Atlas Obscura: Steve Grubbs, The Founder of -

Atlas Obscura: Steve Grubbs, The Founder of

Steve Grubbs, however, doesn’t think in those terms. The Republican political operative, who spent six years as an Iowa legislator in the ’90s and was once the head of the Iowa GOP, launched a company in 1999 called, and it’s treated him well ever since, earning revenue in the tens of millions during election years. To put it simply, Grubbs realized that die-cutting corrugated plastic into interesting shapes was the perfect way to create yard signs that stand out.

Grubbs, who also runs a political consulting firm, may be a strategist at heart, but as a side effect of being deep in the world of politics, he knows a lot about the processes that go into printing signs. In a 2013 YouTube clip, he explains exactly why these signs work so well for drawing attention, but also spends significant amounts of time discussing how great corrugated plastic is.

“We buy corrugated plastic by the truckload,” Grubbs explains in the clip. “During our busy season, we’ll have two semi-truckloads of corrugated plastic come in a week.”

Grubbs, who bought his old elementary school and turned it into his corporate headquarters (really), has become a master of wacky ideas, both political and non-political.

One of his firm’s related businesses sells massive novelty greeting cards, and ahead of political campaigns, his company often introduces new ways for candidates to get their messages across, such as life-size cutouts of people who represent certain demographics.

“If you want to talk to blue-collar voters, you buy the construction-guy cut-out,” Grubbs told the Wall Street Journal in 2010.

Grubbs’ power over the signage, as well as his politically convenient location, has made him something of a prominent figure in the political world. It also makes him a creative mind to be reckoned with. Just ask Rand Paul, who hired Grubbs as a consultant in 2014."

Atlas Obscura, June 2016

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