Sarah Bingham says her frustration with anti-maskers entering her Arizona store was rising—in fact, it had just about peaked. "It was a conversation I had to have every day and I got kind of sick of it," she tells 12 News. So last month she created a sign and posted it on Facebook, asking if it was "too dark" to place outside Antique Sugar, her vintage clothing store in Phoenix. "If you choose not to wear a mask, we respectfully ask that you postpone your visit," the sign read. "We'll be happy to debate the efficacy of masks when this is all over and you come in to sell your dead grandmother's clothes." Response was mostly positive, so she put it outside, generating enough interest that social media and reporters quickly caught up with her.
By Friday she was talking to CNN about critics who claimed she was making light of seniors amid the coronavirus pandemic. "I'm a little disappointed that people think that we're being callous when I feel like it's exactly the opposite," she said. "Like I feel like we're doing our best to protect the vulnerable, we're not profiting off of anybody's dead grandmother." USA Today, the Arizona Republic, and ABC15 are among outlets now reporting on her sign, which has gone viral on Twitter. Bingham says she's had to hire security after getting online threats—or encountering "trolls," as she puts it—but business has boomed with all the attention. "We were doing fine up until the sign went viral this week and then it just exploded," Bingham said. (Read more face masks stories.)