We love catching up with our Genesis participants, past and present. This week, we had the pleasure of connecting with one of our female founders and new business owner, Tricia Malobicky. Tricia is a current Genesis participant who is launching her first business in just two months! As a community of faith-based entrepreneurs and supporters, we are sharing Tricia’s story and campaign fundraiser to bring awareness of this great opportunity and to seek support for her new business venture. Click here to read about her fundraising campaign.
Tricia and her husband moved to the westside of Cincinnati 5 years ago from the San Francisco area. But the Cincinnati area is not new to Tricia — she has deep family ties to the west side since her grandparents live there and it’s where her parents were raised. Tricia and her husband bought her grandparent’s house and moved their family from California to Ohio.
The Malobickys love where they live. But coming from the Bay Area where there’s a lot of year-round open parks and things to do — with constant children’s activities everywhere to play — the westside was a desert when it came to things for kids. Cincinnati’s seasonal weather meant Tricia had to drive her 2-year-old across town to play somewhere if it was cold or raining because she wasn’t finding what she was looking for close and convenient to where she lives.
Enter Happy Hangout. The idea for an indoor playground for kids with dedicated space for parents was born out of frustration and a need to help the community she loves.
“The more I got involved in my community — I ran a Crossroads Church Westside mom’s group and met hundreds of moms — the desire to make this idea a reality was there. The moms were very vocal about their needs! So I said ‘I’ll do it!’”
With no prior entrepreneurial experience, Tricia took the idea to create an indoor playground on the westside and ran with it.
Tricia admits she really wanted this for her family too. She has a heart for moms (and dads!) when it comes to taking care of their kids and having outlets for them outside of the home.
“I never felt more alone than when I was sitting at home with my newborn. I was thinking, ‘How am I the only one that can’t figure this out?’ My hope is that no other parent has to feel this way.”
At Happy Hangout, Tricia shared her intentionality for being authentic with experiences and wanted to give parents a way to sit and talk with each other. When Tricia was designing the space for the playground, it was not just about what the kids wanted. Her main focus was on a place that would make parents want to keep coming back. She wanted a space where parents felt supported and cared for within the community. For Tricia, it’s important for her to have an area where parents are comfortable AND where they can see their kids no matter where they are in the building. Parents can sit and work, chat with other parents, or just enjoy some time to relax while the kids play. “Days can be so lonely when it’s just you and your kids. We need adult interaction.” Tricia says.
Tricia mentioned the westside of Cincinnati can have an inferiority complex. “Sometimes it feels like we don’t have anything good over here.” What Tricia wants parents to know is that they don’t have to travel all over town now to have fun with their families.
“Each family can get a membership and stop in whenever they want. Parents know when you have kids who start going to school, you will have pockets of time — 20-40 minutes here and there — to take the younger kids somewhere until you have to go pick up the older kids from school. We made our space convenient. A place you can stop in whenever and for however long you want.”
Happy Hangout will host classes for kids in the future — art classes, sciences experiences, lego building, etc. — as well as for parents, offering parent support groups, how to navigate an IEP with your child, and more. The range of options for families is unlimited.
“We want kids to have as many opportunities as possible. This stage in life is about figuring out who they are, and enrichment classes outside of the school are a great way to help with this.”
The westside is a working community, so Tricia made sure the prices reflect what is affordable for westside families. Parents can stop in for $6 or buy a monthly membership for $14.99 + $5 for additional kids up to 3 kids (if you have more than 3 kids, the price doesn’t increase! How awesome is that?).
Support Tricia’s fundraising campaign and consider becoming a ‘VIP backer’ by joining the Founder’s Circle for $100. This exclusive, one-time offer includes a ‘Noon Year’s Eve party’ to receive first-time access to the playground with three timeslots to sign up for, some fun New Year’s Eve swag, lifetime discounts on memberships and parties, and more. The fundraiser is scheduled to end on December 31st and open the first week of January 2021.
Our OCEAN family wishes Tricia all the best in this exciting new stage of entrepreneurship. We look forward to following up with her progress in the future!