Faces of Fairfax City: Fastsigns
Faces of Fairfax City is celebrating Women’s History Month through the month of March. As part of the Women’s History Month edition, Faces of Fairfax City will highlight women-owned and women-managed businesses in the city. The series is part of a larger month-long social campaign, “Celebrating Women in Business” by the EDA and the Commission for Women that spotlights Fairfax City’s woman entrepreneurs.
For our third Faces of Fairfax City – Women’s History Month edition, we are featuring Fastsigns. Cleopatra, the owner of Fastsigns – Fairfax began her passion in visual communications over 17 years ago while being inspired on a college trip to a Fastsigns center through her graphic design class. To this day, she uses effective and visual communication to create strategic visual and written elements to express specific messages or tell a story for her clients. Whether you’re looking for custom signs or graphic products, Fastsigns – Fairfax can help you make captivating, high-performing visuals.
Fastsigns is located in Old Town Fairfax City at 10341-a Democracy Lane, Fairfax, VA 22030.
Read more about them below.
Tell us a little about FASTSIGNS.
Fastsigns is a visual communications franchise that specializes in signage, engraving, and commercial printing. With that in mind, we have innovative solutions to whatever visual challenges you may have within your organization. From wayfinding signage which makes navigating your building or campus easier for clients, to large motivational graphics that will inspire your employees and much more. We enjoy being your visual communications partner and helping your business “make your statement”.
How many years have you been in Fairfax City and what inspired you to start your business?
Fastsigns has been a part of the Fairfax business community since 2005.
What makes your business unique to Fairfax City?
Our services are unique in that every business, large or small can use a partner such as ourselves. With over 17 years in this industry, we have earned our industry experience. We are equipped to assist with small or large projects from business cards to vehicle graphics and digital signage.
What was the biggest challenge for you as an entrepreneur, and how did you resolve it?
We’ve had two big challenges within these 17+ years that we have been in business. First, was the recession of 2008. The second is the current pandemic we are experiencing all over the world. Taking it one day at a time has been helpful and taking advantage of opportunities has helped to ease us through some difficult situations.
What advice would you give to other woman who would like to start their own business?
Honestly, the best advice is to be consistent. Should you find a niche within your business or industry that allows for growth and is sustainable, I would suggest sticking with it.
What are the pros and cons to being a female business owner?
Being a female entrepreneur can have challenges at times because we do operate in a very male dominated world. The main pro AND con, in my opinion, is the ability for others to under-estimate what we as female entrepreneurs bring to the table. Being under-estimated can unfortunately close some doors. However, when the opportunity is given to you, it allows not just for growth but to rise and exceed expectations.
What’s next for your business?
Right now, we are in the process of growing our staff and business back to “pre-COVID” numbers. Yes, it is a challenge as many other businesses are dealing with similar struggles but having gone down this road before in 2008, we have a blueprint that we can tweak to get down to business. As our new slogan for Fastsigns says, “make your statement” and we intend to do just that!
What are some of your fondest memories or biggest successes since you’ve opened?
We have been very fortunate to have been able to work with some amazing businesses and people over the last few years. While I cannot mention some of my favorites due to non-disclosures, a few have been with George Mason University, Dewberry, Capital One – Tysons Corner and L3-Harris.
Are there any fun facts you would like residents to know?
Our staff enjoys dressing up for Halloween.
When you’re not working, where in Fairfax City do you like to spend your time?
Unfortunately, since the pandemic hit, I haven’t had much luck in finding activities to do with my 13 year old daughter. Pre-COVID, we used to visit the farmers market during the summer months.
How can people follow you on social media?
You can follow us here: