Window decorations — the latest rage

July 27, 2001|By MARCY MISNER, Staff Writer

There's a new trend adorning the backs of vehicles in the Valley — little stick figure families.

They are the one of the latest new fashions to originate in the Valley and they're the creation of designers at Mad Graphics in El Centro.

Partners and co-owners Schannon Mohamed, 32, and Brett Driscoll, 36, founded Mad Graphix three years ago after a longtime hobby evolved into a business.

The Mad Family, as the stick figures are called, evolved from a single girl figure that adorns the ladies' dressing room in Driscoll's Sports. Driscoll created the stick figure girl for use in the girls' department at Driscoll's. The two men began their graphics enterprise in a room in Driscoll's to dress up their racing vehicles and those of their friends. Three years ago, Mad Graphix moved next door and became its own business.


Mohamed left his bustling office one recent morning and walked next door to Driscoll's to show off the girl who started it all.

"Somebody asked me if we could take the Driscoll's name off of them and personalize them. Then somebody asked if we could do a little boy. We did and it's taken off ever since," Mohamed said.

"Now we're probably selling upwards of 100 kids a week," Mohamed said.

Mohamed said 19-year-old Pete Chacon designs the stick kids during summer and school vacations when he's not attending college in San Diego.

The trend began about a year and a half ago. The stick figure kids are usually in the middle, with parent figures flanking them. The parent figures are actually bigger kid figures and are sometimes used as grandparents. Names can be printed below each figure, Mohamed said. The lettering is about a half-inch high, he said.

Most people have three or four kids. Dogs, cats, horses, and cows are available to add to the family.

"Last week I had a half-dozen calls for a cheerleader (figure)," Mohamed explained.

Although none existed, Mohamed and Chacon created one in response to the queries. The cheerleader is similar to the stick figures but has a pleated skirt and pompoms instead of hands.

Even though 30 colors are available, Mohamed said white is the most popular and durable color used in the Valley.

Jenell Bertussi of El Centro has a Mad Family on the van she uses for her preschool. She ordered the decal after her husband had some commercial work done by Mad Graphix.

"I had seen them around but didn't know who made them," she said.

People from as far north as Alaska and Washington and as far east as Texas have called to order the family decals, said Bernie Wood, an employee at Mad Graphix.

"People always call to ask where this started. They think it started in San Diego," Mohamed said, adding folks are surprised to learn the decals originated in the Valley.

"It could be a fad in the Imperial Valley. There's nothing wrong with having a fad in the Imperial Valley," he said.

"People are asking me for business cards … because people are pulling them over in Los Angeles and San Diego, asking where they got these from," he said.

Local high school supporters also can find decals which state "Fear Central," "Fear Holtville" and "Fear Brawley" at Mad Graphix. Four full-time employees also provide signs, banners and decals to local businesses including Hardaway Heating and Cooling, ARC of Imperial Valley and Roadrunner Lock & Safe.

Mad Graphix is next to Driscoll's at 1470 State St. in El Centro.

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