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Tampa 'Sign Elf' makes special occasions fun and safe

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Posted at 6:13 AM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 15:45:08-05

TAMPA, Fla. — A new way to celebrate that started during the pandemic is one you've probably seen. Yards filled with signs that wish someone a happy birthday or congratulations on a big event. The displays became a common celebration during a time where gathering for parties wasn't always safe.

“Everybody was home, sitting at home, quarantining, not being able to do anything, they can’t see their family, they can’t see grandparents,” said Mandi Deachin of Tampa.

Deachin boasts more than 9,000 signs in her garage.

“My husband thought I was a little bit whacky but he’s on board now, he’s okay with it,” said Deachin.

Deachin calls her business the Sign Elf.

She sneaks into yards at night and decorates them with whatever message meets the occasion and when the lucky man, woman, boy or girl wakes up, it's an amazing surprise.

From holidays to sporting events to beloved cartoon characters to special occasions, Deachin has you covered.

There’s no such thing as one size, or in this case, sign fits all.

“Go big or go home, I’m five-foot-three and this is about five-foot-tall,” said Deachin, holding up a giant number five.

“I can fulfill any request, I can say if someone wanted something specific I can have it in a week,” said Deachin.

Her latest assignment was for a little girl named Abby who was turning three years old.

“I think my favorite part of the business is seeing the person’s reaction, them emailing me back and saying, ‘this is so amazing, you did such a great job,’ I love to see people smile,” said Deachin.

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“Oh she was so excited, especially about Elmo and the little dog that looks just like our dog,” said Abby’s mom Dianne Triplett.

For more information, go to\tampa.