“You’ve been Gypsied!” Sign Gypsies helps families celebrate during the pandemic

Dr. James Robert Peltier
May 24, 2020
Live Healthy Thibodaux works to improve community health
May 24, 2020
Dr. James Robert Peltier
May 24, 2020
Live Healthy Thibodaux works to improve community health
May 24, 2020

In a time where graduation, birthday and wedding plans are forced to be changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have sought out unique ways to continue to celebrate their loved ones, even from afar. More than ever, people are turning to yard signs made popular by Pelican Posts by Sign Gypsies to spread joy in a socially-distant time.


“Spring is usually a busy time for us. However, we have about tripled what we typically do in the spring during quarantine,” Kelly Phillips, owner of Pelican Posts by Sign Gypsies, said.


Since the stay-at-home order began and gatherings were limited, Sign Gypsies’ displays have been part of everything from drive-by birthday parties and bridal showers, to at-home graduation celebrations. Schools and libraries have also ordered displays to express how much they miss their students and patrons.


Some customers have gone as far as to poke fun at the “struggles” of the stay-at-home order, like one house that displayed “Feel Free To TP Our House” as toilet paper shortages became a subject of discussion during the early days of the order. 



Phillips said displays have also been set up in front of small businesses to aid them in informing the public that they are open or reopening – something she is happy to do as a small business owner herself. 


“I’m absolutely on board with supporting local businesses and especially small local businesses because I appreciate all the support I receive, so I love to help pay that back,” Phillips said. 


In addition, the displays have been used to send messages of support to those affected by COVID-19. 


Signs can be found in front of local hospitals to honor healthcare workers and other businesses in the medical field. Other displays appeared outside of nursing homes to spread joy to residents and staff.


On one occasion, Phillips said she had the opportunity to set up a birthday display outside of the window of a resident at a nursing home. When the resident opened her window, she was able to see the greeting. 


“I got teary-eyed at the thought that she’s going to open her blinds and see this wonderful display just for her and how good that was going to make her feel because she can’t be in contact with her family except over the phone,” Phillips said.


Phillips said that the opportunity to be a part of people’s celebrations in a unique way and to honor healthcare workers has been “special” over the last few months. 


What is especially meaningful to her are the reactions she receives from people who give or receive displays.


She said she has had many grandparents order signs for their grandchildren and thank her for helping them to celebrate with their grandchildren since they cannot physically see them. 


“It makes my heart so happy to see other people, and what a great experience to be invited to be part of their celebrations even though it’s just simply letters in the yard, the reactions you see on people’s faces, smiling, crying even, it’s just a wonderful feeling,” Phillips said.


What makes Sign Gypsies unique these days, Phillips said, is that the setup of its displays requires no direct contact with customers, thus adhering to guidelines for social distancing put into place by state and federal officials.


“We kind of sneak into your yard undetected at night, and we don’t have to have any kind of face-to-face interaction” Phillips said. “We were able to help people celebrate in ways that they weren’t able to during the stay-at-home order.”


In addition, the wide variety of pieces in the Sign Gypsies’ inventory allows Phillips to customize displays to match the interests and hobbies of recipients.


Phillips said the mission of Sign Gypsies has always been to spread joy. In such a challenging time, this sentiment has been just as true.


“It just helps them celebrate all of life’s amazing events, from new babies, to birthdays, to anniversaries, to graduations, retirements, pretty much anything,” Phillips said.