Walking into Coastal Americana Sign Co. is guaranteed to have a calming effect on everyone who enters their doors. A lot of it has to do with the décor, but the true heart and soul of this space are the people who created it – Jimmy and Lyza Garza-Gerow.
The beginning of livin’ coastal
“It all started with a gift for a friend,” says Jimmy. “Usually we’re the people who stop to get a gift card on the way to the party, but this time I wanted to do something different. A buddy of mine was building his first house and I wanted to do something special.”
“One of the things we became friends over was our love for rustic Texas stuff – country music, BBQ, all of that,” he says. As a full-time history teacher and football coach, Jimmy was hesitant to create something from scratch due to fear of being “the crafty coach.”
Inspired by their love of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” and Lyza’s interest in Pinterest, he created and painted a Texas flag as a “welcome home” gift. Needless to say, his friend loved it. By the next day, Jimmy had three more rustic Texas flag orders to fulfill. The rest is history.
The Coastal Americana philosophy
Relaxed coastal living and old school Americana grunge are the inspiration behind Coastal Americana’s logo. Their goal is to give people a chance to disconnect from their daily routine. They want clients to slow down for a bit to actually enjoy life.
“As a teacher, I tell my students all the time, ‘I want to inspire you to live your life to its fullest,’” says Jimmy. They both recognize that life is too short, and that every moment – big or small – should be celebrated.
“We’ve already won the lottery with our health,” says Lyza. “Through our workshops, we’ve had the chance to really connect with so many people. It makes us feel good that we are forming these connections and these bonds with them.”
Establishing human connection via workshops
The workshop aspect of the business originated with them wanting others to experience the creating something together with the sacrifice of their time, making it that much more meaningful.
The Garza-Gerows has been hosting workshops for the past three years. Starting off as a project in their living room and outgrowing a show home, they now reside in a comfortable space that seats up to 70 people.
Every person submits a design of their choice. Jimmy then customizes each into a stencil and has it ready for the day of the class. Though it is more work on their end, they prefer it that way. That painting will always serve as a memory of who they got to create it with. That, to them, is priceless.
If someone makes a reservation for more than 10 people, they close registration and make it a private party. They even go the extra mile and provide a list of local vendors put together by Lyza.
The thing the Garza-Gerows have enjoyed the most is the time they spend with each other. As a full-time speech pathologist, Lyza loves the idea of embracing Coastal Americana’s philosophy daily. She’s using it as a way to live life to its fullest with her husband and kids.
They never thought they’d be working together as a team, but now that they do, they wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love my husband,” she shares. “He’s a jack of all trades.”
As much as they love to support local businesses in their community and connect others, they have also recently acquired a special needs adult center from Lyza’s aunt. With Coastal Family Care, they are able to give back to their community by helping to improve the quality of life of those they encounter.
With its location in Weslaco off of West Fifth Street, Jimmy and Lyza truly embrace every person that walks through the doors of Coastal Americana with open arms and open hearts.