Erika Boen was a stay-at-home mom of five when she started looking for a creative outlet to call her own. The former real estate agent had made a handful of mini tents for her kids to camp in by the Christmas tree one year, and she says between a friend asking to borrow the tents and seeing the wonder on her kids’ faces that night, Wild Child Slumber Adventures (WCSA) was born.
“I just kept making more tents,” said Boen. “My friend suggested turning it into a business, and through word of mouth that’s what happened.”
The custom slumber party business officially launched in January of 2018, and has been creating personalized sleepover creations for birthday parties, outdoor parties, bachelorette parties, and everything in between for customers in Sioux Falls and the surrounding area ever since.
“These are the first slumber parties I’ve heard about where the kids actually want to go to sleep. They can’t wait to get into their tents, and they love that they all have their own place.”
Boen and her team book parties via their website, which lays out a variety of packages and add-ons that range from the standard party package to a 16-foot outdoor tent rental option. Add-ons include a movie projector for showing movies on the side of a house or tent, a photo booth, personalized party cups or pillow cases, and a disco light.
“We really want to be a one-stop shop for people,” said Boen. “For the parent who wants to have a memorable sleepover for their child but doesn’t have the time to set it up, to adult best friends looking for an elegant outdoor tent get-together in the summer— that’s what we’re here to create.”
Once parties are booked, Boen gets to work creating her customer’s vision. At this point, WCSA’s packages are just a starting place; Boen is game for bringing anything and everything to life for her customers, and she says she has.
STANDARD SLUMBER PARTY PACKAGE INCLUDES
+ 5 Bed trays
+ 5 Lanterns/votive lights
+ Twinkle lights
+ Bunting or floral strand
+ 5 Mattresses/linens
+ 5 Singles A-frame tents
+ Decorative pillows
* Additional tents and accesories available upon request
“One of my most memorable ones was an Army-themed outdoor party a mom threw for her sons,” said Boen. “We got a bunch of stuff from the Army surplus store, including military hats and tons of camo. The boys were so excited when they saw it, they immediately started playing.”
Boen says her favorite part of running her business is the moment when a kid, or even adult customer, sees the setup for the first time.
“I love to be there when people first see it,” she said. “They’re just blown away by how elaborate everything is. If I can’t be there for some reason, I love seeing videos of their reaction.”
In the future, Boen says she would love to go back to where WCSA first began: creating Christmas-themed tents that families can use to start new traditions around the Christmas tree.
ERIKA’S SLEEPOVER HIGHLIGHTS
+ Four sisters in their 30s coming back to their childhood home before it sold for one last sleepover where they all grew up.
+ A grandma ordering tents for her grandkids for when they came to stay with her.
+ Parents setting up a sleepover party in a heated garage during the winter.
Growing their adult parties is also a goal for the company, as is expanding the use of its outdoor tents to include floor seating with tables.
One group that would love a custom sleepover in the near future? Boen’s own kids, to which she recently added another, bringing the total number of “wild children” to six.
“My kids beg for a tent party,” said Boen. “At our house in the summer we love to take a projector and watch a movie on an inflatable movie screen. We invite the neighbors over, have popcorn—it’s a blast. Really, that’s where this whole thing started, making memories and having fun with my six wild children.”
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