By Stacy H Martin,
Adventure Hobbies & Toys
Late winter, earlier this year in 2021, a few business owners made Christiansburg famous! You know we have been robbed of fame and glory before, here’s two good examples. Our town’s very own Wade Morrison, the formulator for Dr Pepper, lived here and become a soda jerk before moving on. Later, Waco, TX got credit for the town’s favorite drink. One of the most awarded Hollywood Directors of all-time, grew up and left for fame and Hollywood lights, but never to return. His name was Henry King. His ultimate work was the movie, Carousel. Who knew right? After, all these opportunities, it was the much maligned outdoor signs of businesses that made Christiansburg famous! (Town ordinances have been strict and message boards are “No No’s” generally) See – we told you signs are great! Small businesses have lived and died with their signs. Without signs, communication with the passerby’s is difficult, especially for small businesses who do not have the national chain advertising or name recognition.
It all started with Bridge Kaldro Music and Super Shoes, duking it out with funny memes, catchy expressions and calling each other out. Some of the signs were epic! One salon located by a Sonic Drive In asked – “Hey Sonic we wax our customers buns what do you do?” (sic). While it was all in good fun, it highlighted that local businesses were the most creative, committed to entertaining and delighting their customers while being an important fabric of the community.
Yoshi, owner of Kabuki Japanese Steakhouse, lead the way in creativity in finding humor in most everything. At least, he became everyone’s target. Even the Queen got involved in calling out Yoshi at Tea & Totally Gifts in the mall. A monarch was involved, this could have been serious. LOL.
After weeks of back and forth, the excitement reached around the world. The Christiansburg Sign War Facebook page quickly out grew Christiansburg. There are over 31,000 Likes as of this article being written. Steve Hartman of CBS Evening News and CBS Sunday Morning even picked up on the fun and they even roasted NBC at the end about being “chicken”. After a long hard COVID winter, this much deserved laugh-a-thon was welcomed. Scan the QR Code to see the episode of CBS News.
So key takeaways: First, never underestimate the power of those signs. Second, don’t take away small businesses lifeblood of communications with “feel good regulations of “nasty signs” (Town Councilman once said to me) Third, local businesses are the community and we create flavor.
Stay and Shop Local….Go Local.