WORTHINGTON -- Since he was born, Jon Harvey has known the sign business.
He started working in his father's shop years ago, doing odd jobs around Harvey's Signs.
Now, Harvey has started his own business, Harvey Sign Service.
"What the majority of what I did for 10 years was get in a bucket truck or a crane truck, go put the signs up, fix the electrical signs, the neon and fluorescents," Harvey said Friday afternoon. "That's what I wanted to bring down here. I've wanted to bring it down here for the last four years or so, but it takes time to get everything together."
His father, Rod, started in the sign business years before Jon was born.
"The thing of it is that he grew up in the sign business, me getting started at it in 1971 and him being born in '82, I was deeply embedded in the sign business," Rod said. "So he's known this business since his infancy. He pretty much understands the whole realm of things."
As soon as he was old enough, Jon was in the shop.
"I think when I was doing it then I was basically picking vinyl and painting boards and sweeping," Jon said. "I don't know that I did too much technical sign stuff right away. I got into the vinyl stuff with him. Right now and what I did in the Cities was all sign maintenance -- service, repair and installation. I came back here to kind of start up that part of it, which was the service, maintenance and installation. That's one thing a lot of people don't understand, too, is there is Harvey Sign Service. What the word service means is maintenance and repair. If your neon sign doesn't work or your lights are out, we fix it."
Jon moved to the Cities for 10 years, but always wanted to get back home to Worthington.
"I just moved back in April," he said. "I kind of moved back to join back up with the family business. I was in the sign business since I was a kid doing it with my dad. I moved up to the Cities in 2000 and worked in the sign industry up there.
"I did that for almost 10 years and then wanted to get my own truck and do my own service calls and installs and that stuff. I did that when I came back here. I came back here to be back home. I have two kids and a wife and it's nice to be back home."
With his wife, Vieng and his children, Ethan and Zoe, Jon is back working side-by-side with his father.
"What I do compliments him and what he does compliments me," Jon said. "I don't make the vinyl signs and truck lettering. He does truck lettering and the vinyl signs. I'm more of the guy that's putting it up and maybe putting it together and then maintaining it."
For Rod, he can now offer a one-stop shop for signs, from design to maintenance.
"That's a lot better because when I talk to customers and I can offer them pretty much the full line of basically from design to install to servicing their signs," Rod said. "They can look at it as more or less a one-stop shop as far as signs are concerned. Now with the ladder and everything, we can deal with a little bit more of heights. It's something that I had back in the 70s. I was a full-service sign shop. As time went on, I didn't care to do as much of the aerial-type work. With him coming back, when I was his age, that's what I was doing."
For Jon, the sign industry is what he knows, and what he loves.
"What I enjoy about it is that it's just what I've always done," Jon said. "Besides when I moved back here helping out Hagen Distributing to drive their semi for a couple months, this is the only industry I've ever been in. Ever since high school and before, but full time after high school, it's the only industry I've ever worked in."
While Jon deals mostly with signs, the ladder on his truck allows him to be more versatile with other projects -- such as yard lights on farms.
"Part of this, too, is getting to people and letting them know there is somebody who does this now," Jon said. "For the longest time they had to go through Sioux Falls. That's something I'm kind of trying to stop and let people know there is a local choice.
"When they call me for service, they get my cell phone number, so they are going to get me. They can call me and I'm the guy who is going to come fix their sign and follow up on their sign. I'm going to finish it. I'm going to be there through the whole process. It gives it more of a personal touch."
Harvey Sign Service is located at 259 Kragness Ave. in Worthington and can be reached at (612) 408-1554; it can also be found on Facebook.
Readers can reach Daily Globe community content coordinator Aaron Hagen at 376-7323.