From cups to boats, the Boss knows best

Last year, Buddy Johnston and fiancé Franchesca were miserable in Tallahassee. Johnston, who spent his summers in the Keys lobstering and fishing, knew where he wanted to be – Marathon. “Tallahassee wasn’t somewhere where we wanted to raise our family,” said Franchesca, holding their 10-month-old daughter Anastasia Bella.

With Buddy’s background in sales, and family in the sign business for the past 23 years, and Franchesca’s background in design, Marathon Sign Boss was born.

Marathon Sign Boss specializes in a long list of promotional signage and supplies, from business cards and magnets, to T-shirts, stickers and letters, and concentrates in custom-designed signage, from boat and vehicle wraps to LED signs.

From taking old signs around Marathon and rejuvenating them, like Sunset Grille’s sign by the 7 Mile Bridge, to new signs at Royal Furniture, Buddy says, “LED is the lighting of the future.” They can replace old signs with new LED lights, which save money on electricity, last longer, and are brighter. They can also start from scratch. They are currently in the process of redoing all the signs at the Winn-Dixie plaza on Big Pine Key.

Their specialty lately has been boat and vehicle wraps. But, that’s not all that they wrap – they can also wrap paddleboards, coolers, and the popular Yeti cups. “A friend brought in a picture of her lobster she caught last mini season, and we turned it into a Yeti wrap,” said Buddy. They have samples of wraps in their store, but love designing and customizing new ones. A Yeti wrap costs $19.95 on your own cup; they also have Yeti cups in the store. Wrapping on vehicles and boats run from $15 to $27.50 a square foot.

Marathon Sign Boss is also one of very few authorized Sea Dek dealers in the Keys. “It’s a lot easier to wash and maintain,” said Franchesca. “And, it is completely customizable. “We’ve done everything from boat decking to paddleboards and tops of coolers,” she said.

“Right now, we are soaking in the slower pace of Marathon and love it here,” said Buddy, who was gearing up for mini season and the first week of lobster season. That is, after all, the reason the two chose Marathon to raise their family. They just redesigned their pontoon boat and added a second level – next step, add the wrap – a mahi design Franchesca came up with.

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