Children need exposure to creative activities in a fun, positive, and motivational environment.
Remember art period in school? How about shop, mechanical drawing, sewing, sculpture? I do, that's where I first learned to express myself, built confidence, learned about dynamic problem solving, negotiated between goal and process, and most importantly realized that I want to have a career in a creative field and subsequently chose architecture.
I was alarmed to learn my children's elementary school all but eliminated exposure to creative activities during school and after school offerings left much to be desired. Simultaneously, while both mom and myself have full time jobs, our nanny struggled to keep up with requests for app downloads and after school screen time was at an all time high. After a little research, I realized this is a growing concern among parents nationwide. A big red flag went up and I asked myself - How can we do better?
PLAYDAY is the answer, a branded environment where on demand, 45-60 minute classes include a mix of sculpting, drawing, model building, origami, weaving, typography, chess, architectural design, yoga, meditation, and much more. A space to celebrate who you are, explore, create, activate, and make new friends. Because expressing yourself and learning new things helps us feel more confident and inspired.
Think Soul Cycle for kids (our pricing and on demand reservation model was inspired by Soul Cycle). Instead of stationary bikes, little turquoise stools are reserved and used for a variety of children's activities, camp, and super fun creative birthday parties. After School Care for children is currently a $23bn industry in the US.
These are PLAYDAY's Classes and Offerings.
We opened our first location in Long Island City, NY...
In December of 2017, we secured a lease for a 1,200 sf ground floor retail space in the up and coming neighborhood of Long Island City, NY at 5-37 51st Ave. With minor construction and easy furniture set-up, we were open for business in 2 weeks. During construction, many recent graduates were interviewed from accredited art programs from schools such as Vassar, Yale, RISD, SVA, and Pratt. I quickly learned that there is a large available work force of talented and professional creatives who have a strong passion for mentoring and motivating children along with a love for sharing relevant art history and most current techniques. Our instructors are celebrated and encouraged to use PLAYDAY as a platform to share their talents and skills all while being positive role models.
Meet one of our instructors Haejin Park!
PLAYDAY staff are amazing. I was looking for something different for my 5-year old's birthday party, (Tired of the bounce houses and clown magicians!) and thought an art class would be great. The kids loved it, and they got a full art lesson on two different projects - stamping and origami. I can't wait for my little one to try an art class here too. He keeps asking, "When can we go back to PLAYDAY?"
A fantastic addition to the neighborhood. The classes and instructors are engaging and dynamic. Our 7 year old daughter loves going and always wants to stay for more than one class.
We enabled an on-line scheduling and booking engine where parents can easily book single classes at $36 as well as purchase 10, 20, 30 and 40 class packs. Unlike many other children's activity programs, no membership or long term commitments are required. Parents love the flexibility; our packs never expire and we offer a 25% sibling discount. Families purchase class packs and book their favorite classes well into the future. On average, a 10 pack valued at $340 will last a family one month. When school is out on snow days, holidays, parent teacher conferences, week long breaks, and of course all of summer, PLAYDAY is open and offers $75 half day and $150 full day camp options. When compared to the growing costs of child care, PLAYDAY becomes a cost effective solution.
Our second location opened 6 months later...
In July of 2018 we opened PLAYDAY Gramercy Park, a 2,500 sf ground floor retail space in the heart of Midtown Manhattan at 122 East 25th Street between Lexington and Park Ave. Here too, we received a very warm welcome from our residential, commercial, and institutional neighbors in the community.
The second location taught us how to manage supplies, staff, and schedule in multiple locations. PLAYDAY Gramercy Park has become a flagship location helping us solidify beneficial partnerships with companies like Dylan's Candy Bar & KIDZ-CON. Attendance continues to grow for morning "Grown Up & Me" classes and after school activities. The birthday parties are booked months in advance and we fill up camp days to full capacity of 34 children
Out of the gate success and learnings...
In two years we've seen strong growth and are expecting to double revenue from 2018 to 2019. We are learning about seasonal fluctuation as well as family's planning patterns.
With increasing attendance, super positive customer reviews, and a strong repeat customer rate, we expect continued increase in revenue while becoming the leader in a growing industry. Here is a percentage breakdown of our revenue by category.
Additional revenue streams like off site Creative Birthday Parties, more NO SCHOOL Camp offerings, adult Paint & Sip events, and requests from schools to operate art programs within the schools continue to present themselves.
During the past 15 years, children’s birthday parties have grown into a $38 billion industry in the United States alone according to celebration industry analysts. This growth has been sustained during periods of major swings in national and local economies.
We sent our two boys to PLAYDAY creative camp for the week, it was amazing! They absolutely loved it. They came home glowing and proud of the awesome artwork they created each and every day. This was the highlight of their summer so far and they are already begging to go next summer. I think we'll do some classes between now and then. The boys spoke highly of everyone that worked there! The 25% sibling discount is a huge plus.
Now we are ready for expansion...
With management trained and in place, we are poised to open 3 more locations in 2020. We are focusing on secondary markets where rent is a fraction of exorbitant rents of Manhattan and LIC. Opening more locations and investing in paid social advertising (everything has been word of mouth and non-paid social media posts to date) is the key objective for the next wave of expansion. As more locations open, operating costs will increase much slower than overall revenue growth as economies of scale kick in with marketing, staffing, and supplies. Our reservation engine is able to accept new locations and make them live on our website seamlessly. Similar to the fitness industry, we can book in advance and accept payment prior to opening.
My 20 years of experience as an expert in retail design, branding, and construction is an added asset to PLAYDAY. I have been finding the right locations, negotiating leases, designing experiential environments, and opening stores all within budget and on schedule for clients like STARBUCKS and Jay-Z. With commercial retail space vacancy and availability still fairly high , now is the perfect time to expand.
Thank you for your consideration!