Building a business from scratch can have its advantages, especially when it comes to creative freedom. Just ask Mike Moreth.
Moreth, of Valparaiso, is owner of Simko Signs, and has used his graphic design education as the springboard for sign design that the company has created for businesses such as Aftermath Cidery and Ivy Tech. He, and the business, have come a long way.
“When I first started, I was working out of a tiny garage and it wasn’t ideal,” Moreth said. “I eventually found this garage, and it was close to home, so it was great for a work-life balance. I think we are exactly where we need to be though and can do some great work.”
Owning his own business and providing custom work allows for lots of creative freedom. Moreth’s favorite part is seeing the result of his work.
“I love being able to see my designs done and being used, "Moreth said. “It gives me a really good feeling to know people like and appreciate that work that I put in.”
When it comes to creating, Moreth draws inspiration from his own artistic vision, but also enjoys working within customer expectations.
“Sometimes it can be challenging, but it gives us the chance to help each other come up with something we are both happy with,” Moreth said. “I try to give them as many options as possible and find the right thing that they are looking for.”
Moreth started out old school, at a very young age.
“I used to spend hours on Microsoft paint as a kid,” Moreth said. “My favorite thing to do was draw Spider-Man, I think it was some of my best work.”
When not working, Moreth does as much as he can to help give back to the community. He and his co-workers at Simko help organizations like United Way and Ivy Tech with fundraisers and other events. Moreth would like to do more for the community but thinks he is headed in a good direction.
“I think these are great for us because they help build connections and help us be active in the community," Moreth said. “We are always on the lookout for more ways to help and are excited to see what else we can do.”
In his free time, Moreth is into board games like Risk and Catan. At work, he’s known to occasionally break out the ukulele. He has only been playing for a year but can already play more than a dozen songs.
“I was able to teach myself with YouTube videos,” Moreth said. “I also played the guitar in college and that gave me a leg up when learning.”
Moreth also has a bit of a travel bug and has grand visions of going to Scotland and Ireland. For now, though, he’s right where he needs to be.
“Most of my family is here, so I don't want to go anywhere,” Moreth said. “This is my favorite place. I hope saying that doesn't make other towns mad,” he joked.