Ken and Russell with first ever Tubular Sign prototype, only months after they first talked about the idea!
The sign allows for an easy extension to incorporate sign riders. (In case you were wondering!)
Stay tuned, more to follow!
As a person who grew up in SW Missouri it has been very important to me that I give back to the community. I was a high profile Real Estate Broker in Branson Mo. for 33 years. I graduated from Reed Spring High School. I helped raise the 160 million for the Branson Airport and served as the Chairman of the Board the first 3 years.
Here’s my story:
When I was 11 years old I lived with my uncle, Ray Coleman, who was the President of the Wichita Kansas Board of Realtors and also the president of the Wichita State University Shockers Booster Club. A week before the ribbon cutting to dedicate the WSU new football stadium, I was out helping My uncle Ray put out open House signs. As he took a sign out of the back of his new Cadillac I noticed he was being extremely careful. I asked him why he had a blanket wrapped around the Real Estate sign. He told me they scratch his car easily; seems like every time he took it out of his trunk. He went on to tell me it was one of the only things he really didn’t care for much in the Real Estate business...wrestling with signs...putting on name riders...nuts and bolts...storing them somewhere...they get all scratched up...and hard to put into the ground. He said, "Kenny someday probably soon someone will redesign the Real Estate Sign." I never forgot that moment...For many reasons.
One week later right after my Uncle Ray and the Mayor used the big scissors at the big Ribbon cutting. He turned to me and said you’re going with me to the first football game of the season in Utah. I was very excited. I was getting to go in three days with the 'A' string team, coaches and my Uncle to a WSU football game.
Just after I boarded the Plane, I looked out the window and saw my mother pull up in her car. She had just landed in another plane at the Airport and found out I was about to leave and she wanted to say goodbye. I got off the plane for a moment to say goodbye. She noticed I had a pretty bad cough. As I went back up the ladder she called out to me...she wanted to talk to me again. She told me she didn’t want me to go. She said it’s called a mothers premonition...She said another time. I was so disappointed of course. My Aunt, who had brought us, took my place last minute on the private flight.
Two hours later the plane crashed in the Utah Mountains and all but two died, including my Uncle and Aunt. That night my family stayed up but I slept on my Uncle and Aunts Bed. 3pm in the morning I awoke looked at the alarm clock by the bed. And there stood my Uncle clear as if he had not left. I said, "Uncle Ray you died". He said yes I am. I said, "what I will do the rest of my life, who will I get advice from and talk to". He said I will always be with you, talk to me as you normally would anytime, I’m right over your right shoulder.
The next morning I awoke and went downstairs to my Family that was having breakfast. My father asked me how all of this had affected me. I without any hesitation said I will be a Realtor when I grow up. My family thought it was cute. But the reality was I moved to Branson Mo the next year with my Family and when I celebrated my 21st birthday I became the youngest Realtor in the state of Missouri.
For the past six years, I have tried to re-invent the same sign design used by Real Estate agents for the past 75 years with zero LUCK. I tried many designs but I couldn’t get it done to the standard I was after...A sign that didn’t scratch my car...easy to put into the ground, even in ground like rocky TANEY COUNTY...Same size as the present 18"x24" size...had to work in all temperatures around the country...and collapse down to fit into a small package. I thought it should be easy…Well I was wrong. I decided to go to a higher power and pray. After two weeks a good friend of mine, a past employee, called me and said his brother-in-law from Bolivar was a Genius inventor and needed someone to help him market and sale inventions.
When I met Russell I was shocked how mature he was when I found out he was only 28 years old. When I gave him the challenge of a new real estate sign design, we decided to form a partnership on a handshake. He called me three days later and wanted to show me something. When he showed me the CAD design I was blown away...He had done it! I was so impressed WITH IT IN EVERYWAY. He explained that this was the only way to build it.
six weeks later when I was handed the completed prototype and went outside with a small group and set it up. We all stood back and looked at it...I had to hold back the emotions. I felt my uncles glee and approval. We had it...collapses to 2 inch x 2 inch x 24 inches, no need for bolts, half the weight of the old traditional signs, and stood taller...looked fantastic. I knew this was it. Now to test market the sign with Realtors for feedback.
Next step is procuring funding through Kickstarter crowd funding. We will need all the possible support we can get to pull this off. A very worthwhile cause. I cannot tell you how many new cars I ruined from real estate sign alone. After 75 years of the same design. I have found there are all kinds of company’s and industry’s using the same signs. Construction, Surveyors, Banks, Home inspections, Retail, Churches, Politicians, etc. etc…
On Jan 1st 2015 we have 60 days to raise the needed funds to change the way signs are designed. So much has changed in the real estate industry. It is amazing it has taken this many years to make the change to what was the #1 source of leads into the industry for many years...'signs'.
We need as much help to spread the word as possible…We themed the new design after the tubular shape that it is. The name TUBULAR was a natural. Also, because the average age of real estate agents in the USA is 56 years old we chose to go with the theme of the late 60s and 70s “Totally Tubular Man”. The theme of our new videos to be filmed over the next eight weeks. The videos will be professionally done and a lot of fun to watch. We are excited for everyone to see. Stay Tuned.
Tubular Signs, LLC
Tubular Signs And How It Was Developed
By Russell S. Chief Engineer and Co-Inventor of Tubular Signs, and Co-Owner of Tubular Signs LLC
It was an early day in May when I received notice that some of my family was visiting at one of my 8 sisters house in Springfield. Knowing that her husband was an experienced salesman, I thought that it might be the perfect opportunity to discuss forming a business partnership with him: I was currently looking to become an entrepreneur in product development but I was failing at selling my ideas. I had talked with him about it before but without much detail. I brought my computer and any other information that I needed to fully disclose and discuss the concept of the business. We threw ideas back and forth not really knowing how to carry out the plan. After quite some discussion, and an obvious light bulb moment from him, he looked at me in an enthusiastic voice and said, Russ!!!… I know a guy… He is by far the best salesman that I have ever seen and an absolute standup person. He was the number one real estate agent in Branson for a long time and raised the $160 million to put in a local airport for the community. He is the type of guy that if he agrees to something, you can consider it done, and this is right up his alley. Your business concept is a great idea and you need to meet with him about it…his name is Ken Coleman.!!!
A few weeks later, sitting in the office of Mr. Coleman, I proceeded to discuss the invention that I had currently prototyped. He listened to my idea while at the same time, being the salesman that he is, convinced me to design a real estate sign that could solve the issues with modern signs: something that he had been very interested in pursuing for over 30 years. He said that he had recently prayed about the sign: that someone would come into his life that could help design the sign for him to sell that would change how real estate was done around the world. It was very ironic because I had a similar experience except I was praying for someone who could sell. After meeting with Mr. Coleman a couple times I absolutely knew that he was the man for the job: It was clear that he was very capable and talented at what he did and that he was the answer I was looking for. By our third meeting we had agreed to work together and form a partnership for Tubular Signs.
WHAT LED TO THE DESIGN OF THE TUBULAR MAN SIGN
Ken and I, I think our second meeting, sat down and discussed the qualities that the sign needed to have. Ken required that the sign have the overall dimensions of the typical real estate sign. Also, it was to have absolutely no nuts and bolts that have to be takin out, and it must be easy to use and store. It must not rattle in the back of your car, and it must be lite and comfortable to carry. The next day I got to work on the designs; concept after concept until I found one that met his criteria. I quickly drew it up on a computer so he could see the design and how it functions, and emailed it to him in a word document. At first I couldn’t tell by his response whither he was happy with it or not so I had to ask a second time if he liked the idea …I was beginning to get a little nervous and I started to think that he just didn’t know how to tell me that it was a terrible design. He later called and told me that he absolutely loved it: Ken and I continued to design the sign together, critiquing it back and forth until we arrived at the final design for the Tubular Man Sign that we have today.
EXPLANATION OF THE FINAL DESIGN
The Tubular Man Sign is designed to be self-containing. We didn’t want a sign that came in several parts as individual components tend to get lost; all pieces must be permanently attached together. The rotating arm concept was used because it allows the arms (a substantially visible part of the sign) to open and close without rubbing against anything, thus preserving the paint. The extensions on the arms were necessary to give the sign its needed height for visibility. By requiring the arms to rotate 270 out of the base channel (instead of just 90) into locking position we prevented the need for pins to hold the arms from falling over. This also reduced the overall length of the stored sign and its weight. The sign was originally designed to have the vinyl roll up tightly and store inside the base channel but that was later voted against. Having the top of the stakes poke through the base channel when opening the sign was crucial for pounding the sign into the ground. The stakes peak through the top of the base channel to provide a direct hitting surface on the top of the stakes (instead of the bas channel) to create a longer lasting sign. The shape of the components were all optimized as much as possible to reduce stresses on the frame. The lack of a horizontal bar at the top, to keep the vinyl tight, required that we use a slightly larger tube for the arms so that they could withstand the torque inward created by high wind bursts against the vinyl. The stress analysis for the sign was done by hand by assuming a specific wind resistance strength: from there, the torques and forces were calculated using basic mechanics until the strength requirements of each component was known.
Tubular Signs is a startup company destined to be known as having 'signs with a difference'. Our signs utilize a patent pending design that folds in the shape of a tube for ease of use and storage.
Stay tuned to learn more about our product in the weeks and months to come as we endeavor to bring it to the marketplace.
Please share our website with friends and like our Facebook Page if you are intrigued by the innovation and want to help support us. We need everyone's support to make this dream a reality!
Thanks and God Bless,
Tubular Signs Team