Following is an interview with Brittany Cunningham and Rebecca Sedia who have started a business called little bird party co. that brings custom slumber parties to people’s homes. For more information, you can find them online, and on Facebook.
How did you come up with the idea?
I (Brittany) came up with the idea of launching a luxury sleepover company a few months after the birth of my son, I was looking for a creative outlet and always loved planning and decorating my daughters (Ellington, 5) birthday parties. Her fifth birthday was coming up in November and she kept asking for a sleepover as she had never had one yet. So I started “Pinteresting” slumber birthday parties for children and saw some cool ideas with teepees. I ran with the idea to decorate her teepee that she got for Christmas and used it for her slumber party.
And that’s how all of this started?
I thought this would be a perfect idea for an elevated slumber party and to make it a company similar to a rental for a Bounce House where you would come set up day of party and break it down the following day. After a ton of research I noticed a gap in the local Buffalo market for a company like this. I then called my best friend Becca who started her own jewelry business over two years ago and had all the perfect entrepreneurial skills to make this company a reality, not to mention we have been best friends since the first grade and have had about a million sleepovers, so with our combined experience we knew we could throw unforgettable slumber parties.
How long has it been around?
We just launched our company in January after working on it since September.
Our first party was actually for own children and family members children, we needed it kid tested and approved. We filmed the set up for our website and their reaction when coming down the stairs was priceless, you could see they thought the whole thing was pure magic.
What is the age group?
Our age range varies greatly – we have parents wanting to do a “first slumber party” so the child is around 6/7 and then most doing birthday slumber parties for 8, 9, 10, and 11 years old. We are about to shoot our newest themes for a tween age group and for bachelorette parties. When we launched we received so many questions if adults could book one for a ladies’ night- which we loved so we offer that as well. Ladies’ night is for any group of gals who want to have maybe a boozy sleepover party!
We offer three packages for the slumber parties.
1. Adventure – Includes 5 teepees, all the teepee decor, air mattresses, bedding, props (stuffed animals, costumes, toys) and name plates
2. Luxe – All the same as adventure plus teepee lights, lanterns and an indoor picnic table with cushion seating. Themed party utensils, plates, cups, napkins and straws.
3. Ultimate – All the same as Luxe plus a themed dessert bar, custom t-shirts for each child, and breakfast trays for breakfast in bed the next morning!
Are these designed for boys and girls?
As of right now we have Unicorn, Fairy, and Camp Out themes (unicorn and fairy are popular with the girls and camp out is more popular with the boys). The new “boho” theme will also be popular with girls. As the company grows we will be adding on new themes for sure. We also offer the option customize your own theme for an extra fee.
How much time do you need to plan for a sleepover?
Time to set up usually takes between 1-2 hours (depending on which package you bought) and breakdown takes a little less than an hour (45 min).
Did your kids help to advise you on this business plan?
My daughter Ellington was so excited to help plan the business with Becca and I and insisted we had a unicorn and fairy theme (she also wants a corn on the cob theme but I’m not so sure it will be a huge seller for us).
What is the key to a successful slumber party?
We would say the key to a successful slumber party is the perfect combination of magic and coziness. Throw in lots of desserts and party games to wear them out so they actually get a little sleep and you have a very successful party that the kiddos will remember forever.
This is a super creative alternative to a bounce house, or a Chuck E. Cheese – do kids feel the same way?
This is definitely a great alternative to going to Chuck E. Cheese or renting a bounce house or a great addition if you’re wanting to make the party extra special!
Becca and I are co-owners of the business and we make all decisions together. Naturally we gravitate more towards our strengths. Becca was able to leave her job as a pediatric mental health counselor to do her online jewelry store full time and credits it to her business savy – she is constantly attending conferences and taking educational courses on business and marketing. My strength is in design, I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and worked & studied in London, UK in fashion merchandising and management. I love working with color, texture and shapes and being able to bring designs to life.
After we started researching businesses like ours, we saw more and more “luxury slumber party companies” pop up, most of them being overseas in the UK and Australia but some sprinkled around the US. We’re hoping we can grow ours to the point where we could franchise the business and our ultimate goal is to have a party merchandise line in Target. We’re keeping our eye on the prize!
Lastly and most importantly is when we decided to create this company we both said we wanted to give back to children in Buffalo. We chose Courage of Carly through Roswell Park to donate 5% of proceeds from every party. We think its a pretty amazing day job to be able to give a child an unforgettable birthday party and at the same time be able to help out in a small way to the little warriors in Buffalo through this cause.