By Lanier Laney
Beaufort native David Felver met and fell in love with Julie Moore in art class at Battery Creek High School. They shared a passion for art, creativity and camping. Yes, camping! They have now been very happily married for 21 years and have restored over 30 vintage campers. Along with their successful sign business next door, they now have one of the nation’s best custom camper restoration businesses right here on Burton Hill Road in Beaufort.
David, son of Wizard Auto Body owner Tom Felver, grew up in the vintage car restoration business with his brother Greg. Between the hot rods and car shows, David developed a passion for old things and how they could be made new again.
He and Julie didn’t have much money when they first got married, so they decided to buy an old Volkswagen camper and fix it up. Soon after they had their first child they realized they’d have to get a bigger camper. So when they sold their first camper so quickly, it gave them the idea that maybe there was a business there. Says David, “We’ve always restored campers how we like them — modern, but with a vintage feel.”
Their campers stood out at the vintage camper rallies they attended. And friends from the rallies started to ask them to help redo theirs. That grew into the Felver Design Vintage Restorations.
Right now they try and focus on one camper rehab at a time and Julie adds her fine skills as an interior designer. All the while overseeing one of Beaufort’s most successful sign companies next door. But there is a connection between the two businesses.
Shortly after getting married, they moved to Orlando where both got jobs with a top sign company as graphic artists. This started their desire to eventually open a shop of their own.
“You have to find something to make you stand out, make people remember you,” says David about their sign and camper business. He also goes on to say how they love to work with a client to make a custom sign or camper that is uniquely “about them,” a perfect match of who the person is and their final product. “The sign business is a unique opportunity to work with people growing their businesses, and the camper business allows us to work with the people when they want to get away,” says David with a smile.
They feel whether it’s creating signs or designing the interior of a client’s camper, that their art background has brought them to where they are today. They started both companies in 2007.
They have two great children — Carson, their daughter, is 15, and Dawson, their son, is 13. The kids are both currently enrolled in an online charter school. This works very well for the family due to the fact that they are on the road traveling and camping so often.
When it comes to their camper restorations, David says, “We have a passion for bringing new life to treasures from a bygone era. We see potential in all things old where others might see none. Whether it’s the romance of the open road or the intrigue of wanderlust, these vessels of yesteryear will satiate your passion for adventure.”
Julie is also a local artist. Her wonderful mixed-media shark tooth designs are currently on display at SALT Gallery on Bay Street.
Both Julie and David love Beaufort. Says David, “Beaufort has a magnetic pull with its history, culture, art and the people.”
Adds Julie, “We love our beautiful hometown of Beaufort. On our off time we enjoy spending time with our two children, (Carson and Dawson). Church, going to the beach, camping, travel, and music are also things we enjoy doing together as a family.”
Julie and David restore campers for clients as well as build spec campers to sell. But whether it is signs or campers, customization is the key, says David, as they both work hard to craft the perfect final expression of a client’s tastes and inner wishes.
If you are thinking about rebranding yourself or your business or hitting the road with your family, then consider a visit to Felver Design Studio — a sign studio marketing business with a vintage camper restoration shop right next door!
Felver Design Sign Studio is located at 10 Burton Hill Road, Unit G, Beaufort. Contact 843-846-0099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.