Contactless model helped Austin-based yard card business expand

Options for messages and greetings include recognizing COVID-19 heroes. (Courtesy Card My Yard)
Options for messages and greetings include recognizing COVID-19 heroes. (Courtesy Card My Yard)

Options for messages and greetings include recognizing COVID-19 heroes. (Courtesy Card My Yard)

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From left: Co-founders Amy Arnold and Jessica Stanley started Card My Yard in Austin in 2014. (Courtesy Card My Yard)
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Popular messages during the pandemic have been to recognize graduates. (Courtesy Card My Yard)
Card My Yard is an Austin-based yard rental greeting service set up by two stay-at-home moms in 2014 and now has 450 franchises nationwide.

The web-based business followed a contactless model of operation even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020. During the pandemic when celebrations moved outdoors and businesses worked hard to reduce contact, Card My Yard became a way for people to celebrate and meet the heightened demand for safe fun, co-founders Jessica Stanley and Amy Arnold said.

Clients would order online, and the service would place a custom message with its large inventory of letter styles and graphics in their yard for 24 hours and then go back to pick it up after the event without meeting the customer.

Stanley and Arnold said they sent signs across the country from their central warehouse in Austin. To make room for the extra load, franchisees’ families jumped in to set up and take down the signs.

“We did many, many drive-by birthday celebrations during the pandemic,” said Stanley, who is also the chief marketing officer.


People would drive up to wish their loved one well and remain outside. To commemorate true heroes who worked on the front lines, “Heroes work here” sign orders increased multifold across the country outside hospitals and nursing facilities, they said.

When schools moved toward drive-up graduations, Card My Yard set up a sign saying, “Congrats, grads!” This pandemic innovation became a photo spot for kids with their diplomas and hats.

They coined new greetings during the pandemic including “13 in quarantine!” Anything that rhymed with quarantine was popular, they said.

“We have lights that customers are able to add on to their celebration,” Stanley said. “If you get home at 6 p.m., your sign is illuminated.”

Now that things are opening up, the business added an option to use a stand for indoor setup.

“There are a lot of houses to celebrate,” she said.

The company, now in the eighth year, has individual customers and corporate accounts, including Cabela’s, Kendra Scott, Chick-fil-A, Amazon and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It is on track to add 120 franchise locations this year. All the franchises operate out of franchisees’ homes.

“We don’t want to say no to anybody; we are doing what we can,” said Arnold, also the chief brand officer.

Get carded

Austin-based Card My Yard rents personalized yard greeting signs and has 450 franchises, including 11 in the Austin area.

  • To place an order, visit www.cardmyyard.com.

  • Packages start at $80, which includes personalization, setup and removal of each sign.

  • Once an order is placed, a Card My Yard owner from the closest ZIP code designs the greeting and works to deliver and set up the cards at the specified time and location.


Card My Yard

Lakeway: www.cardmyyard.com/lakeway

Austin, Four Points, Westlake: www.cardmyyard.com/austin

Bee Cave, Dripping Springs: www.cardmyyard.com/dripping-springs
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