photo by: Submitted/n2photography
If Instagram inspired the people in my household to start a business, I shudder to think what it would be. (The bow tie-wearing Boston Terrier of the household probably would be the CEO, given that he’s in all the photos.)
But a pair of Lawrence moms think they’ve found an Instagram idea that will be a big hit locally. It involves tents in your living room.
More specifically, it involves a slumber party in your living room, or basement or whatever other space you think your insurance agent wouldn’t object to.
Eventful, co-owned by Lawrence moms Heather Hall and Nancy McCready, will come to your home and set up all the sleeping arrangements for a children’s sleepover party. That involves air mattresses to sleep on, tents to cover the air mattresses and a whole bunch of extras such as nightstands, nightlights, banners, balloons and a bag of party favors.
All of the items come in a variety of themes — about 20 total — that the customer can choose. If you have a bunch of kids who want a video game party, you can pick a Minecraft, Super Mario or Fortnite theme, for example. Or maybe there is a group that loves flowers and frills. There is a theme for that. There are multiple sports themes, ranging from KU to K-State, plus basketball, football or soccer options. There are princesses, unicorns, Legos, outer space and even a TikTok theme. (I have found that a one-person tent — tightly closed — is the best place to do a TikTok dance.)
Hall and McCready are friends through their young children. Both had seen companies who create themed slumber parties appearing more often on social media. There are a couple of companies in Kansas City, but the pair hadn’t seen one yet in Lawrence.
“We thought, why not?” McCready said.
photo by: Submitted/n2photography
The business, which is not part of a chain or franchise, opened earlier this month. The company has started taking bookings, but hasn’t yet hosted its first event, since events usually are booked a ways in advance. But their optimistic about how the idea will be received.
“I think families are looking to do fun things coming out of the pandemic,” Hall said. “The ability to create magical memories coming out of the last three years has been really important to the families we have talked to.”
The women have talked to a lot of people, especially moms, as they often end up in charge of planning slumber parties. Hall and McCready said they have gotten the ideas for their themes from other moms, who shared what their kids are most interested in currently.
It was during those conversation that they learned about another selling point they think their business will offer: slumber party setup and tear-down. Eventful staff will spend the time inflating the mattresses, setting up the tent, hanging the banners and putting the other final details on the theme.
Prices start at $175 for a two-tent party and are $300 for a four-tent party. Additional tents are about $75 each. Crews come back at the end of the party and pack everything up, as you are renting the tents and decorations. Campers do get to keep some items, though, such as a themed sleep mask or flashlight, which is given as a party favor.
Neither mother has operated a business quite like this before. Hall is an attorney, and McCready spent years in the world of marketing, where she did do event planning. That’s been useful, as a slumber party is definitely an event.
But what the two have found more helpful is just being around kids. McCready said the key to coming up with successful themes is embracing your inner, childlike mind.
“When you are surrounded by kid stuff, your brain is in that mode a lot anyway,” she said. But one of the great things about this has been that it is really fun to think about what kids would have fun with.”
The business does not have a storefront location, but operates online under the name Eventful Lawrence.