Made in the Northwest

Made in the Northwest: Mountain Dog Sign Company

Made in the Northwest - Mountain Dog Sign Company

When Steve Kempf retired after 27 years in the air force he and his wife, Marshon, decided to go into business for themselves.

"We just starting thinking, 'why not? Why not start your own company? Follow the American dream," Kempf said.

That led to some research, and the opening of Mountain Dog Sign Company in 2011.

"Businesses that are doing poorly need signage. Businesses that are doing well need signage. So here we are," explained Kempf.

While careers in the air force and nursing were very rewarding, signs give the Kempfs something more tangible to show for their work.

"We love what we did, but it's really great to be able to go into a space, kind of transform it and help the company have a wonderful, positive, professional image," said Kempf.

So why did they name the company mountain dog? Well, it's because of their a nine-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog named Ella.

"We love the outdoors and she's just such a part of our family, it seemed like a naturally good logo for us," said Kempf.

"We have clients that get very mad if we don't show up with Ella in tow when we're delivering products, said Kempf."

The Kempfs and their four full-time employees at Mountain Dog do all kinds of signage, but they specialize in interior commercial graphics. Especially for lobbies.

"You can establish who you are and kind of 'brand up' as people walk in your door," said Kempf.

The company does a lot of work with construction companies.

"Doing new build out for A.D.A Compliant signage, Way Finding, braille and raised letterings, things like that."

Mountain dog also does vehicle wraps.

"Every time you drive around town, your car is on. It's always a constant marketing campaign," explained Kempf.

And with Steve's background Fairchild Air Force Base has been a natural partner.

"27 years in the service, I think we have a heart for our military families around here," said Kempf.

After consulting with a client about what they're looking for in a sign,

"We present it to our graphic designers, who are brilliant, and they come up with a wonderful concept," said Kempf.

Once the client approves the proof, the sign goes into production.

"It's printed and laminated and mounted on some sort of a substrate," explained Kempf. "And generally, it'll be installed in whatever location the client needs it to be."

Mountain dog says it grew by 70-percent last year, and is hoping for more of the same in 2014.

"As long as we can be contributing and helping people and watching businesses grow, that's kind of what it's all about for us," said Kempf