A sign for every occasion – Mid-Michigan Sign Gypsies helps the region celebrate

You can’t miss the giant greeting cards posted on lawns around town, celebrating everything from birthdays and graduations to anniversaries and new babies. One sign even commemorated a vasectomy.

Mid-Michigan Sign Gypsies will put up yard greetings for just about anything.
Morgan Jackson, who owns the franchise in the Great Lakes Bay Region, has been using the colorful yard greetings to help people celebrate since the summer of 2019.

Colorful yard greetings shine our from homes, businesses, and even nursing care facilities.Jackson’s background is in public relations and communications, so when the opportunity came up to purchase a franchise locally, she says it was too good to pass up. It not only gave her a chance to combine her love of people with the ability to help them celebrate, but it also gave her the chance to spread joy.

“For my daughter’s birthday, I got a sign to celebrate,” she says, which was her introduction to the company. “She got concert tickets and all kinds of other stuff, and I can guarantee she doesn’t remember all the other stuff, but she remembers that sign, so when I found out the franchise was for sale, I decided to buy it.”

"Boo" signs celebrating Halloween have been popular in October.Sign Gypsies started in 2014 in Texas by Stacey Hess. Hess and a friend were looking for a way to support their families while leveraging their creativity. Over the years, the company grew from humble beginnings to become the largest yard greetings company in the country.

Like Hess, who started the company in her garage, Jackson says she’s “kicked my husband and daughter out of the garage,” so she has the space to organize and store her inventory. Each of the signs is made up of not only letters, but also symbols. It all takes up a lot of space, and she keeps it carefully arranged to maximize a small storage space.  

While the signs typically celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, Morgan Jackson creates custom messages for all special occasions.Along with being able to bring joy to people in her community Jackson says she also appreciates the model Hess has set up for the franchise. She says rather than paying a percentage of each sign to the company, she pays an annual fee. That allows her to participate in the business she loves without supporting a corporate structure.

Featuring all kinds of words, letters, and images, Jackson says she and her crew go in after dark to place the signs so the unsuspecting resident wakes up to the bold statement in the morning. Most recently she placed a sign at an assisted living in Midland for a centenarian named Arlene. But her greetings are found everywhere from residences to business to nursing care facilities.

“Usually, when it’s at an assisted living or a nursing home, we put the sign facing their windows, especially if they can’t get outside to see it,” she says. Typically, though, the signs face the road so passersby can honk, wave or sing to the person being honored.

Birthdays and celebrations aren’t the only signs she puts out. Jackson says she recently had a call for an unusual sign. And, she happily accommodated. “I don’t think there’s any kind of sign that would surprise me,” she says. Especially after she placed letters and balloons in a yard saying, “Snip, Snip, Hurray,” for a patron who’d had a vasectomy.

For more about Mid-Michigan Sign Gypsies, and to have them set up a greeting, visit the Facebook page.