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Bus.Oct.23, 2008 Solar Design, AJ Angels , Susie Vong
By Betty Morrow
Oct 23, 2008 - 10:08:40 AM

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Two Started as One
(Solar Designs and South Shore Signs)

By Julie Ball
Solar Designs was started in 1986 by Glen Gray in his parent’s garage when he was right out of high school. He was into fixing cars and soon was tinting friends’ windows and doing custom graphics. The shop is now 3,500 sq. ft. and offers a variety of services. In the beginning he did everything by hand. Now he types a few keystrokes into a computer and a precision cut is done based on the size.
This East Bay High school graduate says he just winged it and thankfully everything worked out. He now has two successful ­businesses.
Owner Glen Gray shows an example of the safety and security film at work. The film is made to keep broken glass in place and also reduce the amount of damage capable in the face of a hurricane or storm.

Solar Designs has grown since 1986 and now features other serv­ices and products such as car ­stereo setup and safety/security film. Their films offer window protection during storms and are made to keep glass in place if broken. These films are all-around useful because they reject heat, reduce outside glare and extend HVAC life. TECO has even started offering a rebate upon purchasing the film for your home because they are also energy efficient.
Tracy Cannon-Gray, Valerie Shawhan and Cheryl Russell work together to make a sign at South Shore Signs. Julie Ball Photos

In 1996 Glen decided to expand his business by adding the South Shore Signs component. Tracy Cannon-Gray runs this business which is right upstairs from Solar Designs. Glen said they ­expanded because the company was already doing vehicle ­graphics; signs ­involved the very same materials.

Tracy handles South Shore Signs as the newer entity of the business which does everything from banners, magnetic and storefront signs to custom ­logos. “Most people don’t know that we can do vehicle graphics, wraps and even boat graphics. With a new laminating machine, everything is done quickly because it is in-house,” said Tracy.

Glen Gray has settled down in Ruskin, and still has an immense interest in skydiving and motorcycles which he enjoys in his spare time. He contributes his success to luck, hard work and dedication.

Solar Designs and South Shore Signs are located at 103 College Ave. W. in Ruskin and they can be reached at (813) 645-2200. Both businesses are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment on Saturday.

AJ’s Angels Are New to Ruskin

Anthony, Jackie, and their daughter Antonay Harvin are new to Ruskin, but old hands at the daycare business. After successfully running a child care facility for eight years in Ocala, the family plans to open “AJ’s ­Angel’s” at 205 U.S. Hwy. 41 South in Ruskin later this fall.

For more infomation, call Jackie at (352) 461-9257.

Cooking Up a Storm
Suzie Vong and her husband, Bill McCracken are going to be cooking up a storm with their World of Suzie Vong Beauty Salon team on Saturday and Sunday Oct. 25-26 at St. Anne Catholic Church in Ruskin.

Patrons will receive grilled country pork ribs or ginger chicken with stir-fry veggies and white rice while St. Anne’s will receive additional dollars for its building fund.
Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at St. Anne Catholic Church after services or at the beauty ­salon, located across from the Home Depot in Ruskin.
These special meals will be available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday; and from 1 to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are limited so purchase yours today.

For more information call 813-634-5552 or 813-633-8713.

© Copyright 2008 by The Observer News Publications and M&M Printing Company, Inc.

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