A new metro-east business lets customers send a message that is only limited by their creativity and the size of their yards.
Waterloo native Amy Strong, 42, started Grounded Greetings in January. Her business is an affiliate of a Texas-based company that offers custom lawn signs for special events. The messages can say “Happy birthday,” “It’s a girl” or “Just married” in letters that are about 2 feet tall.
Strong’s collection of signs also includes logos and mascots for local high schools, a princess crown, tractor, music note, emoji like a smiley face wearing sunglasses and more. The business takes requests for new images, too, as long as they aren’t copyrighted, Strong said.
She delivers the signs and sets up the greetings by staking the signs into the ground, which is how Strong said she came up with the name Grounded Greetings. The cost to rent the signs for 24 hours starts at $75, with delivery fees from $15 to $45 for areas outside Waterloo, Columbia or Valmeyer.
Strong also picks up the signs after customers’ events, sometimes with the help of her 3-year-old son Maverick.
“It really is no work for the people that are ordering it,” Strong said.
She says the messages bring “smiles and a little extra jazz to a party or an event.” Grounded Greetings has worked with individuals, as well as schools and businesses. Strong says the signs can help alert people to blood drives, grand openings and other events. Her website, groundedgreetings.com, offers more than 80 ideas for phrases that customers can order online.
Really the sky’s the limit. ... Any kind of celebration or life event that you can think of, we can do it.
Amy Strong, Grounded Greetings owner
The signs are made by local graphics companies, according to Strong. She said they consist of the same plastic material as real estate signs, so they handle rain but can struggle in heavy winds.
Strong says when she stumbled upon another company online that offered the service, she “fell in love with the idea” and couldn’t find anything like it in the area.
“So I decided to go for it,” she said. “... I just kind of took a leap of faith and thought if it made me feel this way — happy to see it — I was hoping to be able to offer that to other people.”
Strong said she hasn’t seen the reaction to her designs in person, “but I get the photographs.”
“My clients always send the photographs to say they loved it,” she said.
She enjoys it, too.
“It gets me out of my norm. I actually have five part-time jobs: bookkeeping and I work at the post office part-time and babysit a couple of days a week,” Strong said. “That’s kind of my out. I like the art and design side of it and coordinating the colors and just bringing smiles to people. It’s just fun.”
Strong sat down with the News-Democrat to talk more about her new business:
Q: What does your business offer?
A: “Yard greetings that add to a celebration or life event such as birthdays or anniversaries or graduations, baby showers — anything that people want to celebrate. We can make the greeting for their yard or for their business for grand openings, things like that. It’s very customizable.”
Q: How long has your business existed?
A: “I started up in January, so about six, six and a half, almost seven months now.”
Q: What has the response been like?
A: “Awesome. Everybody that has come across the idea or seen it in someone’s yard, the feedback has been extremely positive, and then people will have purchased it to surprise other people. I’ve done greetings over across the river. It’s just kind of picking up and going really well. The schools are excited about it, too.”
Q: Have you always wanted to be a business owner?
A: “I’ve meddled in that for several years. I owned a construction company, and I’ve done this, and I sold Pampered Chef (products) a while back, so I’ve always had that entrepreneurial desire or drive in me to do stuff for myself.”
Q: What expectations did you have coming into this new business?
A: “I just know when I saw it and fell in love with the idea, I wanted to offer it and be able to offer that happy, just good feeling for other people. There’s so much negative in the world right now that this is just my little contribution of something I can offer for other people to add a little spark to their day.”
Q: Are there occasions that you envision your business being used for but maybe people haven’t asked for it yet?
A: “Really the sky’s the limit. ... Any kind of celebration or life event that you can think of, we can do it.”
- Owner: Amy Strong
- Phone: 618-410-3644
- Website: groundedgreetings.com
- Social media: Facebook.com/groundedgreetings
- Cost: Custom sign rentals start at $75