Although I had dreamed of opening something like Play Street Museum for a long time, the idea became a reality almost four years ago! After meeting with multiple banks that didn't understand the concept or capture the vision, I finally received a "YES, LET'S DO THIS!" I had spent months upon months researching, putting together a portfolio, and writing a business plan...and I was finally approved for an SBA (Small Business Administration) loan! We received this exciting news in early August and Play Street Frisco opened on November 17th, 2014. At the time our kiddos were 12, 11, 5 & 3.
We went back and forth on what to call our new business...we tossed around many ideas using words like: play, pretend, and city. When our oldest said, "Play Street Museum", we knew that was it! From the very beginning, my desire was that this would not be a typical play place. I wanted to create a clean, upscale environment that fostered creativity through (much needed) unstructured playtime...but I wanted it to be much more...I wanted it to be highly educational and with the same level of quality and interactivity as a world class children's museum. While I love children's museums...often times they are so large and over-stimulating, that it makes it hard for kiddos to engage...thus a small format children's museum was born!
There was so much excitement and anticipation on our first day of business...I just hoped and prayed someone would come play...and they did! Owning a small business is a loooong, sometimes wild roller coaster ride with plenty of ups and downs and twists and turns. We decided to make it even crazier by opening Play Street Plano about 8 months later...and then Play Street McKinney. This was a super busy year for our family...3 Play Street locations, 4 kids and 4 schools! My daughter was in 7th grade at a new school...she had multiple friends ask her during this year if she had a mom. :( It broke my heart to hear this, but on the flip side, she was watching me work hard to pursue my dream. After we opened Play Street Plano, my husband left the corporate world and joined me full-time. This was super scary...but also fun because we work pretty well together...most of the time. :) In addition to a built in focus group, our kiddos are all involved in the business and play different roles. Anna works in store at Play Street Plano in the summer, you will also find her assisting me at a lot of the special events. Quinn is a teenage boy, so is less enthused about the concept and the children, but enjoys earning money and has become one good vacuumer! Schaefer is a worker and a half and is highly motivated my earning money...he is dying to be old enough to work birthday parties...mainly because sometimes you get a tip. :) Caroline still prefers playing over cleaning, but she does a pretty good job at putting all of the toys away after parties or special events. If school is out and I am at Play Street, she is normally with me...I joke that she is the PSM mascot. We are grateful that they have been able to witness first hand what it takes to run and grow a business. They have sacrificed a lot for it...but I think in the long run it will be good for them.
You might be asking why we stopped at three Play Street locations and decided to franchise. We learned from having four kids that going from three children to four is a real game changer. We thought very hard about a fourth location....put in several offers on different real estate and had the LLC ready to go...but it didn't feel right. We wanted each Play Street Museum location to be a part of the local community and not have a corporate feel. We wanted each PSM location to be loved and invested in. We wanted other local families to join us in making a bigger impact...there is only so much one person/family can do...but when you join multiple families together working with the same vision, big things can happen! Play Street Museum may be growing, but I am a local mom and now we are a husband/wife team and small business owners, that take great joy in helping to empower and equip other moms, friends and husband/wife teams who want to own a small business too!
This little dream called Play Street Museum wouldn't be if it weren't for my family (insert heart emoji...I love my family), my Play Street team (insert another heart emoji...I love my team too!), our INCREDIBLE customers (insert emoji face blowing a kiss...you guys are the best!) and our AMAZING Play Street Museum franchise owners (insert high five emoji...we are excited you decided to pursue this great adventure with us!)
Here is a picture of my family...it is a few years old, but was taken a couple months before we opened our first Play Street Museum location. Many of you may have seen the franchise owner announcements, but I want to show them off again! These are some of the sweetest families that have or will be bringing a Play Street Museum location near you very soon! Thank you guys for believing in us, in Play Street and for becoming part of the Play Street Museum family!