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 house’s bow-tied Boston Terrier is likely the CEO, given that he appears in all the photos.)
But a couple of Lawrence moms think they’ve found an Instagram idea that will be a big hit locally. This is tents in the living room of it.
More specifically, it’s a sleepover in your living room, basement, or any 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 house and set up all the sleeping arrangements for a kids sleepover. That includes air mattresses to sleep on, tents to cover the air mattresses, and lots of extras like nightstands, nightlights, banners, balloons, and a bag of party favors.
All items come in a variety of themes, about 20 in total, that the customer can choose from. If you have a group of kids who want a video game party, you can choose a Minecraft, Super Mario, or Fortnite theme, for example. Or maybe there is a group that loves flowers and decorations. There is a theme for that. There are multiple sports themes, ranging from KU to K-State, plus basketball, soccer, or football options. There are princesses, unicorns, Legos, outer space, and even a TikTok theme. (I’ve found that a tightly closed, single-person tent is the best place to do a TikTok dance.)
Hall and McCready are friends through their young children. Both had seen companies creating themed sleepovers appearing more frequently on social media. There are a couple of businesses in Kansas City, but they haven’t seen any in Lawrence yet.
“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 accepting reservations, but has yet to host its first event, as events are usually booked well in advance. But they are optimistic about how the idea will be received.
“I think families are looking to do fun things in the wake of the pandemic,” Hall said. “The ability to create magical memories of the last three years has been very important to the families we have spoken with.”
Women have talked to a lot of people, especially moms, as they often end up in charge of planning sleepovers. Hall and McCready said they got the ideas for their topics from other moms, who shared what their kids are most interested in right now.
It was during that conversation that they learned about another selling point they think their business will offer: sleepover set-up and tear-down. The packed event staff will spend 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 party of two tents and $300 for a party of four tents. Additional tents are about $75 each. The teams come back at the end of the party and pack everything up, since you are renting out the tents and decorations. However, campers can keep some items, such as a themed sleep mask or flashlight, which are given out as party favors.
Neither mother has operated a business like this before. Hall is a lawyer and McCready spent years in the world of marketing, where she did go into event planning. That’s been helpful, since a sleepover is definitely an event.
But what the two have found most useful is simply being around children. McCready said that the key to creating successful tracks is embracing your inner child mind.
“When you’re around kid stuff, your brain is in that mode a lot anyway,” he said. But one of the best things about this has been that it’s so much fun to think about what kids would have fun with.”
The business does not have a storefront location, but operates online under the Eventful Lawrence name.