Madison resident Sharon Carter had no idea that attending a relative’s high school graduation in Tennessee would lead to an idea that would set her on a fast track to growing an explosive business alongside her close friend Brandi Russell.
The dynamic duo of friends along with their husbands are the proud owners of Huntsville Glow, a small business that is new to the scene but that has already elevated a countless number of events with head-turning letters that are nearly impossible to miss.
Carter says that the idea to bring Huntsville Glow to life stemmed back to viewing similar letters on a football field after the aforementioned graduation in May 2021.
“I noticed that they had these numbers on the football field that wrote out ‘2021’ with balloons all over it, and I couldn’t believe that there was a line of people stretching the entire length of the football field waiting to taking pictures with it!”
Carter and Russell had been throwing around business ideas to venture into together now that their kids were older and more independent, and when Carter saw the crowd around the lit-up numbers on the field, she knew they could make something like that happen in North Alabama.
Also immediately, Carter and Russell had a business meeting with their husbands Doug and Landon, who “lovingly agreed to be our production team”, jokes Carter. The four of them named the business Huntsville Glow, and then everyone got to work. Doug and Landon began working around the clock creating 4′ lit-up letters while Sharon and Brandi began working on the administrative side of the house.
By September 2021, just four months later, Huntsville Glow was arriving to set up at their very first event. They spelled the word “CARNIVAL” for Boeing, and these two friends-turned-business partners have been running 100 mph ever since!
The Carters and Russells are incredibly proud of the portfolio that they have built so fast with letters and numbers that have been built right here in their Madison garages.
All standard letters and numbers are an impressive 4′ tall with classic toppers such as “THE” and “MR&MRS” that stand 2′ tall.
They also have a few custom projects that they’ve completed such as a 6′ American flag.
When asked how customers can get set up with securing Huntsville Glow at their next event, Russell says that they’ve made the inquiry part incredibly easy. Simply fill out this “request a quote” form and then Russell or Carter will contact you as soon as possible with a quote for your event. Interested customers are invited to share the exact wording they would like at their event, or they’re welcome to share that they have no idea what they’d like spelled and simply describe the event themselves. Carter and Russell are happy to come up with a few wording suggestions and include those in one’s quote.
If you decide to move forward, they’ll share with you the next steps regarding reserving your date and paying your deposit, and then you simply wait for Huntsville Glow to light up your event.
Russell says that letters and numbers from Huntsville Glow are typically rented for 24 hours, though they are happy to work around your schedule.
“Everything we do is customer-driven,” she shares. “We try to make everything as accommodating as we can.”
“What I enjoy a lot is the creative process in helping people decide what word or phrase would get the messaging across in the environment they’re striving for,” says Carter. “It’s also really fun when people are so excited about our letters but don’t fully understand how massive they are!”
Many customers will say that Huntsville Glow is what completely sets apart their event.
The letters and numbers are lit-up with LED bulbs which means they are safe for children to be around; They never get hot!
Though most clients request that Huntsville Glow set up and tear down the letters for them, others take advantage of the option to pick up, set up, and return the letters themselves.
“We will only travel a certain distance, so many clients will come to pick up the letters themselves since they really want them at their event.”
Both Russell and Carter share that this option has been a crowd-pleaser for many. A client most recently came to pick up the letters for an event in Guntersville; This option worked perfectly!
When asked what Brandi is enjoying the most about operating Huntsville Glow, she says that she “loves people in general. I love being a part of events throughout the city, especially when everybody is super excited to have us.”
Sharon agrees and says that “we just love being a part of people’s memories. These are the good times in life: the celebrations, the weddings, just all of the good things in life. It’s really an honor and a huge blessing to be a part of those.”