About Us

Story from the Fayetteville Observer by Alice Thrasher:
The catchy name of Cliff and Stephanie Overby’s graphics, sign and T-shirt printing business near Raeford comes from a previous business venture 12 years ago.
Friendly Reminders Inc. accidentally evolved into the sign and printing business.  The couple kept the name of thier first business. “After all, what is a sign but a friendly reminder?” Stephanie Overby asked.
The company has adopted the name of the FRI Graphix as well. “It’s a nickname that people around here came up with when we used to do a lot of race cars,” Cliff Overby said.
The company doesn’t put lettering on race cars as much now, but makes and attaches lettering and logos for Raeford and Taylortown police vehicles and other emergency vehicles.  They make large banners and signs for business, churches, and military units and print pictures and logos directly on T-shirts, jeans, and bags.
Most recently, the company has been printing pictures of deployed soldiers’ families onto huge vinyl banners to send to units in Iraq and other areas.  The biggest one so far was 16 feet long and 4 feet wide. It had 273 pictures on it.
Overby said he and his wife were ahead of the times when they tried unsuccessfully to launch a computerized service that could automatically call patients to remind them of medical appointments.  He said they invested more than $8,000 in equipment for that venture.
“They keep telling us that it’s all a gamble,” he said.
Overby was working with a physical therapy company at the time, helping create simulated work stations for injured workers undergoing therapy.
He helped people put together and repair computers on the side.  He still fixes computers in a corner office of the print shop.
During that time, the Overbys went to West Virginia for Cliff to help a friend with his computer. While there, Stephanie Overby watched their friend make signs.
“I saw his ability to make signs and asked to play around and make a set of magnetic signs,” she said. “I was intrigued.”
On the way home, Stephanie Overby said she told her husband that she thought she would be good at sign painting.  She had worked in customer service for North Carolina Natural Gas.
They invested $11,000 in a vinyl cutter and computer software to run the sign-making equipment and set up shop in their house in Raeford.
Later, Cliff Overby had a medical problem and was out of work.  When he got ready to go back, the company had been sold and his job was no longer available.
The couple decided to expand their home-based business.
“Stephanie had gotten a lot of customers, and we had outgrown the garage,” Overby said.
They rented a small house at first.  Five years ago, the couple rented a 2,600-square-foot building at the end of Hillcrest Plaza, a strip of offices and stores on U.S. 401 Business near Raeford.
The latest investment in the business came about accidentally, as well, Cliff Overby said.
A company that did engraving in Raeford was going out of business.  The Overbys considered buying its engraving equipment, but decided it was too expensive. In 2005, they went to a trade show for engravers and printers in Charlotte seeking information on lazer engravers. That is where they saw a vendor demonstrating a piece of equipment that would print computerized digital images directly onto T-shirts using textile dye instead of using silk screens and ink.
They demonstration hooked them.  They ordered the $38,000 computer-operated printer.
“That was a heck of a bite for us,” Cliff Overby said.
“Now we can print anything on a shirt,” he said. “We have printed jeans, underwear, socks, shirts and pillowcases, too.”
The company won the bid for hundreds of T-shirts for the Raeford Turkey Festival in the past couple of years. They print pictures on shirts for family and school reunions, weddings and as memorials. Several other T-shirt printing companies in the Fayetteville area do direct printing from digital prints, as well.
“The T-shirt machine is really catching on,” Cliff said. “It probably produced 50 percent of our income last year.”
The Overbys bring their two large Weimaraners to work every day. Angel and Maxx sleep in thier beds and get up to greet customers at times.
“We try to have a relaxed atmosphere so it can help the creativity,” Cliff Overby said.