowing you are serving the people and giving them quality product."

Brantley Signs is about to be 60-years-old. 

"Over the years we have dedicated ourselves to this area. It is a  great way to make a living. (We) would like to thank you for ordering your signs, floats, decoratio, and all the many things we make from Brantley Signs. We look forward to serving you for many years to come."

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