The Yard Sign that Went Viral
When West University resident Robyn Goldstein designed a yard sign thanking frontline workers, she thought a handful of her friends would purchase one. Turns out, she was off by a zero – and then some.
The lawyer and mother-of-two has already sold well over 1,000 yard signs, raising money that she will donate to non-profit Brighter Bites, which provides healthy food to families in need. In just over a week since she designed the sign – which features characters representing different types of frontline workers – it has gone way beyond Robyn’s friend circle, reaching people in 27 states plus Washington D.C.
“At this point, I don’t even know the people who are ordering [the signs],” says Robyn. “We are constantly fulfilling orders. I don’t have any intentions of shutting it down soon.”
Robyn’s idea to create the sign stems from her desire to recognize the frontline and essential workers who have been risking their lives every day during the coronavirus pandemic. “For me personally, I’ve lived by the philosophy that you tell people who help you, ‘thank you,’” she says.
Walking around the neighborhood with her family – husband Brian and children Emma, 8 and Austin, 6 – Robyn noticed that many neighbors have been using yard signs to acknowledge accomplishments. Homes with high school seniors, for instance, feature signs congratulating the graduating student; other yards display cardboard cutouts for milestones like birthdays and anniversaries.
Robyn drew from that idea to design a unique yard sign thanking frontline workers. Using a drawing app she downloaded on her iPad, Robyn illustrated depictions of different frontline workers including medical professionals, police officers and firefighters.
“I tried to make sure I covered all different types of professionals,” said Robyn. “I think we included a little bit of everyone.” The image includes seven different characters who represent a broad range of workers: medical professionals, sanitation/factory/maintenance workers, mail carriers and delivery workers, doctors, grocery store/essential store employees, firefighters and police/security officers.
As soon as Robyn shared the illustration on her social media accounts, messages began pouring in from friends wanting to purchase the signs. People started sending her money before she had even created a website to set up the ordering system.
“I was one of the first ones to get one, and then it kind of exploded,” said Robyn’s friend Kaitlyn King, who’s a history teacher at St. John’s School. “It’s just this crazy word-of-mouth thing.”
After Kaitlyn posted a photo of the sign on her Instagram, she says her friends in Nashville, where she used to teach, put orders in.
Through the website, yardpeeps.com, people can now order the signs for $20 and have them shipped directly to their home. Locally, customers can pick up the yard signs from Robyn’s home, or other designated pick-up points. Robyn says there have been “ambassadors” in several cities who have placed bulk orders and facilitated pick-ups in their towns.
While Robyn never predicted how widespread her signs would reach, her friends say the creativity of the design, coupled with the human desire to help, makes them so appealing.
“I think people just want to help. That’s the human condition,” says Kaitlyn. “This was a great way to support an organization that is feeding families in need while also thanking the workers. It’s kind of like solidarity. It’s a way for us to unify under that same message, that we’re all in this together.”
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