Fru-Art Company was established in 1955 by Roy and Ray Fruit. The twin brothers started the company in a Dekalb barn. Roy and Ray recall the barn having more boards off the building than on, and they had to nail up samples of their work in order to keep out the cold winds. Their rent for the barn was a large sum of $15 per month. Roy and Ray recall their first fling at the sign business with an elf-like twinkle in their eyes. They both studied art at the Atlanta School of Art (now, Georgia State University) when a furniture company called the school to employ students to paint flowers on the back of dining room chairs. At 20 cents per flower, the two were becoming so skilled at the intricate work that they decided to try and do the job by the silk screen process. A method by which paint is pressured through pure silk, speeding up the work tremendously and giving the signs or pictures more uniformity. They were so successful that they started turning out colorful flowers so fast at 20 cents a piece, and completing jobs in minutes which had normally taken hours.
The Korean War put a stop to the prosperity for the twins when they received Uncle Sam’s invitation to participate in the war. Roy and Ray both served with the Second Infantry Group. Ray came out unscathed, but Roy was wounded and received the Purple Heart. The favor for the Air Force recruiters was more than repaid one day though when the servicemen came to the young men and asked if they would like to bid on a ‘BIG’ painting job for the Air Force. While such contract work is usually given only to a recognized company, enlisted men sometimes were much more efficient at cutting through red tape than their superiors. So Roy and Ray placed a bid along with some of the big companies in the business and were surprised when they were told they had the job.
Only problem was – the two didn’t have the $1,000 they needed for materials. An Atlanta bank saw promise in the enterprising pair though and advanced the needed money to begin work on the job. From that moment on, the two moved forward and upward and at 32, Roy and Ray gave the impression to anyone that there was no limit to their possibilities. Roy was in charge of production and Ray handled sales and contract work.
Over the last few decades, the company has continued to move to larger quarters at regular intervals and has since been turned over to Rays son, Kevin Fruit. Making Fru-Art Company the longest running Silk Screen Business in the Atlanta area for more than 50 years!
After many years of work in the silk screen business, Roy and Ray turned the business over to Rays son, Kevin Fruit. Kevin has owned the business for over two decades and continues to strive for perfection just like his father and uncle. Kevin has since moved the business out of Decatur to Lawrenceville, where the business has resided for over 10 years.
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