Several months ago, I asked one of my friends how she and her husband were adjusting to the empty nest. Her face lit up, and she shared with me how the empty nest had revitalized her marriage. “We’ve gone back to being flirty,” she said, “it’s like we are dating again.” Bob and I have found the same thing! Today I am excited to share a fun and flirty gift idea created by a fellow empty nester and her husband. Their story might just inspire you to lay a big smooch on your man!
(Suzy) Tell us a little about your family.
(Kim) My husband’s name is George. We met our sophomore year at the University of Missouri. Our first date was December 20, l979. He has told me “Happy Anniversary on the 20th of the every month since then! We will celebrate our 34th Wedding Anniversary this year. We have three kids – Chris, 32; Laura 29; Steven 21. We also have three grandkids ages 8, 5, 2
Tell us about your business.
Our business is Kisses 4 Us. We are in the business of keeping the fun and flirt in relationships by rediscovering the magic of kissing! We make gift boxes filled with cards describing various types of kisses (like the Frosty Kiss, Forehead Kiss, Sip Kiss, etc.) that you can share with your partner (We suggest on a daily basis!) to keep your romance alive. Our “Kiss Kits” make great gifts for Anniversaries, Weddings, Birthdays, or any other occasion.
How did you come up with the idea for Kisses 4 Us?
During our 35 years together, my husband has proven to be the romantic one in our relationship. Whether it was spur of the moment poetry or the perfect song with lyrics that seemed to have been written just for us, my husband continually brought a fun romantic spark to our relationship. That kind of creative romance just doesn’t come as naturally to me. As our first Christmas as empty nesters approached, I decided that I wanted to give him a gift that would return the flirty, yet deeply loved, feeling.
During my search for inspiration, I came across the tagline “Merry Kissmas.” Although it referred to the chocolate variety of kisses, I had my idea – A Christmas Countdown of Kisses! The first kiss was obvious, as Mistletoe was already one of our Christmas traditions. Then came the Fireplace Kiss, another of our favorites. Both of these kisses – as well as a Staircase Kiss (my husband is taller than me, and it allows me to reach him better) were already “our kisses.” I needed more, though, so research ensued. I eventually filled a holiday bag with 25 kiss cards. He chose one kiss card at random each day until Christmas. We had fun trying out new kisses while counting down to Christmas! The cards were unpacked again with the decorations the following year, and it was just as much fun. Pretty soon, we realized we weren’t only using the kisses during the Christmas season, but all year long! (Sometimes you need an Upside Down Creamy Kiss in the summer too!) We believed other couples would have just as much fun as we did rediscovering the magic of kissing, and Kisses 4 Us was born.
How did you get started?
It took almost a year to put together Kisses 4 Us. The whole family got involved. Talking to our kids about kissing was fun once they got over the shock that their parents were creating a romantic gift item! The kids live in different parts of the country, so we told them at separate times. Each one had a similar reaction. (Big eyes, a little flushed and a silly grin at first as they looked at our first prototypes.) Once they processed the concept and then made eye contact with us, they smiled and said, “This is a really good idea!” I guess you never imagine your parents would go into a business that involves kissing! The kids then offered their ideas, which was helpful. Recently, we were very excited to learn that Kisses 4 Us was going to be listed on Amazon.com, so now we have the opportunity to expand our reach to more people who want to add some fun and flirt into their relationship.
Who is a typical Kisses 4 Us customer?
I would hope anyone in a relationship is a Kisses 4 Us customer. If they aren’t, they should be! We say Kisses 4 Us is for someone who is or wants to be fun, flirty and romantic. We believe every relationship would want that! So far it has appealed to a wide age range. One of our first customers was a gentleman buying Kisses 4 Us for his wife to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary! How sweet to know that the fun, flirty romance is still alive after 50 years of marriage! He also purchased one for each of his married children. That is setting an example to live by! On the other end of the marriage spectrum, another customer said, “My husband and I have been married 4.5 years, and I love pulling the Kisses 4 Us out to help inspire some romance when our two-year-old demands so much of our attention.” With the craziness a two-year-old brings, this couple found that moment to reconnect!
What was your transition to the empty nest like and how does being an empty nester affect your business?
Kisses 4 Us has filled my empty nest! It’s like a new baby that we have to nourish and grow. I know it sounds odd, but starting a new business is like raising children. They are born (you launch your business), you raise them with good values and integrity (you try and create a brand that others will value), you let them grow up and make the world a better place (we believe Kisses 4 Us is good for relationships.) For us, the idea came first and then the decision to make it a business came second. So as opposed to deciding to get into business and then coming up with an idea, our transition to small business owners happened very organically. As I reflect back on my life up to this point, it’s been really good for me. I was a full-time mom when the kids were young, and we enjoyed a great phase of life. As our children got older and started their adult lives, I began to increase my level of volunteering. Now with just my husband and I at home our business, and especially what our business is, has brought another wonderful layer to our relationship. It’s hard to find as much time to volunteer anymore, but I still do for causes close to my heart.
How many hours a week do you typically work and how do you balance your work/home life?
Kisses 4 Us is a full time yet flexible job for me. The nice thing is that I can work my own hours and never miss any family obligations! My grandsons live nearby, and I don’t want to miss a thing! I probably average about 30 hours per week.
How can people learn more about Kisses 4 Us and get in touch with you?
Kisses 4 Us is available on our website or on Amazon. I love to hear feedback from customers about our product! We designed Kisses 4 Us to encourage individuality and creativity. There is no one way to choose the kiss cards. We’ve already done several ways ourselves: from hiding them around the house for each other to keeping the box on the kitchen counter and drawing a card to change the mood when we get snippy with each other. Another favorite is choosing a card before we leave the house for a night out. It’s a great way to set a fun tone for a date! Then there’s the Create Your Own cards where you can include your own unique kisses in the deck. So we want to hear from everybody who wants to share! We spread the ideas of how everybody uses the kisses on our social media. You can follow Kisses 4 Us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest! My email address is email@example.com.
(Suzy) I first ran across Kim’s business, when she commented on one of my @emptynestblessed Instagram posts. I thought Kisses 4 Us would be a fun gift for Bob, so I ordered it. We have loved it and just laughed and laughed as we’ve tried out lots of the kiss cards. When I realized that Kim was an empty nester like me, I started emailing with her, and we became friends. I think her story about starting a business as an empty nester is inspirational, and I was especially touched by the way her kids and husband have supported her as she launched Kisses 4 Us.
I’m grateful to Kim for her willingness to share her story with us. I would love to know what you do to keep the fun and flirt in your marriage! Please leave me a comment and let me know.