It's been over a year and a half since I opened Amaya Papaya in August of 2009 (and almost a year since I've written a blog post!). It has truly been a blessing watching your children grow up and getting to know you. People often ask me why I opened Amaya Papaya and how I came up with the concept. It was really a simple thought when I first envisioned this place back in 2007 when Amaya was only 1.
We would frequent the local parks, malls and other indoor play establishments and I thought, “HEY, there should be a place where I can take my 1 year old where she could play without having to worry about the outdoor elements, big kids playing in an area clearly marked for her or the distraction of video games or electronics.” I had been to other indoor play places and researched other infant/toddler and preschool friendly places in other areas but I could not find a place like this in my local area.
Back then, I was working as a counselor at an awesome school for girls where I would tell the girls to follow their dreams yet, here I was with the dream of opening an awesome family enrichment center and I was not acting on that dream. So began the exploration and planning of Amaya Papaya.
It was a long process of business planning and saving money but finally Amaya Papaya was born!
It has not been an easy road. Opening Amaya Papaya at the beginning of a recession was a great challenge. I have seen many business owners small and large close their doors. Here at Amaya Papaya we have been blessed to stay open in these unsteady, inconsistent times. Some months are harder than others but it is with your support that we continue to move forward.
Being a momma AND a momma entrepreneur is more difficult than people imagine. I often wonder if the time commitment that it takes to run a successful business is worth the strain that it puts on my family and body.
Over the past few months of thinking about and planning for the future of Amaya Papaya I have wondered about the necessity of a place such as this. In my opinion there are few places that cater to the 0-5yr age group and where parents can relax and know their children are safe. So though it may be tough at times I want to show my daughter that she can do ANYTHING she puts her mind too! Amaya Papaya is a dream come to life and I am proud to share it with all of you!
Peace and blessings