My name is Melissa and I own & operate Inspired Tots Ltd! My journey into early childhood play & art started in 2017 when I opened my home daycare. I loved spending my days with the kids, creating & playing. To this day I still see some of those first daycare kids when they come to visit me!
For the first 2 years of running the daycare I was creating my own activities, crafts & sensory bins for the kids. It was my favourite part of the job. In mid 2019 I decided to try my hand at Etsy and sell some of my activities & craft kits. By December 2019 my shop was on a roll and I was working my side hustle every day after daycare.
When Covid-19 hit in early 2020 my shop took off. All of a sudden parents were at home with their kids full time and looking for things to do. I could barely keep up with the orders. While things slowed down by early 2021, I was still shipping out dozens of orders weekly.
By mid 2021 I was feeling the pinch of being a full time mom of 3, with a full time job and full time side hustle. It was a bit... much. My husband and I were discussing ways to shift the priorities and I toyed with the idea of opening a kids play studio to combine the things I loved the most.
By October I was working with a realtor to find the perfect space. I struggled to find a great space, in the right location when more of, well, life, hit us. Our house suffered a big flood, my husband was sent across country for 4 weeks for work, then Christmas chaos, the kids got covid and my motivation dwindled.
By February I was ready to start looking for a spot again and found what I now call home for my business. I signed my lease, gave a closure notice to my daycare families and got busy. I took possession of my unit on May 1 with a goal of opening on June 4. It was go time!
My family and friends rallied around and helped me renovate, decorate and get this place in shape. I could not have done it without them.
On June 4th, 2022 my dream space opened to the public & I could not be happier! While this all sounds like a working mom's dream of bringing her side hustle to life and building her dream... there were soo many roadblocks, problems & logistical nightmares to deal with. Perseverance and resilience were definitely integral to this journey. If it's one thing I hope that other moms can learn from me it's that... you CAN fulfill your dreams... just keep working through the hard days!
So now the studio is up and running! I have already met so many amazing families & kids and I've loved having them in the studio! I still have big dreams of kids events, a bigger studio with an outdoor area and more.. but for now I will continue to work this studio, creating and playing every day.
Thank you so much for supporting this working mom!