Tasha bounces into the fun castle business
Every parent knows there is nothing scarier than a bored toddler.
They have tantrums. They write on walls. They do everything except take a nap.
Tasha Burt was so desperate to entertain her three-year-old daughter, Zipporah, during remote learning and social distancing, she pulled out a small fun castle usually reserved for family functions.
It worked like a charm.
“She likes jumping on it,” Ms Burt said. “It kept her occupied.”
All the bouncing gave her an idea for a new business: Burt’s Funcastle. She started the business four months ago, looking for a way to raise a little extra pocket change during the pandemic.
Before the global health crisis, she worked as a full-time care giver. When the pandemic began in March 2020, her hours were cut back dramatically due to Covid-19 regulations.
“Work slowed down because I was not able to go from person to person as a caregiver,” Ms Burt said. “I did not want to be dependent on one person for income any more.”
Renting out her fun castle, Ms Burt found that a lot of parents were like her, desperate for their children to burn off some energy while stuck at home.
"A lot of my clients had two or more children,“ she said.
She did contactless delivery of the fun castle. Leaving it in the yard, then picking it up at the end of the day, then sanitising it and readying it for the next client.
She added a second small fun castle to her repertoire and then a large one. The small ones takes about five kids each and the big fun castle takes double that.
The pandemic had presented her with the opportunity to start the business, but it also brought with it some challenges. Not everyone had money to burn on a fun castle rental.
“People are not working like they did before,” she said.
So she tried to make her products as affordable as possible, not wanting to stress her clients’ pockets too much.
“I want kids to have fun,” she said.
The older small fun castle rents for $130, the new small fun castle for $175 and the large one for $250.
“That is not bad compared to everyone else’s prices,” she said.
So far, people have mostly been renting out the small fun castles.
“The big one goes out here and there,” she said.
And while other fun castle rental operations put a cap of three hours on the rental, she let her clients bounce all day, if they wished.
Ms Burt said a lot of her friends are also trying to set up side hustles to bring in some extra income during the lean times. Nobody wants to be completely dependent on an employer any more.
“A lot of women are doing different things,” she said. “I have a friend who does nails and acrylic earrings. They look really nice.”
She is now expanding her services to include party balloons.
When Bermuda started to open up again last month she felt hopeful. People would be able to have gatherings again and large functions.
“We were having all the attention on people having parties at home,” she said. “Now people will have birthday parties again and will need us to come and entertain people. They will need a lot of different entertainers. Whoever gets the best bid will get the work, I guess.”
She is doing most of the marketing for Burt’s Funcastle on social media.
“Right now, I am getting everyone to put my video on their status,” she said. “I do a lot of advertisement on Facebook.”
For more information see Burt’s Funcastle on Facebook, call 519-8443 or e-mail .email@example.com.