BY MELINDA SKUTNICK
This Thanksgiving week one small Mooresville business has been putting the emphasis on “giving.”
Yeager Snowmen & Crafts, a six-year-old woodcrafting business, strives to share a smile with others every November during “Operation Giveback.” Owners Michael and Kristy Yeager have amplified the annual event this year, reaching more locals deserving of appreciation than ever beforehand.
In 2020, as COVID-19 has ravaged other small shops, the Yeagers’ online business has grown exponentially despite the pandemic.
“This year, we wanted to take [Operation Giveback] a bit bigger because we, as a business, have been so blessed during COVID-19 when everything was so unknown. We just want to bless others with the joy and happiness that our door hangers bring all our customers each day.”
Yeager Snowmen & Crafts designs and creates seasonal door hangers throughout the year – large, decorative woodworked items such as snowmen, pumpkins, penguins, watermelons, mason jars, bees and more.
The business began six years ago as a hobby for the Yeager family, who moved to Mooresville seven years ago from West Virginia. After seeing increased interest from online customers year after year, the Yeagers dedicated themselves to full-time crafting in 2016.
All of their products are currently sold via Etsy and range in price from $30 to $45, although the Yeagers note that all door hangers have been claimed within mere minutes throughout the last several months.
As the pandemic hit in early 2020, the Yeagers began to discount their products to bring a little extra bliss to folks as they stayed safe at home. And, they noted, that made the business’ reach explode.
“We ran a COVID-19 deal of $25 [each] and we grew a lot from that,” they said. “But most recently, Kristy started a TikTok doing videos of our items and process, and it accidentally went viral.”
In just three weeks, the Yeagers reported an increase of 70,000 followers on TikTok plus a jump from 3,000 fans on Facebook to more than 27,000. They’ve shipped door hangers across the United States, as far as Hawaii, and shared them locally across Mooresville.
This year’s Operation Giveback brings ample holiday magic to the Mooresville area as the Yeagers surprise more than 100 area recipients with Christmas tree door hangers. The first was shared on Monday morning with a Mount Mourne postal worker who helps the Yeagers with their dozens of nationwide shipments each week.
“She has taken care of us and our business all year. She’s a hard worker and worked the front lines through the worst of times … We felt she was beyond deserving of the first give back.”
Frontline workers are a focus of the Yeagers’ festive donations. They have shared crafted Christmas trees with emergency room nurses and local and county first responders. They are also providing these gifts to teachers, grocery store staff, hotel workers, gas station attendants and more.
The Yeagers hope to share 120 trees with deserving individuals across the region. In a Facebook post, they announced this year’s Operation Giveback and solicited ideas and nominations for the gifts from their followers.
They are following through with those suggestions as well as meaningful people in their own day-to-day lives. This is the Yeagers’ sixth year giving back to the community in this way. In 2014, Operation Giveback began with a donation of 150 snowmen hangers to Levin’s Children’s Hospital in Charlotte to decorate room doors throughout the holiday season.
“It is important to us because many of the people on the front lines are an integral part of our business running and being successful,” they shared. “Thanksgiving is a time [when] you are counting your blessings and passing those same blessings to others around you. We just hope that our small part can show how incredibly grateful we are for each and every person who has touched our business, our lives, our children’s lives this year during such trying times.”
The Yeagers have shared each giveback on Facebook throughout the week. Learn more and check out their Operation Giveback at facebook.com/YeagerPrimitives