RACINE — Bouncing into Racine as a new small business is Little Loves, a luxury soft play rental company.
Ciena Velez, a mother of three and registered nurse, added becoming a small business owner to her plate when she realized opportunities for safe and customizable soft play for children were few and far between in the Midwest.
When one of her children turned two years old, Velez wanted to rent soft play equipment, as she had seen across her social media, but had no luck sourcing someone for her child’s birthday party in the area.
This trendy service has taken off on the coasts. At the time of Little Loves opening in the late fall of 2022, the closest available service was in Chicago, according to Velez.
There are still only a small number of companies offering soft play rentals in Southeastern Wisconsin, one of them being Little Loves.
“It’s specialized play equipment that’s covered in soft padding,” explains the owner.
Now, she serves as the modern experience she wishes she once had.
Opportunities for little ones
Soft play with Little Loves offers a safe experience for little ones.
Children between zero to four years old have the ability to play in an enclosed and supervised space when renting.
The preference is for users to be 6 months old and up, but the company understands the need to be flexible with the age requirement.
Little Loves currently has four luxury ball pits and two soft play sets that are available for rent in 4-hour increments.
This equipment can include different bounce houses (also known as bouncers) and play animals (or hoppers), in addition to various slides, shapes, and other play accessories.
As the company grows, they hope to offer an even larger variety of equipment to renters.
“We’ve had about six or seven parties so far, which is, I think, is still on the lower level, but the customers we’ve had, have loved it,” says Velez.
Soft play benefits
According to the owner, the play equipment can be beneficial to toddlers and even those with special needs or disabilities.
The soft structures allow children and parents peace of mind when playing.
According to Velez, by participating and partaking in soft play, children enhance their communication, emotional, cognitive, fine and gross motor skills.
As a nurse and parent, Velez prioritizes safety and the well-being of renters. It’s why she has established rules and is prompt to educate users on the experience offered.
Renting with Little Loves
The rentals start at $280 for the 4-hour period. The price can increase with add-ons.
Little Loves encourages people to think of them for birthdays, weddings, parties, holidays and more.
Rentals start and include the play equipment, fencing, sanitizing station, shoe cubby, signboard, and equipment drop-off, set-up, and breakdown.
Little Loves allows people to make their experience customizable by choosing what colors and items they’d like rented.
Anyone looking to rent can inquire online.
A website for this company is not available at this time. There is no storefront for Little Loves as this rental service is brought to users for indoor and outdoor play.
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