When we were kids, a sleepover meant toting your sleeping bag over to your friend’s carpeted basement. These days, sleepovers are at a whole new level, and one NJ company helped many families celebrate in high style even during the pandemic.
“Clementine was turning 5 in March and her 4th birthday was smack in the middle of the stay-at-home order,” says The Effortless Affair’s Michelle Shuey of Glen Ridge. “This year, I really wanted to do something special for her. I have worked with The Slumber Society and decided to do a sleepover party.” Due to COVID, only Clementine and her sister Ruby were there, but that didn’t stop the girls from having a blast.
Stephanie Menzel, owner of The Slumber Society, says she started the company with her husband after her twin boys were born to provide a unique experience to make special occasions more memorable. “The Slumber Society was the first slumber party tent rental company created in New Jersey that catered to both children and adults,” she says. “Every detail of our Slumber Society experience is designed to give clients everything they need to create a magical, memorable celebration, regardless of age or gender.”
During the pandemic, Menzel pivoted the business to offer “sleep under” options. “This option allowed our clients to host a safe and socially distant event while utilizing our tents without actually having guests sleep over,” she says. “They could take picture in the tents, use them for decor and sit in them to watch movies or play games. However, at the the end of the evening, instead of having their guests sleep over, they would be picked up to go home.” She also did parties that were just for immediate family members, like in Clementine’s case.
Menzel isn’t often there to see the guests’ reaction as her tents are often a surprise element of a party. But there was one recent event where she got to see the birthday girl’s reaction. “I had the privilege of seeing the birthday girl walk down the stairs and witness our setup for the very first time,” she says. “She ran to her mother and couldn’t stop thanking her. She said, ‘Thank you for making my dreams come true, Mommy!’ It was so special to witness that beautiful moment because that is the exact reason why we love what we do! We know that the memory of a child’s first sleepover is something they will remember for their rest of their lives and it’s an honor to make it as special as we can for them.”