How We Got Started

In 1979 my father, Carl Averitt, and I started a business pinstriping cars at auto dealers lots. The original business was called C&M Stripe and Trim, (Carl & Mark).

Jimmy Carter was president, the country was in the middle of an energy crisis and Chrysler went to the US government asking for 1 Billion dollars to avoid bankruptcy. Isn’t it funny how, now 30 years later, things are so much the same. 

  We traveled from dealer to dealer installing pinstripes, custom graphics, luggage carriers and side mouldings on all of the latest cars like the Ford Courier pickup trucks and the Ford Fiesta. Money was tight, paychecks were irregular. There were even times when we slept in the truck at a campground when working out of town. You might think that things were "hard", and in some ways they were, but in the important ways things were and still are fantastic.

  Somehow we made it through the energy crisis, we made it through the recession of the late 70’s early 80’s. It was not easy, it was hard work and the pay was not always that great, but we made it together as a family. I am proud of that, and I am glad that I been able to work with my father my entire career. 

In 1985 I was fortunate enough to meet the love of my life, Betty Jo. only 3 months after meeting her I asked her to be my wife. Although she did say no at first, I was persistent. Eight months after meeting we were married in May of 1986.

  We have since spent most waking hours together. We worked together running a mobile graphics installation truck for Carolina Car Craft ( we changed the name from C&M Stripe and Trim when we incorporated). 

 

   It was later that same year that I first saw one of the original vinyl lettering machines. By todays standards it was an antique with no screen at all, only seven fonts and so slow you could go get lunch while it cut a sign. Never the less, I was blown away by this "cutting edge" technology".

   Betty Jo and I researched the market and decided to buy one of Fayetteville, North Carolina’s first vinyl plotters capable of cutting not only text but logos as well.  Originally we bought the equipment to compliment our vehicle pin striping business, we had no plans at all to become a sign business.  However, the demand was so great that we were able to spin a separate business off of Carolina Car Craft. That business originally was named Graphics Plus, but we later renamed it Image Graphics Inc. when we incorporated.

  Since then Betty Jo and I have lettered countless trucks, vans, police cars, ambulances and fire trucks. We have always continued to stay on the cutting edge of technology and design. We got one of the first digital vinyl printers in 1996 and in 2007 we bought a state of the art vinyl wrap printer and laminator. 

 Through the years there have been good economic times and bad economic times. We plan on weathering anything that comes in the future the same way we have in the past: strong work ethic, not living beyond our means and giving our customers the best service we can. Most of all, we plan on continuing to work together as a family, which to me is the best pay anyone could ever ask for.

We thank each and every customer that we have served in the last 20 years from the bottom of our hearts 

Our customers are not just names in a database, you are our friends, and you are the people that make it possible for us to continue to make our living working together as a family. 

 

Thank You,

 

Mark, Betty Jo  and Allison Averitt

Click photo above for gallery

Our Team


 

 

Cyrus - The Big Dog 

 Cyrus is our company mascot. He is 203lb english mastiff.  Cyrus was abandoned at the dog pound about 5 years ago. We adopted him through Southern States Mastiff Rescue. I know I may be a little prejudiced but I feel that Cyrus is the best dog in the world.  You might wonder why we bring a huge dog like this to work, as occasionally we do have clients that are afraid of dogs. Here is the story.

Ever since the day we rescued him, Cyrus has been very very attached to me (Mark). A few years ago I went on vacation and left him home.  I had someone come over every day to feed and walk him.  He would not eat any food and the last two days before I returned he started chewing his tail.When we got home the last two inches of his tail was just bloody cartilage.  All the fur and meat were gone.  The vet said it was a bad case of separation anxiety.  

To make a long story short we ended up docking his tail twice and in the process he ate the bandages.  They got trapped inside his intestines. He needed surgery to live, so we took him to NC State where they had to cut his intestines in 4 separate places as well as cut his stomach open to remove bandages.

Ever since then I decided it might be less expensive just to take him to work with me.  He does have many friends that come by to see him. He loves visitors so feel free to stop by any time and visit with him.  He also loves treats (hint hint).  He is wonderful with children and a joy to have during the day.

Cyrus has started his own Facebook page and he welcomes any friends that would like to follow him.

UPDATE: Unfortunately Cyrus has left us.  We continue to miss him every day. For details click HERE.


 

 

Mark - Graphic Designer 

 Mark Twain once said: " I never let my school interfere with my education".  That saying is as true today as it was then. I never went to a formal school for graphic design, but I never let that stop me from learning. Rather than learning for a few years in my teens I have spent my entire adult life continually learning and keeping up with design and visual marketing.  I am primarily self taught through countless hours of training videos, online courses, design books, design blogs and magazines.

I have a passion for learning and I am never satisfied unless I am growing my skill set. I am a longtime member of NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) and have also attended Signlab University (advanced training classes for sign software) I am proud to have completed PDAA training (Professional Decal Application Association) and I have  been certified as an approved installer for warranty purposes by these vinyl manufacturers; 3M, Avery, Arlon, Mactac, and Oracal.

I am have also attended formal wrap installation school at 3M in St. Paul Minnesota. I am officially endorsed by 3M as a vehicle graphics installer and have achieved level 4 (of 4) which means I am certified for the most difficult vehicle wrap installations. 

Other interests include: Marketing, advertising, motorcycle touring, kayaking, fishing, and  camping.  I also am interested in web design / usability / SEO (Search Engine Optimization) I designed this site myself to help me learn about web design. It is not the fanciest site - I don't have any Flash - but it does a good job for me, so I guess by that standard it is successful. 

Above above all I enjoy spending time with my wife Betty Jo and trying my best to help my daughter grow to be a wonderful person. 

 

Betty Jo - Customer Service / Production / Accounting 

 Anyone who has been to our shop knows that Betty Jo is the force that drives Image Graphics. Without her the business would come to a screeching halt.  Her duties include day to day accounting, inventory control, writing estimates and bids, answering the phone, installing graphics, running both a 60" plotter as well as a 60" laminator, cutting all vinyl and above all keeping Mark on track (which alone is a full time job).  Betty Jo has also been certified by PDAA as an approved installer for all brands of vinyl. More importantly Betty Jo greets everyone with a smile and always works to get every detail correct. Without Betty Jo there would be no Image Graphics 

 

Allison -   

 Allison is our daughter and Mark is training her as a designer. Like her father Allie is a rabid Apple computer fan. She wrote her own web page at the age of 14, she is already familiar with Adobe Photoshop and continues to learn. She loves drawing and reading. Allison has been a honor roll student her whole life with only 2 "B's" so far. Allison has a very good eye for color as well as balance in design. Currently she wants to be an interior designer when she grows up. In the meantime we are glad to have her with us here at the shop.

 

 

Carl Averitt - founder 

Carl Averitt is the father of Mark and Suzanne.  Without him and my mother there would be no Image Graphics or Carolina Car Craft..  Carl is currently 78 years old and continues to be active in day to day work done here at the shop.

 

Donnie Parker - Production

Donnie is the latest addition to the crew here at Image Graphics. He has over 15 years experience running his own sign shop. Donnie brings a excellent work ethic, a thorough knowledge of SignLab and a very good eye for design. With Donnie now here we are able to offer sandblasted redwood signs  as well as on site sign installation, something we are glad to be able to offer after several years of turning that type of work away.  Donnie is also helps us keep our backlog of work to manageable levels.  As many of you know, our turn around at times can be slow.  That is because Betty Jo and I have been trying to do to much. With Donnie here, and already experienced, we were able to get him up to speed with our workflow fairly quickly.  With Donnie's help we will continue to work on speeding up our turn around time.

Donnie is also a well known professional wrestler under the name Timber the Insane Lumberjack. Donnie has wrestled with the WWE and is currently the CWA heavyweight champion. We are considering putting Donnie in charge of collecting past due accounts.