The #ilovesigns movement started on an Instagram post back in 2015. I was new to Office Sign Company at the time, operating as an Account Manager who also oversaw our social media posting, and was eager to start something special. Piggybacking off the “#ilovefargo” caption that I had seen from so many of my Insta-companions, I thought I’d give the #ilovesigns a whirl. And you know what?
Nobody followed suit.
That’s fine… it only put more of the pressure on my plate, as an aspiring marketer, to try to build some of the love for great signage in our community. By befriending small business advocates in the area, working with more and more new clients, and being validated by strangers and colleagues alike telling me “what a cool company you guys have,” I realized that it was coming around; the love for signs was close.
Fast forward to the summer of 2016. I approached Ryan (CEO) with an idea that, in an email subject line, read “weird.. but might work.” I wanted to produce I <3 Signs t-shirts, that looked just like shirts that a tourist visiting Office Sign Company would wear. We’d give them to our friends, clients, family, employees, and more. Then, our intern and I would run around town and snag pics of individuals rocking their shirts and post them to Twitter and Instagram, recycling the hashtag #ilovesigns.
That was the email reply from Ryan. We ended up purchasing 100 shirts from CustomInk (I know, I know), and giving 35 out to employees, 50 out to family members and community friends, and the final 15 out at Business After Hours. The shirts seemed to be a bit of a success – I was seeing more tweets referencing #ilovesigns, had a lot of clients and friends requesting them, and kept one for myself that I still wear to sleep and to the gym from time-to-time. But, as we geared up for producing more apparel in-house (shirts, sweatshirts, and more), we thought this time around – let’s not put a limit on how many shirts we give out. Let’s not confine this to just employees and friends, but let’s get the entire community excited about signs. Let’s spread the #ilovesigns movement wider than it’s ever been before. So today, we did.
At the time I write this post, we’ve had 89 FREE I Love Signs Shirts “sold.” By tomorrow morning, we likely will have eclipsed 100. My hope is that we end up nearer the number of 200-250 when it’s all said and done. Why? Why give out shirts for free? Why risk having some random person online order 80 of these shirts and cause your production team to hate you for making them press so many, while not getting a dime from it, and then your boss tells you “hey, I need to chat with you,” and you worry about getting fired and then the world goes crazy and you’re just stuck feeling sorry for yourself? Well… let me tell you.
We are extremely appreciative of the community support that we’ve received this past year (being a finalist for Business of the Year, increasing our local clientele by over 200%, receiving media attention for various initiatives, partnering with a variety of great businesses, and more) and TRULY want to share that sense of appreciation with a gift. Also, full transparency, it gets you all to wear a shirt with our logo on it. And THAT, my friends, is priceless. Just like the shirts. Go get yours. Here.
Written by: Jack
Contact at: firstname.lastname@example.org