Have you been elfed? That's what two north Raleigh moms want to know. They're creators of Have You Been Elfed, an all-in-one bag with candy, Christmas activities and a cute little elf that you can hang on the door of friends and family to surprise them.
Being Elfed is a lot like getting "Booed" at Halloween. That's when families, sometimes under the cover of darkness, stealthily deliver treats and often a picture of a ghost to the doors of two friends. Then those two friends deliver a similar package to two more friends. And it goes on.
Allison Mays and Leigh Noonan, friends, neighbors and north Raleigh moms with three kids each, came up with the idea for their all-in-one Elf bag on Nov. 1 as all that Booing wound down. Mays, her husband and Noonan's husband were high school friends from upstate New York. Noonan joined the crew when she married. Now, their children all are friends too.
Mays, an accountant and former business owner with a jewelry design company, and Noonan, a former first grade teacher, are busy moms. But this isn't the first business idea they've dreamed up. Mays calls herself a "serial entrepreneur." They also run Wallflowers Media, a marketing and graphic design business. North Raleigh moms want to help you 'elf' your neighbors
"We tried to figure out something we could do together," Noonan said. The two want to help contribute to their family's finances, but still have the time to volunteer at their kids' schools and be home after school. They also were looking for a creative outlet.
"I love to think stuff up and Allison can figure out how to do it," Noonan said.
The two knew their kids and friends loved getting Booed at Halloween. But they also knew that it takes a little work to spread the Halloween spirit - a trip to the store and usually more than you wanted to spend on candy and little toys. They figured an all-in-one, pre-filled bag would make the process easier and more enjoyable for parents. The bags sell for $12 each.
Once they came up with the idea, they started scouring online for elves, which, like the ghost, stays on your front door or wreath so people know you've already been "Elfed," and other items. They also added a plush reindeer as an option too.
The business has taken off quickly. When I met them, Noonan's living room floor was dotted with fillers for the bags. The bags are sold online and at Lily Mae's in Wake Forest. Noonan and Mays also were at the Bedford Holiday Bazaar over the weekend. And they've even fielded a call from a major toy store chain interested in selling the bags.
"My husband said they hope it becomes 'Elf Dynasty,'" joked Noonan.
Mays said the two have lots of ideas for next year, including adding other holidays beyond Christmas. This first Christmas, the two are just testing the waters. They plan to go big in 2014.
After all, Mays said: "It's only been a month."
Go Ask Mom features local moms every Monday.