Diapers at the Disco
What: Disco dance parties for families with kids ages 6 months to 7 years
Who: Heather Murphy Monteith and Andy Blackman Hurwitz of Baby Loves Disco
When: Started in 2004
Startup Costs: $29,000
Heather Murphy Monteith, a modern dancer and mother of two children under age 7, was fed up with the gift shop trappings and ubiquitous junk food at traditional family destinations like the zoo. After throwing an at-home disco dance party for parents and their kids one Saturday afternoon, Murphy Monteith, 35, hosted the same event at a local nightclub--which she triple-cleaned before letting any tots loose inside. Music industry veteran Andy Blackman Hurwitz, 41, also a parent of two children under 7, approached Murphy Monteith at an early baby disco event and suggested they partner up to take the monthly Philadelphia parties to New York City. Obtaining startup capital from credit cards, the pair decided to give it a go.
Thanks to word-of-mouth and local marketing through e-mails, fliers and posters, the Baby Loves Disco events became wildly popu-lar with little disco dancers--and parents, too. Says Murphy Monteith, "We're looking to create an atmosphere for the whole family to have a really good time." That includes a chill-out area with books, temporary tattoos, balloons and organic snacks, as well as cocktails for non-driving adults. Their biggest expense is insurance, since children and alcohol converge at one location.
In 2005, Murphy Monteith and Blackman Hurwitz launched their website, babylovesdisco.com, causing media and blogosphere attention to grow. Baby Loves Disco is in more than 20 U.S. cities and has locations abroad. Sales from the parties reached nearly $560,000 in 2006 and are projected at $1.3 million for this year. The brand has expanded to Baby Loves Jazz books, which are sold in Target and Wal-Mart, and CDs, which are sold on Amazon.com. Books and CDs in other musical genres are in the works, including Baby Loves Salsa and Baby Loves Reggae.