What do you get someone who is celebrating a milestone birthday and has practically everything? A Yard-Gram!
Anthony Arno has found the perfect side hustle that allows him to supplement his career as an elementary school teacher to work in the evening while playing the part of a practical joker and allowing people to wake up the next day with a bit of curiosity to celebrate their birthday.
Yard-Grams, which is a Lawn Greetings Business that celebrates a person’s birthday by decorating their yard with a wide variety of displays from plastic pink flamingos to simple birthday candles. Anthony grew up in NYC and the idea of starting a Lawn Greetings Business seemed so foreign to him- you just don’t see this type of activity in the big city.
Anthony considers himself somewhat a practical joker, and he thought he’d give it a try. He set up a simple website and in fact had his very first order before even owning a single display. When he received a call for his first Yard-Gram he had the displays shipped overnight. His very first Yard-Gram was a cow display to celebrate a high school graduation with the message, HOLY COW! LOOK WHO JUST GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL! That was almost 1,000 Yard-Grams ago!
While most Yard-Gram requests are for birthdays, Anthony has had displays for newborns, graduations, prom proposals, anniversaries, retirements, new homes, and even welcoming home newly adopted children. By far, the most popular Yard-Grams are the plastic flamingos for the 50 year old man who has practically everything.
One of the biggest challenges in operating a Yard-Gram business is setting up a display when the ground is frozen, which is usually just a few weeks out of the year. When this happens, Anthony will drill holes into the ground so that the signs can be setup as promised during booking.
Yard-Grams offers FREE displays for anyone turning 100 years old or returning home from active military service. Anthony says that while setting up Lawn Greetings may not be as fulfilling as teaching a classroom full of kids, there have been some touching (and memorable) moments since entering the Lawn Greetings business, including:
Welcoming home for the very first time a child adopted from China.
A touching note from the husband of a terminally ill woman, who knew it would probably be her last celebrated birthday with him. He wrote that it gave him great joy to see her look of shock everytime she opened the front door and saw plastic pink flamingos on the front lawn.
A text message from the great granddaughter of woman who died just after she ordered a free Yard-Gram to celebrate her great grandmothers 100th birthday. The picture of the great grandmother surrounded by plastic pink flamingos was on display during the memorial service and everyone couldn’t stop talking about it.
A woman who’s college roommate ordered a Yard-Gram and asked Anthony to not reveal who ordered the display. He honored her request, only to discover that the woman thought someone was stalking her and she trashed the entire display. Anthony has a disclaimer now that he will reveal who ordered the display if asked to avoid any additional costs.
Anthony has had requests for everything from Elvis Presley displays to Toilet Bowls (Message: ANOTHER YEAR DOWN THE CRAPPER! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!)
You can book a Yard-Gram by contacting Anthony at 267-961-8211 or Yardgrams@gmail.com