The Dream Team
Sleepy Teepees brings fun to slumber parties
Slumber parties are fun get-togethers. Locally-based Sleepy Teepees has found ways to enhance the event by going to homes and setting up a party campsite complete with five-foot-tall teepees, air mattresses, sheets, blankets, streamers, props and lights, goodie bags, and a variety of activities.
Themes like “Donut Wake Me Up” and” NoProbLlama,” and “Siesta Fiesta” transform sleepover parties. And it’s not just for kids. Bachelorette parties, poolside spas, and even celebrating the last night before moving to a new home are activities for both adults and families.
Owners HALEY SOLES (pictured right) and MAGGI LAVE (left) started Sleepy Teepees in April 2019 after talking, and dreaming, about the idea for nearly two years. In addition to slumber parties, Sleepy Teepees offers the Sleepy Teepees mobile spa and the Sleepy Teepees mobile craft party.
Wilmington native Soles had always wanted to be an event planner. On parental advice, she became a nanny and also worked at Coastal Tumble Gym in Carolina Beach. Lave, who moved to North Carolina from West Palm Beach, Florida with her family before starting high school, was also a nanny for two-year-old twins. Lave and Soles met at Toddler Time at the gym. They became friends, eventually roommates, and now business partners.
The idea of Sleepy Teepees came from an aunt of children who Soles nannied. Soles immediately loved the idea.
“This is right up my alley,” she said. But her attempts to convince Lave to join her were always met with a firm “absolutely not.” Soles was relentless.
“We were already both working with children. We understood what parents liked and disliked,” says Soles. “I suggested we give it one year. If we didn’t feel like it was worth our time, or no one was booking, we would sell it all.”
“I finally got tired of Haley hassling me about starting the business,” Lave laughs. Lave went all-in, quitting her nanny job to focus on the startup for the first several months.
Although there was doubt from both family and friends in the beginning, everyone stepped up to help. The teepees were built by Soles’ father and the first covers were sewn by the mother and grandmother of the children whom Lave previously nannied.
“Maggi and I call ourselves the dream team. And we have a great behind-the-scenes dream team of close-knit family and friends,” Soles says. Lave’s best friend LISA RUFF is always standing by for that last-minute call for help.
“While the main concept is not ours, the themes and decorations are all us. We designed our own logo, website, and filed all the necessary paperwork,” says Soles who gets her best theme ideas shopping. “She can create a theme out of anything she finds,” shares Lave.
There were many lessons learned from their early startup days.
“We did not get a lot of bookings until August when we were already five months in. That made us nervous,” Soles recalled. “We left a bunch of stuff at home for our first party. And it took us nearly three hours to get everything set up. But fortunately, no one knew!” Today they set up a party of three in twenty-five minutes.
“The coolest part of our business is seeing the children get so excited. Even the dads get excited, a reaction we did not expect,” says Lave.
Lave and Soles agree on future goals.
“We want to do this full time when the kids we nanny get older,” Soles said. “For now, we will keep it fun, grow with new ideas and treasure our friendship.”
To view more of photographer Aris Harding’s work, go to arisharding.com.
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