The front-yard card--the suburban mega-message--is taking root on local lawns.
Grass Greetings in Reseda rents 4-foot-square four-color personalized cards in the shape of either a stork (for showers and just-borns), Father Time (for thirtysomething birthdays) or a party animal (a cheerful bear). Grass Greetings rents about seven to eight a week, "and the number is increasing rapidly," says Jan Tringale, who owns and manages the 1 1/2-year-old firm with her husband.
The cards are most popular with people between 25 and 40, and the card that's rented most is the stork, Tringale says. She and her husband make the cards out of fiberglass and other weatherproof materials, and rent them from $19.95 a day, Monday through Thursday, to $104.74 for seven days. The price includes delivery, pickup and a diploma-size delivery certificate.
Grass Greetings grew from Tringale's Midwest roots: She used to make big greeting cards for special events, such as graduation, and an aunt suggested that she try to market them.
The year-old Rent-A-Stork in Woodland Hills--part of a national franchise--leases from two to seven 4 1/2-foot wooden storks a week, for $37 for five days. The personalized bundles, with such information as the child's name or weight, say "It's a Girl" or "It's a Boy." A $20 one-day standing stork is available for baby showers.
When Jan Crivier of Canoga Park came home from the hospital with her first baby girl--after three sons--a Rent-A-Stork, arranged by her husband, Rick, greeted her on the front lawn. "My husband thought it would be better than flowers. All the neighbors saw the pink bundle and came by, knowing how thrilled we'd be," Jan says.