Small Business,

Big Mindset  Podcast



Episode #49
Exponential Growth via a Franchise Model

My guests this week are not only inspiring, empowering business owners, but also my neighbors here in our Austin neighborhood! Amy Arnold and Jessica Stanley are the founders of Card My Yard. Chances are, if you've seen those fun letters in someone's yard celebrating an event, it was from Card My Yard. The two started the company in 2014, shifted to a franchise model and built their custom website in 2017, and saw exponential growth in 2020 in spite of a global pandemic.

The company now has over 365 franchise owners with over 90% of those from female entrepreneurs. In 2020 alone, Card My Yard booked over 150K orders, almost 3k greetings per week company-wide. In the first nine months of 2020, average revenue per location increased to $52,831 - up from an average of $18,788 in 2019.

To say this female-founded yet family-owned company is on a strong trajectory of success spurred on by a mission to serve is an understatement.  In addition to supporting their franchise families and customers across the country, Card My Yard Cares (CMYC) is an extension of the brand that carries their mission even further of supporting those in need. Organizations such as Breast Cancer Research FoundationPop-Up Birthday, and Jail to Jobs are just some partners that CMYC has donated time and funds out of ongoing support.

The Start

  • Met at a Bible study, two moms wanting schedule flexibility and a way to contribute financially to their families
  • Came up with Card My Yard as a way to celebrate kids and support their local community
  • Came up with logistics in their living room, bought their first letters

The Shift

  • Started adding additional locations
  • Shifted to empower other business owners to go out and do what they did and provide for their families
  • Stepped back to look at how to move forward, transitioned all locations into franchise owners and it caught fire

 The Strategy

  • During quarantine, many have been furloughed or laid off and have been able to use Card My Yard as more than what it was intended for
  • Over 90% of Card My Yard franchisees are female entrepreneurs
  • Able to really bless their families and fill in those gaps where it's been needed

The Action

  • Took a leap of faith in hiring full time employees
  • Huge change for us in the business over the last year.
  • Hiring infrastructure and hiring people has allowed true scaling in a sustainable way
  • Took counsel from advisors and other fellow business owners to be willing to share what they know about running a business.
  • Been willing to take some risk, step out on faith 

The Mindset

  • By the end of 2021, plan is to have over 500 franchise locations across the country
  • Technology - continue to reinvest in that and equip franchise owners with new tools
  • New product rollouts beyond happy birthday/say anything signs
  • Keeping it fresh and exciting for franchise owners and repeat customers
  • Support growth of franchise owners, hiring internally, create new resources, continue to improve infrastructure to support continued growth 

The Wrap-Up

 If you could listen to one music artist for the rest of your life, who would it be?

George Strait  

Luke Combs

Where can people find you online?

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