With all the work we are doing daily, people we are meeting, and relationships we are forging, it is a great gift
to take some time to reflect on how truly thankful we are to spend time with family and focus our lives
on providing other families positive experiences in their everyday lives.
A Dream of offering other families a space to enjoy time together became the café our family could build together.
Catalillies Play Café was formed from the idea to bring our community together in a warm, welcoming environment that would become part of their daily, weekly, or monthly life. We knew we wanted to create a café, because we love hosting people and making them feel like family, but what would make us unique from every other café in our town? The search for a unique angle began!
The play portion of Catalillies was really just an unfilled need come to light. We, as parents always felt on guard in public settings with our kids trying to make other adults feel comfortable with their presence. But with this constant need to curb their "kid exuberance" came the exhausting feeling of never enjoying public outings. We wanted to create a space where this was no longer the case. A space where kids could be kids and their parents could actually enjoy themselves as well, indoors and in a public space.
Building a café together was a bit more work than the play we had originally planned for.
Planning for the café was a long process of talking to other parents, working with the current play café industry, and tons of Pinterest boards and toy reviews. The one common ground they all intersect on is the fact that play cafes are needed for families to interact with their community, and if you don't have one in your town yet, you might want to think about starting one!
Planning is one thing, but the business side of things is a bit more work to get people to understand the concept which is still new in the United States and seen as cute but not particularly popular enough to invest in. Finding key partners and putting together resources to begin our location search and buildout was the hardest part of our journey, but with encouragement from friends, family, and our community we raised the capital needed to build a space for our community to enjoy and our family to grow in.
Seeing the sparkle, wonder, and amazement in our kids as we build makes the long hours worth it!
We knew when starting this business it would mean longer hours and more hands on involvement than our current jobs, but it also meant a lot more fulfillment.
Building a play space that our kids are excited to talk to their friends and teachers about has been a whole new return as a parent. Kids see you work hard to give them the best life possible, but for them to be proud of the process is an outcome we never considered.
Involving them in the final approvals of toys, concepts, social posts, and even logos has been a learning experience on both sides. They get to see what building and running a business is all about while also seeing that you can choose joy and happiness daily in your choice of "work" for the community.
These bubbly girls are the secret sauce behind our brand and drive as a company.
Family is a priority for us, so we have built it into our café!
The first part of our space that was sketched and planned was our family room. We felt this was the most important key to making this business work and our family to thrive at the same time.
A room that would usually be dedicated to an admin office, was reimagined into a home -like fun space for our kids to enjoy their own personal space. This would give them a break from constantly needing to interact and be a representative of the café. A place where they could just be kids and enjoy themselves when their parents were working.
We foresee many snacks being eaten at this tiny table and even more naps taken on this kid sized couch. The memories made in our café will be bright and colorful, but the memories made in this small room will help them understand how important centering family in everything they do in life is. This room will grant them the space to be their best selves and allow us to provide a service for our community families without neglecting ours.
We look forward to welcoming your family to play when we open our doors soon!