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Window Signs, Banners, Decals: Ezra Tillman Is Joliet's Sign Guy

Patch logo Patch 1/26/2022 John Ferak
Ezra Tillman is CEO and creative director for his Joliet sign and apparel company called Top 5 Percent. With business growing, he moved to 121 Springfield Ave. in October 2020. © John Ferak/Joliet Patch Ezra Tillman is CEO and creative director for his Joliet sign and apparel company called Top 5 Percent. With business growing, he moved to 121 Springfield Ave. in October 2020.

JOLIET, IL — After three-and-a-half years at 1256 West Jefferson St., Ezra Tillman realized he needed a lot more space for his growing Joliet sign and custom apparel store, Top 5 Percent. Since October 2020, Tillman has been open in Unit 110 at 121 Springfield Ave. He's just down the street from St. Joe's hospital, and he likes the new location.

"I like the visibility, and now we have our own individual storefront," Tillman told Joliet Patch.

At his former location on Jefferson Street, Top 5 Percent had barely 600 square feet of space. Now, Tillman has 1,100 square feet.

If you aren't familiar with Tillman's company, Top 5 Percent, you're surely familiar with some of his clients: Louie's Waffle House, Joliet Slammers, Popus Gourmet Popcorn, The Forge, Housing Authority of Joliet and Home Cut Donuts.

"We do a lot of restaurants and a lot of truckers because we install the semi truck graphics and car graphics, but mainly truck drivers and a lot of restaurants," Tillman said.

Top 5 Percent makes table runners, table cloths, custom clothing, decorate apparel, vinyl lettering for semi-trailers, yard signs, business signs, vehicle decals, vehicle magnets, window signs, banners, posters and wall signs.

"We consider ourselves a one-stop shop, and we do everything in house," Tillman said. "A lot of local businesses come to us. We've been in business about four-and-a-half years."

Top 5 Percent is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Tillman takes great pride in being a military veteran-owned business.

A large percentage of Top 5 Percent's sales come from outside Illinois.

"We just shipped an order to Arizona for a basketball team," Tillman said. "For some reason, we get a lot from Arizona and Tennessee. I don't know why those two states."

In the coming weeks, Tillman said he's hoping to launch another business "in this shop."

"So hopefully in February, we have the new business up and running," he remarked.

In 2020, Joliet Patch profiled Tillman and Top 5 Percent for a small-business feature when Top 5 Percent was still on West Jefferson Street. Tillman and his wife have lived in the Joliet-Plainfield area for more than 20 years.

Top 5 Percent handles sublimation printing, digital printing, laser printing, screen printing as well as embroidery work.

Tillman said he has another two years on his current lease for 121 Springfield Ave.

"We like the location," he said. "It will be good to outgrow it. So time will tell."

Top 5 Percent's business phone is 815-349-8600. To learn more, check out the Joliet apparel and signage shop's website.

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