When opting to host your kiddo’s birthday away from home, it’s important that you nab a venue that’s welcoming, organized, and leaves you feeling stress-free and ready to party. Cue Purple Monkey Playroom, your Totally Awesome pick for best kids birthday spot in Chicago. Purple Monkey sports a plush, whimsical space that’s excellent for birthday parties and a thoughtfully designed, 1,500 square foot playroom with fun, age-appropriate toys. Owner Jessica Roubitchek recently took the time to chat with us about what makes Purple Monkey Playroom so awesome, how to get started with a new business, and more! Read on:
Red Tricycle: Congratulations on being voted “Most Awesome” by your community! What do you think your customers value most about your business?
Jessica Roubitchek: Our clients value our friendly atmosphere and our exceptionally clean and manageable space. The entire play area is visible from the lounge, so parents and caregivers can truly relax while their little ones work out their energy. We offer complimentary coffee, tea, and WiFi and, because we’re not a cafe, we allow outside food and drink in addition to stocking snacks for sale. We have free street parking in front of the playroom in addition to a free permit lot around the corner. In addition, we’re convenient to the Blue Line CTA in addition to the Milwaukee, Ashland, and Western bus lines. Above all, we strive to create an enjoyable and hassle-free environment for both adults and children.
RT: What inspired you to start your business?
JR: I have always had entrepreneurial aspirations and, after my daughter was born in 2010, felt the timing was right to do something that would give me the flexibility to structure my time around her needs. Opening a playroom played to my strengths in marketing, networking and event planning and was an ideal fit with my current stage of life.
RT: Any advice for new business owners just getting started?
JR: It’s critical to understand the competitive landscape in which you plan to operate. Are there are already a number of businesses that cater to your market and, if so, how will you differentiate yourself? If you’re the first to market, is there an actual need or how will you communicate that there should be? Also – is your location a match with your offering and pricing?
RT: Can you give us one tip for balancing entrepreneurship with parenthood?
JR: Balancing any type of work with parenthood is difficult. The key for me has been having as much help on both sides of the equation as possible. I have a 40 hour a week caregiver for my child in addition to several employees at Purple Monkey.
RT: What is your proudest moment as a business owner or parent?
JR: My proudest moment was being nominated for my first Red Tricycle Award in 2012! I received an email that I was a Top 3 finalist in both the Indoor Playspace and Birthday Party categories without ever having asked for anyone’s support. I took that as a signal that people were really enjoying what Purple Monkey had to offer.
RT: Is there a special offer you’d like to include for Red Tricycle readers?
JR: Yes! We’re offering your choice of $25 off a birthday celebration, $5 off your first visit, 10% off first month of membership or 10% off a 5 or 10 pass.