Kids Need to Play-Help Keep Our Playspace Open
As a small business owner, every day is a struggle and the livelihood of our family relies on the success of our business. Our indoor playground, Kids' Fun Stop, serves families with children crawling to six years and is located in West Roxbury, a Boston Suburb. It has been a popular destination for families of young children for almost 13 years now and our family has owned it for 9 of those years. We have seen many other indoor kids venues come and go during these 9 years but have vowed to hang on. Our customer base is strong, our reviews are very good, people rave about our birthday parties and I can count the number of complaints we've had on one hand. I'm so thankful and proud of that.
So why are we in need of help?
We have a small business that people love! What's going on??
While we continue to try and figure out what works best, we just sink further and further into a hole financially.
Weather-- undeniably a huge factor for our business. If it's sunny out...families want to be outside and we get that. But the weather has changed considerably since we bought the business in 2010. Summers are always slower, but we could always rely on 2-3 super rainy days or a really drizzly week each month that would pretty much cover the rent. Now we get early morning rain and overcast days at best (perfect for the park). The long cold winters were busy enough that we could put aside money to help with the summer rent, but now the winters are warmer, shorter and just not as dreadful.
Then there are the toilets...I'd be upset if I didn't mention the financial burden that the plumbing costs have been. (Take note! Pampers, wipes, feminine products and paper towels cannot be flushed.) The wads the plumber has retrieved from our toilets on numerous occasions costing us hours and hours of plumbing fees and numerous days (rainy of course!) of having to close has been very disheartening. The unexpected downfalls of owning a business....
The booming economy? When the economy is good... Families travel, when times are tough, families stay home. We continue to try and figure this out on a daily basis!
Our customers praise us and thank us for being an alternative to the outdoor elements during the heat, the rain and the extreme cold. Unfortunately or landlord needs his rent the rest of the time as well.
Lastly, this winter I had a fall which put me in a cast for 6 weeks and in PT for much longer. Unfortunately, as a small business owner who must wear all hats...I wasn't able to spend the necessary time marketing, scheduling/promoting our special events, hitting the streets and talking to people about our spring and summer events. And now spring has sprung.
We've tried to remain affordable and keep our entry fees low. We've tried to remain fair in our policies with cancelled parties due to weather and sickness. We've always helped the community with generous donations to schools, churches and neighborhood events. We've opened our doors to organizations with young kids from homeless shelters and offer unlimited free play. We've offered ASD families private playtime for their children. We offer teachers, grandparents, 1st responders and social workers discounts when they bring children. We've offered complimentary car seat safety checks in coordination with the Mass State Police. We know we are a big part of the community and would be missed.
Its time we ask for help and we need support from our community. We may have to make some adjustments to keep up with changing times, but in the meantime we need help to remain open long enough to make those changes. We haven't kept up with our rent and are watching the bills pile up. Paying our employees has always been first but the other bills don't go away so we are going further into debt.
Any small donation will help. We are hoping that our past customers whose children have aged out will remember the good times and make a contribution to help.
Whatever we are able to raise will help. We've enjoyed the ride and I've loved our little business. It's been the best 10 years for me and I know thousands of families have enjoyed our playspace...With your help many more will be able to as well.
Feel free to send a private message via facebook.com/kidsfunstop
#kidsfunstop #asdfamilies #toddlerplay #funwithoutthesun
Wow! In less than 2 weeks, our friends and customers have been so generous. Please continue to share, we soooo appreciate the support. Thank you. Thank you.