Okay, let me tell you about Sign People.
When we first opened--which was 6 years ago--we needed a sign. So we started calling around. We called about 10 sign people from the yellow pages, and the response from all of them was....
I was still teaching at Penn State the time, and one of my students said that she knew a sign guy. So I called that person. I told him what we wanted. He sent me a proof. I asked him if we could make the sign bigger.
About a month later, having not heard from him, we were surprised to have a truck pull up, and a guy install the original small sign:
Their sign was the left sign. Note from the picture how you can't read it from the street. On the right side, we had a bar sign that had come with the store. Our store really does not have that "smoky bar feel," but at least the bar sign was set so far back that you couldn't notice it anyway.
Although it was imperfect, we had a sign, and we decided to let it go. It had taken a year to get that far.
A few more years came and went. We knew the sign needed to go.
It was time to find a new sign guy.
I called a guy who was very responsive. He immediately sent us an idea for a sign that had lettering which looked as if it belonged on "Joe's Garage," except that it was colored teal and pink.
I told him we'd get back to him.
So then I called a person whom I was told had made many of the beautiful signs around town. I called him about 5 times to try to get a hold of him. Although he never returned any of my messages, on the 5th try, he did actually answer the phone and seemed to want to help us. And then....
One day, about 6 months after that, I called him. He called back. "I'm calling you here from the beach in Florida, and drinking a Pina Colada," he said. "I'll get with you when I'm back." I waited.
I was talking to a friend who owned a yarn shop in New Jersey, and telling her our tale of woe, and she said that they had had the same problem. The sign guy they used was smoking dope--literally.
So after a few weeks more, I called our sign guy back. (Hey, at least he was only drinking.)
He seemed more enthusiastic this time. He even sent us an idea for a sign!
Here was his idea: He thought was should have out in front of our store a giant, pink spool of thread the size of a barrel. It looked like something that would advertise for, say ... the world's LARGEST ball of STRING! Yes! A sign for a souvenir shop in Florida! Here in Pine Grove Mills! One thing I will acknowledge is that people would have found us.
I'm just not sure that they would have actually stopped.
I suggested that maybe he could stop in to see what our atmosphere is like to make a sign that is a little more congruent with our business. He said that he didn't need to do that--that he just "created things."
I drove around town for 3 hours one day, taking pictures of signs we liked, and emailed them to him. He said that they were all his signs. This was promising!
So we went back and forth with some more ideas, none of which would have remotely worked for us. I suggested again that he stop by. He said that there was no need to do that: He didn't work that way.
And then he stopped calling. I guess it just didn't work out between us.
A few more months went by. A number of people informed us that we needed a better sign. One of them was our printer. He told us to call the Sign Stop. So that's what we did.
It was kind of weird: they answered the phone.
By now, Kim and I had come up with what we wanted the sign to look like, and so we had both the Stop Sign and my friend Ellen, who is a graphic designer, work on our concept. Again, we went back and forth a few times--but in normal ways, ways that seemed to make the sign better. We like the Sign Stop very, very much. Thank you, Scott!
And today, on June 26, 2009, on this very momentous day, we got our sign:
Remember to Turn It Upside Right, Guys!
Kim sez: I Can Haz a Sign? I Can Touch It?
Be Careful with Our Sign!
We are So Happy!
There is only one little problem with our sign. We know about it. We can't do a thing about it. Fortunately, it will go away in the fall....
...but it will come back in the spring.