Meet the Team: Andie Applegate
Name: Andie Applegate
Title: Office and Sales Admin Director
Role: Managing the office staff. Onboarding and training new employees (lots of on-the-job training). Facilitating high-volume sales with a wide variety of clients.
Unofficial Titles and Role: Wearer of many hats. De Facto Executive Assistant to the Owner, Scott Snoyer. Taking care of business (TCB) and making sure everyone’s following procedures and doing their jobs.
A Big Visual Group employee since 2003, Andie has truly seen the company grow up, and having started at Big Visual at the age of 19, she’s grown up in the company as well. Laughing, she says that owners Scott and Debbie Snoyer often declare, “We got her young and raised her right.” This accounts for why she pretty much knows all of the ins and outs of the business and what everyone’s job entails.
Comparing the early days of Big Visual to the current growth, she explains: “When we started, we were in a building that was about 2,800 square feet. Now we’re in a 40,000-square-foot space. There were only nine employees. Now there are 55. It still feels like a family-oriented business, but we’re not exactly a mom-and-pop shop anymore.”
“When I started, we had two full-color printers,” recalls Andie. “They were loud and reeked due to the solvent ink used. The largest banner we could produce at that time was limited to 6 feet. Now we can produce16-foot banners in one piece, and we have the technology to piece multiple panels together without having a visual seam — meaning we’re basically limitless in size capability compared to 2003.”
On how she sells Big Visual Group to prospective clients, Applegate says: “I tell them we’re a one-stop shop. Since we do it all in-house, we don’t have to rely on outside vendors whose quality, customer service or turnaround time may not be up to snuff. We offer small format, large format, grand format, architectural signage and vehicle graphics all under one roof. Having it all done in the same place gives you greater consistency with your brand.”
There’s never a dull moment at Big Visual, with printers constantly whirring, vehicles getting wrapped, fabrics being sewn, and projects for branding and signage across so many different industries. “We’re very diverse, and that’s what a lot of us at Big Visual like about it. It’s not spitting out the same product over and over. We can quite literally make and sell whatever we put our minds to.”
Andie goes on to describe one perfect example of the diversity of projects and the creative problem-solving prowess of Big Visual. Taylor Swift wanted to purchase a life-size cutout of Abraham Lincoln for a birthday party. She needed a quick 2-3 hour turnaround but didn’t have an image. After some hesitation due to the turnaround time and design services needed, we went for it and were able to successfully pull it off. Her people who came to pick it up brought us a few gifts and said Taylor was pleased we were able to make it happen.” (Andie has an autographed picture).
Commenting on the overall work environment at Big Visual, Andie says, “I genuinely love the people I work for (and with) and the creative aspect of the business. The owners allow flexibility so we’re not tied to our desks, and also make it fun for us. They care about us as employees and people, which is why many of us have been here so long.”