Kathryn Richardson is the founder of YearCheer, a holiday subscription box that each month contains the items that help busy families decorate, connect, and celebrate holidays throughout the year. Designed for kids age three to tween, YearCheer boxes come with easy decorations, fun activities, games and different surprises each holiday. She calls it “every mom’s secret weapon for creating holiday magic.”
Katie created YearCheer as a solution to help women like her—a corporate retail executive and mom of four kids under 11—eliminate “mom guilt” and create magical memories with their families, all without the time or mental energy of planning those moments. We believe that the greatest gift that one can give is “giving moms the gift of time” and YearCheer does just that.
We spoke to Katie about founding YearCheer, how she’s celebrating Halloween this year, the best advice she’s gotten as a working mom and more…
Can you please share how YearCheer came to be?
The idea came to me about a year ago. I’m a mom of 4 kids (ages 2-11) who works full time in corporate America. My husband also works full time so time is always a precious commodity in our household. As my kids hit Elementary School age they started talking to me about all of the fun things that “other moms” were doing for their kids for all of the holidays throughout the year. While my kids gave me major credit for going all out on Christmas and Birthdays, my oldest daughter referred to me as a “Holiday Scrooge” for other holidays.
While I had every intention of doing something fun for holidays such as Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s Day, I would find myself scrounging around the house for decorations for the house or a fun surprise for the kids. One St Patrick’s day my sister had sent me a box ofgreen goodies that completely saved the day. I thought, “What if I could use my retail experience curating product to make celebrating and having fun with your families easier and more fun for busy moms like me?” A few months later, YearCheer was born! Its everything you need to decorate, connect, and celebrate with your family – delivered right to you!
How do you decide what goes in the boxes?
As a merchant for over 20 years with brands such as Target, Gap, Old Navy, and Under Armour, curating the product is one of my favorite parts of the process. The process starts with an idea or concept for the holiday around what I think would be fun for families to do together.
Then I visit Trade Shows, boutiques, Etsy, Instagram, and Pinterest to find the best products, vendors, and inspiration to curate the assortment. In every box, we include a packing list that shows everything in the box as well as YearCheer exclusive games and activities. We are always listening to our customers and responding to the parts of the box that they like the best!
How specifically would you use the Halloween Box this year?
Our Halloween Box is filled with activities that will create anticipation in the weeks leading up to Oct 31st as well as ideas to help you celebrate the big day. I will start by using the decor included in this month’s box to decorate my family room and the kids “Homeschool station” to give them a bit of Halloween flair. I’m then going to use our “Boo Bag Starter Kit” to continue the tradition of “booing” our neighbors and friends. Included is the box is everything you need to “boo” up to 4 houses. I’m excited to start the new tradition of telling spooky Halloween stories with the YearCheer Shadow Puppets. We just got a new outdoor theatre screen and my kids are so excited to use their shadow puppets on the screen in addition to using the shadow puppet theatre they created out of their box. Finally, we will have a “Halloween Party at home” since the school parades and parties are canceled this year. We will start by using the included Face Paint to enhance our costumes. Next we will take some time to read Bonaparte Falls Apart – a sweet Hallowen story. Finally to get out of the house for a bit, we will do the YearCheer Neighborhood scavenger hunt and we will explore our competitive side with the YearCheer Halloween Knock Em Down Game. I can’t wait to use our Halloween box to help us have a safe and fun Halloween this year!
What other holidays do you celebrate?
We currently celebrate 10 Holidays for 8 months of the year. We offer New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Spring, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah.
How can everyone get a Halloween Box?
Visit YearCheer.com to reserve your box today. Halloween boxes are on sale until 10/14! ** Our last 5 Holidays sold out so don’t delay!*
Anything else to add?
YearCheer boxes are great for age 3-tween. One box works for a family of up to 4 kids. YearCheer boxes make a great gift to give friends, teachers, or co-workers working from home with kids. It’s also an amazing gift to ask the grandparents for this holiday season.
And just one more question we love to ask…Any advice that you’ve gotten from a working mom that you love?
I have many very dear mom friends and mentors – and I learn so much from both my working moms and my stay at home mom friends. As a bit of a perfectionist and someone who likes to put a lot on her plate, the best advice I have gotten from another working mom who I admire was when I was going from 2 to 3 children was “lower your standards.” “Lower your standards of how much sleep you think you will get, how clean your house will be, how much work you will get done, how fit you will be and how much you will get done and you will be happy.” While I still set big goals for myself, this reminder that in the season of motherhood where you have young children, you have to accept a certain level of chaos and that you can’t do it all, has actually allowed me to continue to push myself to pursue many dreams!
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