Yardzee Canada started on Made Urban a couple years ago as Handmade by HoneyB selling handmade cards and candles. Recently Brittany has made a big change to her company and since doing so, has become one of the more popular storefronts on our site. Her brave decision to pivot her entire business is proof that focusing on a niche can have a big payoff.
Yardzee Canada stays incredibly busy during the summer months but now is the time to put your order in for the holidays! The yardzee sets make great Christmas gifts and there’s no reason you have to wait until next summer to play outdoors, clear the living room! 😉
Tell us about your company:
It started off by selling a variety of my hand-crafted goods at craft shows in and around the GTA during weekends in the summer and fall and at the Christmas markets. One of the items I was selling happened to be a Yardzee set. Our original Yardzee sets were not sanded, were unvarnished, came in plastic buckets and had the dots painted on instead of burned. This was the very beginning of Yardzee Canada. Since then, we have really aimed to make our product stand out and have improved on a lot. We set up shop in our hometown of Brampton Ontario and invested in the necessary tools to produce these games for our customers.
Why did you start your business?
I’ve always enjoyed crafting and creating things, from scrapbooks and handmade cards, to candles and now Yardzee games. The idea of being able to create something for the enjoyment of others is an extremely fulfilling feeling. What started off as my weekend hobby, quickly turned into my very own business and I’m loving every moment of it!
Of all the yard games, why Yardzee? How do you play Yardzee?
It’s a game that my family has enjoyed for years and it’s something that anyone can pick up. Oh and the best part? You can play outside!
You can play against another person or even in teams of 4 to 6 people (it does take a bit longer when everyone wants a turn, but it can and has been done!) Each player or team gets a scorecard and will take turns tossing the bucket. The players or teams will have to work their way through the scorecard to achieve the number sequences they’re able to roll with the dice. The first player or team to achieve these sequences and the highest score wins!
Is Yardzee a game for kids to play too?
People of all ages can play Yardzee including kids so long as they can do basic math! It’s a numbers game, so definitely recommended for kids as it could certainly help them with learning some basic addition skills. 🙂 Kids love the giant blocks too!
Do you plan to offer any other outdoor yard games in the future?
So far we have created a couple of other pretty fun supersized games but haven’t quite gotten them on the market yet. We’ve been focusing on really perfecting our Yardzee game before we move onto another game.
Can you share a bit about how you decided to focus on one product?
The decision to switch focus to creating just one product was a bit of a scary transition. It meant putting all of my eggs into one basket. I went from making and selling handmade cards, soy candles, wooden candle holders and various other items in my previous business to just one handmade game. I had a lot of fun with my first business but also learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way. One of the lessons I learned was that you can’t spread yourself too thin. Working a full-time day job and coming home to make cards, candles and other craftiness and still make time for my boyfriend and my dog became a lot to manage on a regular basis! 🙂 I decided that I would choose one thing and focus on it, really perfect it, and put my all into it. Life is still sort of crazy but much more manageable and my boys don’t feel as neglected anymore. LOL.
How has your business changed since focusing on one product?
It has changed tremendously! From the product to the name, my business has undergone quite a facelift. It has also granted me more time to explore different sides of business, such as the marketing side, which my boyfriend is really into! He’s been a huge support to me and has gotten our Yardzee game out there on the great wide web to our audience. It’s definitely still a great big learning experience and I’m still learning day by day and taking everything in as I go.
Can you share your Made Urban success story?
Made Urban reached out to me when I first started my home-based crafty business “Handmade By HoneyB”. I was ecstatic to learn that they had sought me out and wanted me to join their community! My hand-poured soy candles were even featured in one of their email flyers they send out to their members. Being a part of the Made Urban community has propelled my business and made my products more visible to an even greater audience and that is huge! And not to mention, they do feature articles and promote you on their homepage! 😀
You’re selling a seasonal product. How do you (or do you plan to) run your business in the winter months?
Although my product is a seasonal one, I still plan on marketing it as much as I can and getting it out there for people to see over the fall and winter months. It makes a great novelty Christmas gift and hey, whose stopping you from playing indoors on the carpet? ;D
Can you describe “a day in the life of”?
Ideally, a “day in the life of” is making Yardzees all day long! Buuttt, the reality is I work a different day job altogether and build Yardzees by night in my wood shop (shed) in my backyard. During the spring and summer months, I can normally be found working away most evenings and weekends and in the fall and winter months I mostly work on the weekends when business is slower. 🙂
Brittany’s work shed
What’s been the most important aspect to growing your business?
Not giving up! I’ll admit, there were frustrating days that made me feel like I couldn’t do it, but I think that’s a normal part of business. If you’re not struggling or experiencing some degree of difficulty with something along the way, then you’re not doing it right ;). If you’re having a bad day, it’s just a bad day. Keep with it and the next day you’ll kick butt! That’s what I would tell myself. It can be hard and tiring and frustrating, but you never know what you can make of something if you don’t keep pursuing it.
If you could go back in time, what’s one piece of advice you would give to yourself when you were just starting out?
I’ve enjoyed learning along the way and taking everything in as I go, even the trials and tribulations, but the one piece of advice that would have been useful when starting out would have been asking myself who my audience was. Who was I looking to sell to and why? I think by asking yourself this you can determine where you will begin selling your goods and where your market lies. I spent nearly every weekend for the past few years at markets and craft shows, which don’t get me wrong, it was fun (a little tiring and I probably spent more money on crafty finds than I made, but it was fun and I met a lot of really great people who gave me a ton of advice!), but I learned that my audience was not at these craft shows, they were online. You just need to find out where people are looking for you and actively make yourself more visible to them.
Yardzee set with custom card made for a customer giving the game as a gift.
For more details on Brittany’s handmade Yardzee sets, visit her Made Urban storefront and use the CONTACT SELLER to get your order in before the busy holidays!