Meet Annie Carlson, President, National Signage | NAWBO
Annie Carlson
President, National Signage
 
Tell us about your business journey:
My business journey started when I met my husband.  He had started a small architectural sign company in Forest Lake.  After spending a lot of time assisting him, I decided to invest in the business by purchasing some equipment, as well as quitting my job and beginning to work at the company.   A few years later, I purchased the business from him and became a Certified Women Owned business.
 
Since then, my business has grown by 300%.  I really enjoy the challenges that I face daily and seeing my business succeed.  Seeing that my business can support not only my family, but the families of my employees, makes me enjoy my job.
 
Story from the Trenches:
One of my first meetings was with a national top 10 construction company.  My customer had asked me to assist him in the meeting to help explain ADA laws and the need for signage.  Being so new to the business, I was second guessing myself for days before the meeting.  But I was the only one available, and the job really relied on this meeting going well.
 
After a few minutes in the meeting, I realized that I knew all of the answers to their questions. And, I was able to help them navigate through issues with the design to help them get the look that they wanted, with the proper function needed.  We were awarded the job.  It also, helped me earn respect with the construction company as well as my customer.  To the point, that I have been used as a consultant on other projects.
 
Family? Hobbies? 
I have been married for almost 11 years now and have a 2-1/2 year old son and a 4 month old daughter.  With my young family, it can be a challenge sometimes.  But, I try to prioritize and always keep a notebook on my bed stand to write down ideas, to do lists, or things I am afraid to forget (a trick my Dad taught me in high school).  In any free time that I have, I enjoy playing the piano, spending time at the lake with friends and family, and road trips.Karen