Bill the sign spinner
William Aliki is Samoan and has been in the U.S. for almost three years. “I want to stay and make some money to help out my mom, little sisters and brothers [back on the islands],” he said. “I’m the only one out here.”
Aliki works for AArrow Sign Spinners in Seattle, whose web page proudly boasts that some of its employees won the 2017 World Sign Spinning Championships. He found the job on Craigslist and has only been working for AArrow for four months, but his goal is to make the championships and the prize money. Besides spinning signs for as much as 32 hours a week, he joins other sign spinners from 3-6 p.m. every Wednesday at Silverdale Waterfront Park to practice.
Many days, you can catch his performance on Silverdale Way as he spins his arrow for Fillabong, a cannabis store at 2839 NW Kitsap Place. The business is tucked away off the street, and assistant manager Crystal Eicher gives sign spinners a lot of credit for the store’s success.
“It definitely helps the business,” she said. “We’re in an obscure location. People come in here all of the time because of the sign spinner.”
It’s a tough job sometimes, Aliki said. “Especially when it’s hot and the sun’s out and you’ve got on four layers of clothes because you thought it was going to rain. But it’s a good job,” he said. He said he makes minimum wage and has health insurance. “I’m starting on the bottom and working my way up.”