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    May 7, 2013

    Meet The Barista Turning Starbucks Signs Into An Artform

    Customers love Katie Hinchliffe's work. Starbucks bosses aren't quite so keen.

    Katie Hinchliffe is a barista working for a Starbucks in Ontario.

    She lures customers into the store by designing her own eye-catching signs. Some of them reference pop culture icons, such as David Bowie.

    Or Freddie Mercury.

    Others reference memes, like Grumpy Cat.

    Hinchliffe tells BuzzFeed:

    "I try to keep up with trends, and I like knowing what is popular. I like to pay attention to conversations that I have with our daily customers, and really do it to brighten their day, even for a little while. I know how stressful everyone's jobs can be, so something to cheer people up always makes me feel happy."

    Customers think they're pretty great.

    Hinchliffe continues:

    "I didn't realize that they would garner so much attention or reaction when I first started doing them - but people seem to think they are fabulous. I have people come in all the time who have seen the signs online, or have heard of them because of word-of-mouth, and it always makes me feel great that they enjoy them. I can't tell you how many people have come in because of the signs, which, obviously, is great for business."

    But head office aren't so impressed.

    Hinchliffe:

    "In terms of what Starbucks thinks, that's where things get a little tricky. The signs are not exactly following the Starbucks 'brand'. I don't know how happy the marketing / branding departments are with me using pop culture references to advertise our store.

    I have really stood my ground in regards to the signs, though - there have been a few times that I have had to change them based on the subject matter. The Ermahgerd girl [pictured] didn't go over well, as some people didn't understand the context, and thought I was making fun of people, but I have never done anything that is purposefully inappropriate or hurtful."

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