The idea of children’s slumber parties probably evokes memories of rented VHS copies of Ghostbusters or The little Mermaid† huge amounts of junk food; games of “light as a feather, stiff as a plate”; pillow fights; talk late into the night; and of course friendship.
For Gig Harbor resident and entrepreneur Michelle Horton, those sleepovers were with her cousin at her family’s A-frame cabin in Lake Whitney, Texas. “We’d have those weekends (sleepovers), just such great times. We made mud pies and we went skiing,’ Horton recalled.
Today, the military wife and mother still hosts sleepovers in A-frame homes, only now scaled-down tents rather than cabins, as part of her company, Cozy Campers Sleepovers.
Using handcrafted wood-framed tents with removable fabric covers, small mattresses, decorative pillows, lanterns, streamers and twinkling lights, Cozy Campers creates a sleep paradise unlike anything millennial parents have seen. Customers can choose from numerous themes, such as Harry Potter, boho, Star Wars, llamas, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, mermaids and more. In addition, additional packs are also available, such as a donut wall or color-your-own pillowcase art packs.
The best part of her job, Horton said, is seeing her customers’ reaction. “I love the joy I see on the kids’ faces when I go out and see the finished product,” Horton said. “Often there are (questions from), ‘Can I touch it?’ or ‘Can I go in?’ – just pure joy.”
Horton said sleepovers aren’t just for the kids; she’s started with a package for adults looking for a weekend getaway – with bigger tents and bigger mattresses, of course.
“They’re taller than me, and I’m five feet,” Horton said, laughing. Soon she will also add an outdoor glamping experience.
Whenever Horton wants to add a new theme to her offerings, she calls her aunt, Therese Sharratt, in Texas — whose family shared that A-frame cabin with her and gave her favorite lodging memories — to make whatever it takes.
“She makes almost everything for Cozy Campers, from the tents to the bags I use to transport the cushions. I get packages from her every week,” Horton said.
Keep reading to see a day in the life of this stylish sleepover.
I’m starting to prepare for a Friday party. Everything is organized in storage bins to match any party theme you want.
I then assemble party tents in preparation for transport to the desired location for this evening.
Today’s party theme is Barbie; I get to work setting up mattresses, tents, pillows and decorations.
The set up is complete for the Barbie party.
It’s my turn to carpool for my son’s swim team, which meets at Curtis High School. Go sharks.
At home and preparing food for the family. Tonight we eat rice bowls with beef.
Fridays are family movie nights. Tonight we watch The Hunger Games.
Tomorrow is a busy day with even more parties to throw; hand in before 10pm to make a jump in the day.
6.30 in the morning
I’ve got my coffee, and I’m ready to start the day.
7 O ‘clock in the morning
Before everything else, I have to do my Saturday morning run.
Getting all the party gear together to load into our vehicles. My daughter has recently started driving and on busy days often helps with transporting the materials to customers.
The SUVs are packed and we are ready to go.
The first party on the roll today is a lips and hearts feast. We quickly set that up and move on to the next one.
Next up is a Harry Potter party. Each tent will have a different house color and each child will have a different house scarf and bathrobe.
I pick up the rented materials from the Friday night party, start doing the laundry, and get ready for tomorrow’s party.