Dennin Winser has worked in the food service industry for almost his entire professional life in both front and back of house roles. Most recently, he was a line cook at Hunky Dory and Tørst in Brooklyn, but like many other restaurant workers, he was laid off in April during the current crisis. Even while working in restaurants, Winser was an artist who created signs for businesses all over the city; he knew first hand the power signs can have on a customer's interest in entering a restaurant—a marketing tool that perhaps has never been so important during this fraught time for the industry.
Inspired by the signs seen at the protests over the past few weeks, Winser was looking for a way to contribute and begun offering his signmaking-services to Black-owned businesses free of charge. “A hand-painted sign says something about the business it belongs to. It says that the people inside care about craft and quality. It humanizes the space, especially in a giant metropolis like New York that's drenched in mass produced vinyl letters,” he shares with Time Out New York.
But for Black-run small businesses, there are already so many barriers to entry that spending money on signage isn't always a top priority. Winser wanted to provide a useful service and encourages anyone in need of the pro-bono signmaking services to get in contact with him, whether they need a sign that says “we’re open!” or something to help amplify a message at the next protest.
"As a transplant in Bed-Stuy, I believe it is my obligation to support my neighborhood. Right now, that means supporting small, local, Black-owned, businesses. If that describes yours or a friend's business, and you or they would be interested in a free hand-painted sign, shoot me a DM, I got you," he wrote on Instagram.
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