It’s Time for Some Happy Shoutouts!
Years ago, I started noticing the little celebrations – school spirit and participation signs that parents proudly and prominently displayed in their front yards. They were personal shoutouts that let the community see the pride a family had for their child’s unique interests, team membership, accomplishments or talent.
I couldn’t wait for a similar sign in my own yard, and I still remember the thrill of placing a crew sign near our front door when my youngest daughter joined our high school rowing team. It was our way to support the team and honor the hard work and dedication of our own student athlete, and I discovered that it was such a sweet reminder of my daughter every time I drove up the driveway. It made me as happy as I thought it would.
When her rowing team made it to nationals, came in first place or earned a regatta trophy, I began to envision ways to highlight these special accomplishments. I considered starting a “sign toppers” company to create additional callouts that could be added to the top of existing yard signs – something like “Captain” or “State Champion” or “Good Luck.” A nice addition, but Whew! I’m so glad I waited for the bigger idea to materialize.
Fast forward to 2020. My crew daughter graduated high school, the yard sign was removed, and I adjusted.
As she headed off to college, I enjoyed seeing the bright new signs popping up in the neighborhood. I understood the thrill those new freshman parents were feeling as they too joined the yard sign club after years of waiting.
And then COVID-19 hit.
From Shutdowns to Shoutouts
The pandemic began with flight bans and shutdowns nationwide. Weeks turned into months and the solitude taught many of us, myself included, that some of the simplest joys are the sweetest. Celebrating the everyday – the things we may have taken for granted previously – took on new meaning. School sports, family holidays, birthdays, the sacrifices made by healthcare and safety workers…they all took on greater significance. Yet we couldn’t say thank you or celebrate in person.
Living on a busy corner, I was delighted to see almost daily drive-by celebrations where people paraded in long lines of brightly decorated cars past the homes of friends having a birthday or anniversary. Homemade signs of different sizes appeared in yards, doorways and windows to encourage others and boost morale. After a friend spent countless hours working on homemade yard signs for her daughter’s nursing school graduation – and I added up the cost of materials – I knew there had to be an easier way. My goal was less work and more joy.
I started imagining creative ways to elevate the people, events and special occasions that matter to each of us, all while maintaining distance but also communicating in a fun, memorable way.
Despite all the challenges presented by the pandemic, I was provided the moments I needed to reflect. During these months, I received so many distinct “signs,” so to speak, that it was time to start something new. I was determined to be part of kindness and to be in the business of joy. And so my company, Happy Shoutouts, began in isolation as a way to reach out to others in bigger, bolder ways.
Ideas, Research and Support
I had little clue how to start, but began with my old friend, Google. I found that there are several franchises and affiliates of yard cards, yard greetings, lawn letters and more throughout the county. I think I have stalked them all – which provided additional entertainment during the pandemic. While I absolutely love pieces and parts of each of these businesses, none seemed to fit my vision.
I wanted to offer something distinctly unique to the yard carding industry (who knew that was a term), while having the freedom to leverage my own creative style without limitations.
It has been a wonderful journey, even as I hit more than a few dead ends and roadblocks along the way. In retrospect, these detours provided me the pauses I needed to reevaluate and find the right way forward.
To keep Happy Shoutouts at the forefront of what many call the #joybusiness, I also joined and have since actively participated in many independent yard sign support and sign groups (yes, they exist). Members share experiences, ideas and advice. It reinforces my absolute belief that we are indeed 100% in the business of joy and gratitude.
I was also blessed with an extremely loving and supportive husband and family, as well as friends and neighbors who gave me the time to transition, grow and practice the “art” of signing in their backyards. It was actually more complicated than I had ever imagined – design selection, ordering, inventory, staking, placement and planning displays that must be placed in off hours to maintain the surprise. I scrutinized fonts (and who knew there were so many?), decided whether we should use glitter letters, fine glitter letters or sparkle letters (there is a distinct difference), and made myself almost dizzy with the possibilities. Bit by bit I learned, and soon every aspect of my idea began to fall into place.
Finally, after almost six months of planning, I woke up one morning and just knew: Happy Shoutouts was ready for its official debut.
What I want every customer to know is that Happy Shoutout's inventory has been passionately developed, down to each punctation mark and including some adorable superheroes and even a particularly special unicorn…because there is a difference!
Every single sign element has been intentionally chosen and crafted by talented vendors, designers and artists nationwide. If we couldn’t find what we needed, we designed it ourselves. As a result, Happy Shoutouts offers a proprietary collection that you won’t find anywhere else.
We invested so much time in development because we believe your one-of-a-kind gift deserves a one-of-a-kind message using a range of sizes, colors and design elements. It’s the best way to capture the qualities of the person you want to honor and celebrate them appropriately.
No cookie cutter, generic signs here.
And as a bonus, everything we use is a proudly made in the USA of quality, weather-resistant materials too.
Your Joy is Our Joy
At Happy Shoutouts, it’s a delight to play a part in a husband’s 50th birthday or put up an amazing sign display at 6 a.m. to surprise an eleven-year-old who wasn’t able to have a “real” birthday party due to the pandemic. The pictures with smiling faces and the messages we receive after each sign goes up are truly heartwarming. It’s humbling to have Happy Shoutout signs captured in photos that we know will become part of someone’s memories.
And as for the required pre-dawn set ups? We get to enjoy more beautiful sunrises than most others do.
If you can imagine it, we can deliver it!
With enough notice, we can order or specially design just about anything. Quirky, unpredictable or unusual requests are welcomed!
One new request we are happy to fulfill is “big head” signs – a larger than life reproduction of your loved one’s face that can be used in the yard and then kept for use again and again.
Occasions we help celebrate include birthdays, including sweet 16 and milestones like 21, 40, 50 and 39 again! Think of anniversaries, graduations, baby announcements, showers, gender reveals, weddings, parties, welcome home wishes, engagements, prom proposals, homecoming asks, returns from deployment, new jobs, marriage proposals, congratulations, traditional or made-up holidays…basically any occasion you want to celebrate or can imagine!
Why Happy Shoutouts?
It’s easy to order your own Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary or Happy Anything sign.
But it’s equally easy to order a sign from Happy Shoutouts and enjoy:
Higher quality, weather resistant lettering of various sizes
Customization and personalization
An eye-catching colorful display that truly fills the yard
Installation and removal handled by someone else so you can just relax and enjoy the surprise
An eco-friendly choice that doesn’t end up in the landfill
All Happy Shoutout signs are made from recyclable plastic and printed with environmentally safe processes using UV ink so they can be reused again and again in other installations. That means the joy just keeps going around and around, literally one sign and one lawn at a time.
We think there’s something extra sweet about design elements from this week’s welcome home message for a new baby getting transformed into next week’s 80th birthday wishes for a senior across town.
We can create anything you want, but if you need some inspiration or simply enjoy seeing a whole lot of happiness, take a few minutes to look at the pictures and videos in our gallery at happyshoutouts.com/gallery.
We’d also love to have you follow us on Facebook. We promise consistently uplifting posts every week.
Take Your Celebration to the Next Level
Details matter and a Happy Shoutouts sign can elevate any celebration or event. Let us make you the hero by delivering the added boost that people will remember at any location any time.
We can install yard sign displays year-round, even when the ground is frozen.
Our signs are waterproof, so you don’t need to worry about the weather.
Sign stands allow us to place displays at indoor events, on rooftops and in parking lots as well.
Signs and stands are cleaned and sanitized after every installation, so your display will always be safe, shiny and bright.
Ready to reserve your own Happy Shoutout? It’s easy:
We will ask about the recipient’s interests, hobbies and activities so we can design a truly personalized display.
Happy Shoutouts currently installs in Columbus, Ohio neighborhoods, within 15 miles of 43212.
Delivery and installation occurs before 8 a.m., and as a daily rental, the sign is removed after 8 p.m. You can reserve multiple days if desired.
Please let us know of the recipient works unusual hours or has other restrictions that would make that timeline inappropriate for a proper surprise. We will work to adjust the reservation schedule as necessary.
Wherever you see a Happy Shoutout, know that it was created with care and personal attention. And if you happen to see us in your own neighborhood crawling around someone’s front yard like a ninja at 5 a.m. with signs in our hands, get ready for some smiles when the sun comes up.
We’re confident that one good shoutout will surely lead to another, and we’re ready to help you celebrate and pull off your own magical Happy Shoutout moments. We hope to hear from you soon!
With Warm Regards,
Owner and Creative Director
(Yes, Karen…but a good Karen who doesn’t complain to management or feel entitled…and also goes by Kitty on Facebook just for fun)