HOUSTON - A Bellaire business owner has turned her hobby into a new venture that's now gone nationwide.
The owner of Stretch Lab and Row House Studios is getting another kind of workout these days.
“I was running through the neighborhood, and I would see different signs in yards,” says Robyn Goldstein.
After the gyms had to close because of COVID, the former graphic design student started exercising her drawing skills through doodling.
“I decided I was going to make a sign thanking essential workers, and then I put it out to my friends on social media, and it sort of went crazy from there,” says Goldstein.
It only took minutes for requests to start sprouting up. They are now taking over her site, yardpeeps.com. In less than two months, 2,000 signs are up throughout Houston, and in late June she celebrated a milestone. “Yard Peeps” were sent to lawns across all 50 states.
“Alaska and Hawaii actually came pretty easily and early on,” she says. “I had people offering, ‘what states, do you still need?’ Can I help you?”
She's putting out new doodles and new designs that support military members, graduates, and the latest push for social change.
One design reads, “In this home, black lives matter.”
“I wanted to just put something out there when everything started, and then I got requests for the signs, and those proceeds are going to the NAACP,” explains Goldstein.
She’s creating signs that give back more than smiles. $15,000 has also gone to food banks and the Houston nonprofit Brighter Bites.
Her and her husband’s fitness studios are now open and also serving as pickup and production sites. Goldstein is also considering custom orders after the response she received from pictures of custom cutouts she made for her husband’s and daughter’s birthdays in June.
“I just want to see how much we can celebrate people. It's the response to the characters has been amazing, and so just want to see what we can do and what causes we can support.”
She's happy to see her art spreading gratitude to those helping others, and maybe someday, they’ll spark a little happiness on every street.
Visit yardpeeps.com for more.