The Dream Team
Sleepy Teepees creates slumber parties so fun the littles may never go to sleep.
Call them slumber party stylists or sleepover CEOs. Haley Soles and Maggi Lave have turned their careers as nannies into a dream business.
In April of 2019, after talking about the idea for two years, the young entrepreneurs finally took the plunge and went into business together, launching Sleepy Teepees, LLC.
Sleepy Teepees is a party planning service that reimagines the standard pillow-and-blanket-on- the-floor slumber party as a unique, stylized sleepover event in the client’s home. They can set up the full campsite in a designated room in about an hour.
“We provide the hand-crafted teepees with decorative covers, mattresses, sheets, blankets, decorative lights and pillows for each person,” Soles says. “Campers just provide their own pillows.”
The service also includes an activity tray for each guest, and a variety of props, streamers and lights, all selected based on the theme the host chooses. And there are always add-on options like goodie bags, activities and Evites.
The best part is, Soles and Lave do all the work — the setup and the breakdown — creating a hassle-free experience for guests and the host.
Soles and Lave have built their Sleepy Teepees business from the ground up — almost entirely on their own. Neither had prior knowledge about starting and running a business.
“We think it’s important to be hands-on,” Soles says. “We didn’t use any outside services to help us. We had to learn how to build a website, create our own logo and market ourselves, including social media.”
They do have a support network behind the scenes, which they call The Dream Team. It includes Soles’ dad, who built the teepees, and one of Lave’s nanny families, who designed the tent covers.
The collaboration for the venture began when Soles first learned about the slumber party planning business concept. She had her sights set on being an event planner before becoming a full-time nanny. When she was a student at Cape Fear Community College, Soles stuck to an art-focused curriculum. When the slumber party service presented itself, it was an opportunity to indulge her creative side.
Although Soles felt this was the perfect business opportunity, Lave wasn’t as sure.
“I’m not very design oriented,” she says. “I just don’t have the eye.” But she can walk into a room and know exactly how many tents can fit.
“She handles the engineering side,” Soles says. Their compatibility and what each brings to the business is “what makes this work.”
The women met several years ago when they were starting out as nannies, but they were not quite so compatible in the early stages of their relationship. They began as nanny rivals and have ended up best friends and business partners.
“I thought she was irresponsible, and I tried to get her fired from her first job,” Soles says with a laugh.
Still nannies, Soles and Lave love working with children. Sleepy Teepees offers them the opportunity to make life exciting and imaginative for even more kids outside of their charge. And since much of their business is from repeat clients, they work hard to make sure that each party is purposely individualized.
“We pay close attention to who books and who attends each party,” Lave says. “So, if a guest at one party hosts their own party and chooses the same theme, we make sure it has some differences.”
They offer a variety of themes to choose from like Red Carpet Vibes, a movie-themed party bundled with candy and gourmet popcorn from Midtown Pop. There’s Sleeping is my Superpower, a superhero theme, and Siesta Fiesta, a taco-themed party. Other favorites include Tropic Like It’s Hot and Boho Rhapsody. They also love getting special theme requests that haven’t even been invented yet!
Additionally, Sleepy Teepees has recently launched a mobile spa service that can be a standalone service or bundled with a slumber party package. Options include mani-pedis, face masks and braids of all types — fishtail, French, bubble, even fairy hair — perfect for tangle-free slumber party hair. All spa services include a comfy robe rental, karaoke and a spa goodie bag.
Their sleepover services are not just for kids. Sleepy Teepees provides campsites for girls’ night out events and bachelorette parties. “We have something for everyone,” Lave says.
One might think a business venture like Sleepy Teepees may not have survived the pandemic, but Soles and Lave say they have never been busier — in fact, busier than they expected with the social distancing guidelines.
“With people not congregating outside of their bubble, they are looking for opportunities to add some excitement and get away from the routine,” Soles says.
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