By: Megan Roche
For Luke and Wesley Dunn, sitting in quarantine without taking action was just something they couldn’t do. On April 19, Luke was turning the big 21. Not wanting to let the occasion go by without a celebration, Luke’s mom Melissa, ordered a big happy birthday sign for the front yard. With a birthday parade going by, Melissa gave Luke and Wesley the idea that they should repurpose the sign for others celebrating birthdays in quarantine.
“The sign that my mom had ordered for my birthday had come in late. My mom posted on Facebook that my brother would go out and put the happy birthday sign in other people’s yards. We started scheduling different things and it really just took off. We had 20 people requesting the sign after the first day. After that, my brother quickly realized that he was going to need help so I joined in right away,” Luke shared.
Yankee Yard Card was born. The two brothers, wanting to earn money toward college, are charging $40 for sign set ups the night before the special event. What started out as just birthday signs has now morphed into graduation, birth announcements, and more. The two brothers will come by your home the night before the event, set up the signs in the yard, and come by the next evening to pick them up. The two are learning valuable skills, while bringing joy to others.
“We both really like new projects and problem solving. We are really learning about the challenges of a small business. We’ve been enjoying the operations and although there have been challenges, it’s been really eye opening. We never in a million years thought that this would take off like it has,” Luke said.
The two brothers do not want anyone to feel like their celebration or special day is less important because of the coronavirus pandemic. Just like Luke, celebrating a birthday at this time, is something that will not be forgotten.
“We really want to do this so that younger kids who maybe don’t understand what is going on or it’s not what they are used to, we want to bring them joy. It’s something that the two of us can do that is easy that helps us both make money for college and it’s a pick me up. It makes a huge difference for a kid when they go outside and they see a sign, they know people are thinking of them,” Luke said.
Luke, an economics major at NYU and Wesley, a graduating Mountain Lakes High School senior and Villanova bound in the fall, are proud of their business. The two have grown closer through their endeavor to bring happiness to others during these trying times.
“Everybody in town has really rallied behind our entrepreneurial spirit. Everyone in the town has been so great to us. People are so grateful for what we are doing and it’s helping us in the meantime. We’re getting out of bed and getting out of quarantine and actually doing something. We thought it would just be a fun project, we never thought that this many people would be responding,” Luke said.
The brothers are currently accepting orders for signs through their website. Due to popularity of the project, many dates are currently sold out. The Dunn brothers suggest making arrangements early. While they are currently only limited to Morris County, the brothers are considering expanding as the business grows. Mom Melissa couldn’t be prouder of her boys.
“I am truly so proud of not only my boys’ entrepreneurial spirits, but more so of their desire to spread a little happiness during these challenging times,” Melissa shared.