Three Hometown Entrepreneurs join forces.

By ANGEL KANE

How many times have you heard the words …“You’ll have to go to Nashville for that”? Although Wilson County is growing by leaps and bounds there are times when it appears certain services are not available locally. But appearances are deceiving, and each and every day new businesses are opening their doors in the area.

WLM - Todd Lester, Marcia Jackson & Michelle WeitzelOne such business is located on West Main Street (behind Dunkin’ Donuts) in Lebanon. The company is a partnership between three local professionals who realized their services were enhanced by joining forces. Todd Lester, Michelle Weitzel and Marcia Jackson are all names you may have heard of before. Each of them has established a reputation for providing quality work in their respective industry, but a few years ago they merged under one roof.

Todd, a native of Lebanon, graduated from Lebanon High School and ITT Tech with an associate’s degree in computer aided drafting. Since 1990 Todd has been in the business of drafting and printing plans for architects, engineers, contractors and estimators. In 2007, he opened Lester Digital Reprographics in Wilson County.

“I wanted to work closer to home,” said Todd. My wife Amanda and I have two children, Peyton and Olivia, and we both work full-time. I was ready to open my own business after learning so much about my trade from the best of the best in Nashville. Together we decided the place to start this venture was in our hometown of Lebanon.

Todd’s list of local projects is impressive. “I’ve worked on the new Lebanon High School, Winfree Bryant Middle School, Permobil, Wilson Bank & Trust, Amazon / Project Tango, UMC Patient Tower, Wilson County Motors, The Pavillion at Clermont, First Freedom Bank and Cedarstone Bank, to name just a few. I’ve also worked on numerous church and residential projects and, of course, I do work outside of Wilson County as well, on projects such as Opry Mills and Nissan.

“Being that I was a draftsman has also helped my printing business. Often building plans come across my desk, and because I know what I am looking at, I can immediately spot a problem. Customers have really come to appreciate my ability to spot mistakes that can be corrected before they leave our office. Plenty of places make copies, but I make prints. There is a big difference.”

Todd also noted that “one of the most interesting parts of my work is that I offer an online plan room which is something usually only offered in bigger cities. This allows users to view and order paper or electronic plans right from my website. It also has an invite to bid feature which works well for general contractors trying to get their project information out to subcontractors. I have found that local general contractors value being able to use this service because it makes their work life much easier.”

“The work I do is very interesting,” Todd reflected. “I truly enjoy being part of Wilson County’s growth. Even with the slower economy in recent years, Wilson County has continued modest growth, and recently I’ve noticed more projects coming in the door. It makes me think we are really going to be busy in 2012 with new building projects, and I am glad to be part of that.”

In 2010, Todd expanded his business to include Michelle Weitzel, whose business Printastik Designs is now a division of Lester Digital Reprographics. Michelle was raised in Mt. Juliet and Lebanon and, like Todd also graduated from Lebanon High School. After high school, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from MTSU and studied abroad in Italy. She laughed when she relayed that in high school she worked for Mary Ann Denney with the Ivy Wreath and “at the time she owned West Main Liquor and hired me to paint the mural in the store. It’s the mural that is still there today.”

Art and graphic design has been her passion for many years. “After college, I did some freelance artwork and graphic design and eventually found myself in another print shop. A friend of mine heard Todd was looking to add to his business so that he could provide his client’s with more services. We met and immediately clicked. We both have children, and so Todd understood it was important for me to find balance between my work and my time being a mom to my daughter Chloe. Partnering with Todd has allowed me the opportunity to expand my design business into areas I never imagined I would be part of. It was definitely a good move, and I have been thrilled to be doing what I love in my hometown.”

When not working with Todd, Michelle works with many clients on logo design, advertisement design, preparing brochures, invitations and large format printing and much more.

“I recently redesigned the Wilson County Fair logo that will be seen in next year’s promotions. I am really proud of that work and how well it represents our area. I have also recently designed the logo for John Blackwell’s new company that can be seen all over town. You can also see my ad designs throughout Wilson Living Magazine as I often design ads for your customers!” she laughed again.WLM - At work in the print shop

“Designing ads and logos is probably what I really like doing the most. I enjoy taking a client’s thoughts and designing an ad that will bring them the most exposure. I am thrilled when I see my ads on billboards or newspapers or when a client calls to tell me how an ad has helped their business. Not everyone gets to work in an area that they truly enjoy so I know I am blessed.”

Another aspect of what Michelle does comes into play with third partner, Marcia Jackson and her business known as Home Space Designs. Marcia joined the company in 2008, after having been an established residential home designer for the past 33 years. Many of you know Marcia because she designed the plans to your home. She is known for approaching home design with a balance of creativity and functional space planning.

Marcia explained, “My work is primarily focused on homes and additions in Wilson County. For many years, I worked alone, out of my house, so it was great to move in with Todd and Marcia because I finally had company! Working from home had suited me well when my children were young, but they’ve grown up now, and I felt it was time for me to expand.”

Marcia has designed a variety of beautiful homes in the area including many in Five Oaks, Kensington and Southwinds, as well as many custom homes on private properties featured in this magazine. “I always love looking at your magazine and seeing a home I designed such as the Busby home featured a few years ago. Recently, you showcased Danny Stewart’s home and Karen Green’s home, both custom house plans I created with the homeowners. In fact, what I love most about seeing the homes in the magazine is that sometimes I don’t get to see the final product. I know that the client built the home but don’t often get to see how they decorated it. So it’s fun to take a peak inside one of my completed designs,” noted Marcia.

When working with her clients, Marcia said, “The first meeting usually takes about two hours because it’s vital for me to have as much information as possible to start a custom plan. While custom home builds may have been slow in recent years, Marcia finds many people have instead wanted renovations and additions. “But, recently, I’ve seen a resurgence in custom homes projects again. People have been waiting, trying to decide if it’s a good time to build, and it’s my impression that the tide is starting to turn. Rates are good, and land prices are lower and quite a few people have called me recently to begin new plans. I’m excited about staying busy in 2012 because designing a family’s dream home is my passion. I enjoy it as much as they do!”

The most unusual aspect of Marcia’s services is the “artful” hand drafting technique that she uses which allows her client’s to have a lifelike rendering of their new home. And when she is done with her work, Michelle offers a service of preparing color renderings to the exteriors, which are helpful to clients in their selection of material and finish colors. The project often ends in Todd’s hands who will take the plans and put them in a printerfriendly format so that the homeowner can begin shopping the plans to various builders.

It’s a perfect team – and no one had to drive to Nashville to find them!


Todd Lester
LESTER DIGITAL REPROGRAPHICS
1633 West Main Street, Suite 900
Lebanon, TN 37087
615-443-3033
www.ldrepro.com; www.ldrplanroom.com
Email: print@LDRepro.com

Michelle Weitzel
PRINTASTIK DESIGNS
1633 West Main Street, Suite 900
Lebanon, TN 37087
615-547-9801
www.printastikdesigns.com
Email: print@printastikdesigns.com

Marcia Jackson
HOME SPACE DESIGNS
1633 West Main Street, Suite 900
Lebanon, TN 37087
615-444-5741 • 615-477-3071
Email: homespacedesigns@hotmail.com

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