Pilot and author, Mark Bernegger, is no stranger to the business world. Having founded and grown an outdoor products company for over twenty years, it is not surprising he promptly started up another business, LifeSigns, after deciding to sell his original business.
Officially opened as of early fall 2022, LifeSigns was created when Mark and fellow pilot, Walt, who is passionate about airplanes, noticed an intriguing sign hanging on the wall as a decoration in the aviation-themed restaurant they were dining in. Knowing Mark dabbled in metal projects, Walt asked if Mark thought he could make him a similar, airplane-themed sign in a metal version, and Mark told him he could.
The creation of that first themed sign for Walt led to another co-worker requesting one that aligned with his passion, golf. From there, the light bulb went off for Mark. “I know people who are [passionate] about horses, turkey hunting, fishing, etc., and it snowballed from there into 16 designs with more in development,” says Mark.
“LifeSigns are beautiful, handcrafted pieces of artwork that showcase what you are passionate about,” says Mark. He can, literally, take “Your Life, Your Passion” and create a beautiful decoration that breaks down whatever you are enthusiastic about into words describing that particular lifestyle: faith, sports, the beach, horses, careers, etc. LifeSigns are eye-catching ways to let friends, family, and clients see what is important to you. These 12”w x 38”h signs make gorgeous additions to any home, office, or barn. “The hammered copper finish and black lettering with special graphics make them true conversation pieces,” Mark states. LifeSigns are not simply decorations; they are truly unique pieces of art.
LifeSigns are made in two parts, Mark explains. The front is 16 gauge metal and the letters are plasma, or laser cut. That piece is then painted front and back with a hammered copper paint. The back is a combination of aluminum and acrylic composite. The two halves are then aligned and holes are drilled for the hardware. They are then bolted together with decorative bolts, washers, and nuts. The final step is to add a wire for hanging on the back and finishing it off with a merchandising label and contact information. Each unit is assembled by hand in West Point, Mississippi, and all the items used in manufacturing are sourced from either Miss. or Tenn.
Although not a horse owner himself (Mark jokes he is the proud owner of a “Minnesota Quarter Horse”), his sister, who is a horse owner, inspired him to create an equestrian-themed LifeSign. It is no secret many Mid-South equestrians take pride in their love for the horse world. What better way to show your passion for all things horsey? For all the cowboys and cowgirls out there, Mark has a rodeo-themed version.
Mark has presented his appropriately themed LifeSigns to Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Tunnels to Towers for consideration for use in their organizations.
When asked what he hopes for as far as the future of LifeSigns goes, Mark explains the next stage of LifeSigns will be Welcome Signs, a smaller version of the original LifeSign. These Welcome Signs will be perfect for hanging near the door. Still made from beautiful, hammered copper finish with black trim, the smaller Welcome Signs do not have the terminology associated with the theme as their larger LifeSigns counterparts do.
Currently Mark is producing 16-17 variations of his LifeSigns, but plans to expand the line in the future to include holidays and other themes. To see his work in person, stop by his vendor booth at the Germantown Charity Horse Show, June 6-10, 2023. He also plans on having a booth set up at Celebration Village in Tupelo, Miss., October 18-21, 2023.
LifeSigns is completely run by Mark. On his website ( https://lifesignslife.com ) there are examples of work from all kinds of passions and hobbies. Mark can take orders over the phone or email: (662) 295-5702 or email Mark at LifeSignLife@gmail.com.