The signs first appeared in mid-November.

Within weeks, they started popping up in residential neighborhoods, schoolyards, churches, lawns and in the windows of small businesses across the Twin Cities area.

One side features an outline of the state of Minnesota surrounded by a heart. The other has the words "All Are Welcome Here" on a rainbow-colored background.

Since then, the simple, four-word message had been translated into Spanish, French, Ojibwe, Lakota, Somali, Hmong, Hmoob, Hebrew and Arabic; 6,000 signs have been printed and "more are on the way," said the St. Louis Park woman who started it all.

"People want to show unity; they want to show they care," said Jaime Chismar. "This is a movement."

A freelance digital designer, Chismar, 40, hadn't intended to start a movement — or a business — when she saw a news story in early November. It detailed an incident at Maple Grove High School, where racial slurs had been scrawled on a wall.

"I consider Maple Grove to be one of my hometowns; I moved there when I was in junior high," Chismar said. "When I heard about it, I was sitting at my desk and I started crying; it hit so close to home."

The next day, Chismar was heartened to hear that many students responded to the graffiti by making hand-lettered signs that read "Love Will Conquer All!" and "Stand Together," which they posted around the building.

Inspired by those students, she sketched a prototype of a sign of her own and put it on Facebook.

Immediately, people on social media were using her design for their Facebook profiles, then asked for "All Are Welcome Here" signs to post in their yards. Chismar took a leap and ordered 500 of the signs from a local printer. They sold within a week.

While she was filling orders, Chismar quickly recruited a trio of longtime friends, "all moms with full-time jobs," to join her.

"How many signs fit in a box, how do you pack the sticks — we had to figure it all out," she said. "Originally, we had inventory in our basements. The pallets were delivered to our garages — we had impromptu pop-up shops out of our cars."

Now graphic designer Janna Netland Lover is in charge of logistics, shipping and receiving; JoEllen Martinson Davis, who works in advertising, manages special projects and events, and researcher Gina Rumore heads customer service efforts.

The signs ($16-$18) are sold on the website, at booths around the Twin Cities and in select shops. There are discounts for larger orders, schools and nonprofits. The company also sells T-shirts, window clings, buttons and stickers bearing the same message.

Chismar calls the design "really optimistic," saying it's "inclusive," with a cute heart, a happy rainbow and an emphasis on the word "all."

Interest from people in other states led her to adapt the design: There's a version that features the outline of the United States encircled by the heart.

She dedicates 25 percent of the profits to the American Civil Liberties Union, divvied up between the state chapter and national offices. At the end of December, she wrote a check to the ACLU for $6,750. This year, she plans to make quarterly donations to the organization.

"My purpose," she said, "is to bring people together."

Chismar said she often thinks about what this business, this movement, will mean to the people of Minnesota, especially her 5-year-old daughter, Evelyn.

Five months after giving birth, Chismar was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Stage 3 breast cancer. She had to stop breast-feeding so she could undergo a double mastectomy.

"At that time I wondered if my daughter would get the chance to know me," Chismar recalled. "I had to learn to live with the fear so it didn't overtake my life. One of the decisions I made at the time was to do something good every day."

She kept her vow through 2½ years of chemo, as well as a cancer recurrence in 2014.

While she's optimistic about her health, she's become mindful of leaving a legacy.

"I'm so grateful for this project; it's personal for me," Chismar said. "No matter what, my daughter will know that her mom worked super hard for the community, so that people can feel safe and respected in the world."

Kevyn Burger is a Minneapolis-based freelance broadcaster and writer.