indoor playground cost

5 Tips from an Introverted Business Owner

5 Tips from an Introverted Business Owner

Owning any business can be difficult as an introvert, but it can be especially challenging when the business is a local brick-and-mortar retail venture.

Even if the owner is not physically present at the store much, the thousands of interactions with customers each week can still require a great deal of intervention and therefore energy from the business owner.

For example, even though I only physically work at my cafe a few times a month-- I am still constantly interacting with customers every day. Whether it be via email, social media, or phone-- technology has made it easier for anyone to get in touch with us. 

And since our social media and marketing strategies rely so heavily on video and “behind the scenes” peeks-- it can become overwhelming feeling like I am constantly putting myself “out there” and opening myself up to others (and their positive and negative feedback, as well).

Why We Don't Offer Discounts to Friends or Family Anymore at our Indoor Playground

Why We Don't Offer Discounts to Friends or Family Anymore at our Indoor Playground

As small business owners it can often feel like we are being pulled in a million different directions. It can also feel like someone ALWAYS needs something, whether it be a team member or a customer or a vendor.

It’s easy to allow yourself to be stretched too thinly and need to rely on a support system for strength when it gets to be too much.

However, what happens when we are being asked for favors from within our own support system as well?

What I Wish Customers Knew About Small Local Businesses

What I Wish Customers Knew About Small Local Businesses

Have you ever heard the phrase, “kill your darlings”? I hadn’t until this year.

To me, as a business owner, my “darlings” are the business-related things that I love the most-- and hold onto selfishly or against logic because of my emotional attachment to them

On paper, it can seem black-and-white. This service is profitable, so we will keep doing it. And if this other offering is much less profitable-- then we should cut it.

However, in the real world, it rarely works out that way. I’ll give you an example.

At Climbing Vines Cafe and Play, we used to host a “Kids Night Out”, where local families could drop their children off for 3 hours on Friday nights so they could go on a date-night, run errands, or just have a much-needed break as a parent.

While our customers (and even I) loved the idea of this, it never quite worked out for us. Despite making tweaks that made this offering much more profitable, at the end of the day, it took too much time and too many resources away from other, more important aspects of our business.

How to Validate your Indoor Playground Business Concept

How to Validate your Indoor Playground Business Concept

So you want to open an indoor playground business. Or, maybe you just have a pinterest board called “play cafe inspo”, or “business ideas”. Wherever you are in your journey, I’d venture to guess that you’ve pictured what life might be like if you actually moved forward with your plan and chased your dream.

However, you’re also probably overwhelmed with the idea of getting started and you’re probably nervous about not getting the funding you need, not getting the support you want from family and friends, and about opening your doors and having NO ONE come through them.

I get it-- it’s scary. I’ve been there.

But the BEST place to start is to go through an established framework to validate your business concept. Validating your idea and deciding if the business model you hope to run can be profitable in your area will help give you clarity on whether or not you should move forward, whenever the time is right for you personally and financially.

What to Do if One of Your Indoor Playground Business Ideas FAILS

What to Do if One of Your Indoor Playground Business Ideas FAILS

If you are considering opening an indoor playground or if you own one already, it is your job as the visionary and the owner of the business to think about the big picture ideas and initiatives and really perfect the revenue streams in your business.

But what happens when you make a decision that doesn’t pan out?

Let’s say you had a great idea for a service offering, or a class, or an event that you were REALLY excited about. You spent tons of time creating it, promoting it, and executing it.

However, for whatever reason, it didn’t work out the way you’d hoped. Maybe it wasn’t as profitable or as well attended as you expected, or perhaps people just didn’t seem interested.

In this blog I want to give you 2 examples of things that either just did NOT turn out to be profitable for us and why, and let you know what we did to pivot and either make changes, or even scrap the initiatives altogether.

13 Frequently Asked Birthday Party Questions We Get at our Indoor Playground!

13 Frequently Asked Birthday Party Questions We Get at our Indoor Playground!

Hosting a birthday party at Climbing Vines is a guarantee that your child will have a unique and fun experience! Every one of our packages includes a private rental so you can enjoy our play cafe with just your guests. Each party is completely individualized and we accommodate for nearly any sized event.


Whether you’re considering hosting a part in our indoor playground space or are looking to create your own indoor playground birthday party package, below are some frequently asked questions (and answers!) about our birthday parties.


What to Do When A Customer Attacks Your Business Online

What to Do When A Customer Attacks Your Business Online

If this is as far as you get in this post, just remember: online criticism will happen NO MATTER WHAT. And it will all be ok.

Earlier this year, a woman orchestrated a coordinated social media attack on my business and me personally. It left me gutted for hours. I could tell soon after she messaged me that she was attempting to get a rise out of me for social media attention, which was confirmed by the other reviews she had been recently leaving local businesses.

However, I was able to take (most) of my own advice and quickly diffuse the situation. I didn’t handle it perfectly, but I have absolutely come a LONG way from my early years as a business owner, and I am proud of my response to the situation and still stand by it.

How to Deal with Copycat Competitors in Your Indoor Playground Business

How to Deal with Copycat Competitors in Your Indoor Playground Business

For a year or so after Climbing Vines opened, I could barely go one day without checking the websites and social media accounts of my local competitors. I was constantly looking over my shoulder, hoping and praying that no one would “copy” my business idea and steal all of my customers.

After two direct “copycats” opened within the first few years, it turns out that I was right about one thing: when someone finds success doing something, others will quickly recognize that and attempt to emulate it as best as they can.

However, I was wrong in thinking that these “copycats” would have an impact on my own business.