How storefront 'Welcome' signs became political statements

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(CNN)There's nothing inherently political about a storefront with a welcome sign. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat, a Republican, a Muslim or an evangelical Christian -- if you have money, stores want to welcome you in so you spend your money there. But increasingly, these welcome signs seem to be saying something more than just that.

Below are two recent examples from 14th Street in Washington, a more subtle sign at West Elm on the left, and a pair of explicitly political signs at Miss Pixie's on the right.
Two storefronts on 14th St. in Washington, D.C., with welcome signs.
West Elm's simply reads "We Welcome All." The company said in an email to CNN the sign is "our way of showing the communities we call home that we stand for inclusion and diversity" and it appears on all 99 stores in the United States, Canada, the UK and Australia.
"We first assembled the sign after the Indiana Religious Freedom Act, then expanded it to more doors following the Orlando tragedy and then more broadly shortly after the election in November as a sign of solidarity," a representative for West Elm said.
    Miss Pixie's has a "Refugees and immigrants welcome here" sign and another that reads "Hate has no business here" and "All are welcome here."
    "We want to let our customers know we're very inclusive," Pixie Windsor said in a phone interview. The store isn't shy about its politics; the weekend of the inauguration, it donated money from the increased sales that came from the influx of visitors to Planned Parenthood and the LGBT community-focused Whitman-Walker Health.
    Let me know if you see storefronts with welcome signs similar to these at hunter.schwarz@cnn.com, tweet me @hunterschwarz, or tag @cnncoverline on Instagram.

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