Sign artist’s business expands

A local artist, mother is now licensed to make Cougar themed signs, last year’s football season inspired her


JESSICA HARJA | The Daily Evergreen

Tianna Kendall, a hand-painted sign artist who runs her business from her home, describes how her sign-making went from just a hobby to becoming licensed by WSU.

MARCO MCCRAY, Evergreen reporter

Tianna Kendall, the owner and founder of Tianna’s Hand Painted Signs, is a wife and stay-at-home mom with two children and has been making and selling her signs for about a year now.

She first came up with the idea during WSU’s last football season. It started out as more of a hobby, and she didn’t initially intend for it to be a business, Tianna said.

She started by making a sign for her own house in the Pullman area, and when her friends noticed, they wanted one for themselves. As time passed, Tianna said, the demand for her signs increased as they gained popularity within her friend group via word of mouth.

“I just get such a great sense of satisfaction when I give these signs to people,” she said. “The smiles on their faces warms my heart.”

Her signs are painted onto flat pieces of wood and the sizes range, but they are often a couple feet in width or length, depending on letter orientation. Her signs are typically themed around special occasions, families and sports, but she can also make products like wine holders. She takes custom orders, and prices vary by sign.

Eventually, Tianna told her husband she thought this hobby could potentially turn into a business. Her husband, Brandon Kendall, a state trooper, suggested she try her luck selling her signs at one of WSU’s tailgates.

Tianna made 10 signs and within two hours of being at the tailgate she sold out, she said. After her first successful tailgate she tried again at a couple more and got the same positive feedback, and then business took off.


JESSICA HARJA | The Daily Evergreen
Tianna’s children, Tyson and Makenna, often help sell the signs at tailgates or around the neighborhood.

Prior to owning Tianna’s Hand Painted Signs, she worked as a dental assistant. It has always been important to Tianna that she work with employers who can provide flexible hours. This ensures she can take care of her children and other responsibilities, because her husband’s schedule is constantly changing.

Through creating these signs, Tianna has given herself the freedom to be involved in her children’s lives by volunteering and not missing any sports or other significant events because of work.

Brandon said the business has positively impacted the family

“I’m so proud of Tianna for starting her own business and being a terrific mother and wife,” he said.

Tianna has recently finished her six-month collegiate licensing process through IMG College Licensing to be able to use the WSU logo on her signs, she said.

Tianna’s Hand Painted Signs products can be found on websites like Facebook and Etsy. She also sells her work at craft and boutique shows throughout the Palouse where her art is available on-sight, such as the upcoming Beasley Craft Fair on Oct. 27 and 28.

What makes the product unique is that each sign is hand-painted, homemade and has the same quality as a sign you would find in any retail store, Tianna said.

“I put an effort and love into every single sign,” Tianna said, “and I make sure that that product is what I would put in my own house.”

Tianna said she hopes for the business to grow and eventually become large enough to require an employee or even a boutique shop.