MASON CITY, Iowa - If you're looking for something for the kids to do other than play video games, two Mason City sisters are creating and selling yard games for the whole family.
Mollie and MacKenzy Conway were playing an outdoor version of 'Chutes & Ladders' during the height of the quarantine period, when Mollie decided to cut up the board into a 'Yard-Zee' game, and sold a couple.
"I know a lot of our ideas come from our whole family shooting out ideas and figuring out whether or not this is something that can happen or something that can't happen," MacKenzy said.
Since then, they've expanded into tic-tac-toe, Jenga and cornhole games, as well as yard signs. And in just the last few months, Mo's Yard Games & More has taken off.
"I emailed my industrial tech teacher because she wanted us to do some kind of project, and I said, 'we're making these yard dice, do you want me to send a video of that?' And she was like, 'yeah.' That spread word to the other teachers, and some of them came and got some games. And it just blew up," Mollie said.
Mollie and MacKenzy have been selling their games in front of their house on State Street, as well as online, at the Clear Lake Farmer's Market, and at Chris' Kettle Corn at Southbridge Mall, and are looking to expand.
It has been a learning experience starting a new business from the ground up.
"Sometimes there can be a little stress with that, but it's always something we can overcome. We've been having fun with this," Mollie said.
"I feel like it's taught everyone in this house about patience and doing things right the first time, and doing things of quality and selling quality product instead of 'oh hey, I painted these blocks and put a little sticker on them.' Producing quality things, learning people skills, being around people more than you would if we were fully on lockdown...it brings me joy that it's making other people feel happy and give them something to do," MacKenzy said.
So what's next? Mollie and MacKenzy are looking at a domino-based game, as well as some indoor games for the colder months.