My blogging sister, Becky, over at Twisted Fencepost, had a great post a while back about what kind of job you would have if you could start your own business. You can go here to read that post. It got me to reminiscing about me & Ju’s two business ventures.
I have to first give my Aunt Ju credit because both of these businesses were her ideas and they were both good. We had SO SO SO much fun doing this.
We started a sign business called Signsations. I mean, SIGNSATIONS! Gotta get that exclamation point in there for marketing purposes, ha ha! Basically, we made signs for special occasions. You could put a sign in someone’s yard for a birthday, anniversary, etc. Our signs were way cooler than the big plastic ones that you see all the time. Our signs were handmade wooden signs. Made and painted by us. Well, I think my Aunt T helped with the painting on some of them, but point being that they were very cool and unique.
Here are some examples:
The Birthday Sign
The Birth Announcement (we also had a blue one for boys) Sorry – it’s not a great picture, but it really was the cutest thing ever! See the little baby bottle at the bottom? Well, we would actually hand paint all of the baby’s birth stats on there and then hang it on the buggy.
Welcome Home (for soldiers)
We also had a very cool Valentine’s Day sign that someone once used for a marriage proposal, but I couldn’t find a picture of it and some bells with wedding rings for anniversaries that I couldn’t find either. We had a really cute doggy paw print for people to use for their pets.
And my personal favorite – THE FLAMINGOS! For a small fee, Ju and I would embark on a midnight covert op to go and fill your unsuspecting friend or family member’s yard with pink flamingos! That was so much fun. We would almost always find ourselves in hilarious situations in the middle of the night trying to get the flamingos in someone’s yard without getting caught or attacked by dogs. And now that I look back on it, I was big pregnant with Hannah for most of them!
Look at how little Katie was back then! Oh my goodness, so cute!
Anyway, we had a blast with this business. To advertise our new business, we got a booth out at the fair and handed out business cards, magnets, flyers and free popcorn. The guy in the booth next to us was a professional photographer and he was quite the character. By the end of the week, we were quite certain that he had something other than coffee in that cup he was carrying around, so I sent Ju out on a mission to find out what it was.
I have to tell you a little bit about this guy. At the beginning of the week, we thought “Oh, what a nice man. I’m glad we have a nice neighbor to sit next to in the stifling heat all week because it would make for a long week if you had to sit next a weirdo.” Then, as the week wore on, he started getting kind of strange and telling really inappropriate jokes to us and engaging us in odd conversations. Then he kept leaving his booth and asking us to watch it all the time, so we decided that she should follow him and find out just what he was doing on these little trips. What can I say, we were somewhat bored in our little booth at times.
Anyway, she took off after him one time while I was manning the booth. Once they reached the parking lot, things got interesting. She thought he was about 2 cars ahead of her, so she bent down to peek through the window of a car at him only to find that he was standing on the other side of the car she was peeking through. She had to like literally hit the deck in order to not be caught. But the best part is that before she hit the deck, she witnessed him taking a giant swig out of his bottle of moonshine! So, he was busted and she almost died of a heart attack over almost getting caught.
But, it wasn’t all bad with that guy because at the end of the week, he let me have my choice of his photographs and I chose a really cool picture of a field of lavender that I took and had framed and it’s still hanging in my house now.
The next year, we were next to the Cutco knife people. And there was this one guy – Joel I think – who was the strangest individual I believe that either of us has ever met. Wouldn’t you agree, Ju?
I can’t tell you every weird thing that this kid did because it would take a month of Sundays, but let me just say that this boy, he was probably 19 or 20, did everything from baby talk, yes he would just burst out talking like a baby at odd times – (he once turned to me and said in a whiny baby voice- “Will you watch my boof (booth) while I go to the potty?”. And when he wasn’t doing that, he would all of a sudden turn serious and try to coerce Ju into taking part in serious debates with him. We cringed every time he came around, but looking back on it we should be thankful for that weirdo because he helped to break up the monotony some.
Again, I just cannot express the amount of fun we had. And our signs gained some popularity, although we did not make a ton of money at that business, it was a blast. We called it quits not long after Hannah was born, I had my hands full with two kids and neither of us really had time to keep up with it.
The other business was an advertising niche for people who were trying to sell their home by owner. We basically had a website and a magazine that they could advertise in, along with a sign for their yard. It had the potential to be a great business, and we had even gotten some local businesses to agree to carry our free magazine, but it was boring and not at all fun and we nixed that pretty quickly after we started.
All in all, I’m glad we did it, if for no other reason than for all of the fun memories that we have.