Austin-based BuildASign donates welcome home signs to 346k troops and counting

April 29, 2015

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When BuildASign.com first had the idea to donate banners to the families and friends of service members returning from overseas, they had no idea the program would be this successful. The original BuildASign.com Troop Program was given 10,000 banners to distribute – a seemingly impossibly high number. However, news of the program spread so rapidly through word of mouth and the military community that within three weeks all 10,000 banners were gone and people kept asking for more.

"Military families sacrifice so much and we are honored to support them," said Dan Graham, CEO of BuildASign.com in a statement. "I am immensely proud of our Troops Program and am excited that it is expanding."

Launched in 2008, the BuildASign.com Troop Program has now donated almost 346,000 welcome home signs and banners to friends and family members whose loved ones are returning from war – to put that into perspective, that’s about $10 million worth of signs. From a non-monetary standpoint, that’s 346,000 service members who hopefully felt special and loved when they returned home.

Perhaps one of the programs best features is its simplicity. Anyone can go to BuildASign.com/troops to order a banner. Simply pick a template, and customize it to your liking. You can tweak just about everything on the template, from the welcome home message itself, to the name of the person returning home. Some templates even allow you to upload a photo of the returning soldier. When you’re done designing your banner, BuildASign.com will send it to you free of charge – though you are still on the hook for shipping, which generally runs under $20.

The company itself has been incredibly successful, growing over the last 10 years to employ almost 300 people with revenue of over $71 million in 2014 – the company says it’s on track to reach $91 million in 2015.

“We’ve been incredibly consistent as a company,” BuildASign’s Chief People Officer, Chelsea Woodhead said. “We’ve always rapidly grown. We were bootstrapped, and never took any financing until recently.”

The company received investment from PWP Growth Equity in February, the details of which were not disclosed.

While BuildASign began as a company specializing in creating customizable signage, they have since branched out to create customizable home décor products and t-shirts. In addition to BuildASign.com, the company also runs EasyCanvasPrints.com and AlliedShirts.com.

“We're really unique,” Woodhead said.  “We have 285 employees – half of whom work in production, 1/3 in customer service, and everybody else is your traditional startup folk.” 

While BuildASign says it is continuing to focus on perfecting their existing product categories, they are always looking for quality talent.

“We’re always looking for tech talent, as well as hungry, ambitious marketers who are excited by online trends,” Woodhead said. “We’re known for creating positions for really talented people we want to be on our team.” 

 

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