Simply Rustic Design Studio owner Gina Greil (left) helps Arlene Rodriguez, Burlington, with a custom sign during the River’s Edge Art Walk in downtown Waterford Sept. 28. Greil opened the studio in May. (Photo by Tracy Ouellette)

Sign-making parties prove popular at new business

By Tracy Ouellette

Staff Writer

What started as a hobby when an area woman was on maternity leave has grown into a new business.

Gina Greil opened the Simply Rustic Design Studio on Main Street in downtown Waterford in May after seeing her custom sign business grow.

“I was on maternity leave and I started making signs for myself and I showed them to a girlfriend. She loved them and I asked her if she would like to have a party,” Greil said.

One private sign-making party turned into two and then “it just took off,” Greil said.

Word of mouth spread and people began booking parties at a faster pace. Greil said she realized she had something marketable going on.

“I formed an LLC, called Simple Rustic Detail and when I opened the studio, I opened it under that, calling it Simply Rustic Design Studio,” Greil said.

She added that she chose the downtown Waterford location because of high visibility, on the corner of First and Main streets.

“I was in the Waterford Chamber office, when it was still here, and just talking about possibly opening a studio in the downtown area and the chamber director said, ‘We’re moving out of here, would you be interested in this space?’ And the next thing I knew, I had a studio.”

The studio is open by appointment for private parties and Greil has Doc’s Board Night from 6 to 9 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month at Waterford’s Doc’s on the Fox restaurant for individuals and groups to make signs.

“I have over 185 stencils for them to choose from,” Greil said. “I have a stencil cutter so I can also make custom stencils for an additional charge.”

The cost of the wood signs start at $20.

“I run specials all the time, too,” Greil said. “It helps get the people in here and get the word out. Not a lot of people know I’m here yet.”

Simple Rustic Design Studio is at 102 E. Main St., Waterford. To learn more, or to sign up for a workshop or party, visit

To read the full story see the Business & Real Estate section in the Oct. 5 edition of the Waterford Post and other Southern Lakes Newspapers.