Small Business Spotlight: The Ultimate Family Space For Work And Play

Joe Connolly
January 08, 2020 - 5:00 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Two moms left corporate jobs at MAC Cosmetics and Target to create a recreational space for their kids.

The Wonder is a membership program with a playspace, a lounge where grownups can socialize while their kids play, a library, café and secret workspace in Tribeca.

It sold out of its founding memberships two months before they opened their doors in an 8,000-square-foot space on the corner of Hudson and Vestry streets.

Sign up for a tour! We built The Wonder because we wanted to create magic and memories with our kids, but there are few spaces that really serve parents AND kids. You know, a place where we can have a glass of wine while we feed the kids, and when they go play after eating in five minutes, we can actually finish a conversation with each other. The Wonder is a membership-based space for families, and it’s a place where everyone wins. Family time should be the BEST time. ❤️-- . . . . . #interiorinspo #decorate #interiorinspiration #interior4you #interiorforyou #interior2you #interiordecorating #pursuepretty #momsofnewyork #newyork_ig #newyork_instagram #nyclife #ilovenyc #livelittlethings #theartofslowliving #pursuepretty #postitfortheaesthetic #petitejoys #myview #aquietstyle #creativelife #seekthesimplicity #seeyourcity #folklife #cozyhome #creativityfound #thehappynow #flashesofdelight #liveunscripted #creativespaces

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An invitation emailed to close friends and family ended up being forwarded around until people started showing up and knocking on the door while the site was under construction asking if they could take a tour.

"What it demonstrates is such a need for this and when we sent it to our small group of friends, many of whom are working mothers, it clearly resonated," said co-founder Noria Morales.

"I think having a place where you can meet another friend after work before your spouse gets home, have a space where the kids are engaged, and you can have a grown up conversation and a grown up beverage, it's shocking that it didn't exist, and that's how badly people wanted it," co-founder Sarah Robinson said.

Signs posted around The Wonder discourage phone-use in the playspace because it is designed to make family life more joyful.

"I walked in the other morning and there was a mother playing hide and go seek with her son," Morales said. "So many parents are working now and you have this limited amount of time with your children and at the same time spending time with your children is so important that they're making the most of it and our space gives them permission to do that."

But Robinson said they also take into consideration the needs of their members.

"When we first opened and we didn't have all our signage out yet we had a mom in our cafe sit down with her laptop and her daughter had an iPad and they had it all laid out and her two other kids were playing in the playspace quietly and happily and it was wonderful and I remember walking by being like, 'Oh my God, I don't want to tell her, it looks like she's having such a good time, I don't want to say anything. What am I gonna do?' And so I just let her be, it was our first week of operations and she came up to me afterwards and she was like, 'Sarah, I just got all of my emails done and my daughter got all of her homework done and I had a drink and she had her dinner and my other two kids have played and they're fed and this is just wonderful. Thank you so much,'" Robinson said.

This inspired them to come up with the idea for a program focused on homework time that would OK the use of screens.

"We bring magic alive in our space, we also do that through our programming, through the classes, through the workshops that we host and we believe that is content we can take beyond the four walls of our club and our dream would be that The Wonder is a destination for all families to make that quality time count and who want a little bit more magic in their everyday life," Morales said.

Watch the video above to see the magic of The Wonder filling a need from personal experience.