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Meet Amanda Armbrust of The Slumber Shack

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Armbrust.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I moved to Arizona in 1998 from New Mexico to transfer to Arizona State University. After graduating with a degree in Journalism and Public Relations, I started to work for United Auto Group as a Marketing Assistant and then later became Regional Marketing Director for 19 car dealerships. During this time, I had met my husband and after getting married, we took over his family business which is now All-Metro Motor Vehicle Services. We have two Third Party Motor Vehicle Offices located in the West Valley.

A few years and 2 kids later, The Slumber Shack was started. The idea was sparked after hosting a slumber party, for my then nine year old daughter. My husband and I were struggling to find space to entertain and sleep everyone without having them take over our entire house. We wanted to provide a fun, hang out area of their own, while still being able to supervise and provide a comfortable sleeping set up. The thought of a mobile slumber party area came to mind and we thought other parents would like the convenience of it and kids would like the setup and would have fun. We thought this idea could be a fun side business that we could run while still running our other business.

We purchased a travel trailer and completely renovated it with updated paint and fixtures and enough bunks and beds to sleep up to 10 people. We added things like a TV, Bluetooth stereo, DVD player, gaming console, tablets filled with group playing and individual apps, a party light and a karaoke microphone to keep the kids entertained.

During the renovation, we purchase a “booth” at our kids’ elementary school festival and were able to get permission to take the trailer to the festival for parents and kids to look inside. We were still painting and finishing up right down to the minute we had to leave and set up at the school. The feedback was amazing and instead of jumping on bounce houses and getting their faces painted, kids were hanging out in The Slumber Shack the entire time. We knew that our idea had potential and soon after started booking slumber parties for friends. We booked our first official client in March of 2019 and have been booking parties ever since.

What started as a unique idea for kid’s sleepover parties, became popular with adults wanting a quick getaway with their close friends by booking The Slumber Shack for glamping (glamorous camping, or what we like to say just more comfortable camping) trips up at Lake Pleasant, Brides’ started inquiring to use The Slumber Shack as an alternative to a kids’ table at their reception, wanting to give the young wedding guests a place to hang out at their outdoor wedding venues.

We are currently renovating another trailer that will be designed more for our weddings and glamping, and we also have other exciting future projects we hope to start on after this renovation.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
For anyone who has ever used or owned a travel trailer or recreational vehicle, you learn that there are many, many things that can and will go wrong. Streamlining everything and figuring out how to power the trailer was a huge challenge. Our biggest obstacle has been trying to keep the trailer cool during our extremely hot summer days here in Arizona. Trailers are not insulated very well and trying to cool a tin can down from 120 degrees inside to a more comfortable temperature while running off of a house plug and quiet generators has been very challenging. We do now have a summer solution that we hope to launch by next Spring.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Slumber Shack – what should we know?
We are mostly known for driving around town in the “big, bright blue trailer”. Most of our bookings are for slumber parties and we try to customize the inside of The Slumber Shack a little bit for each of our special guests. The whole idea is based around fun, so we really try to keep our guests in mind and are constantly adding new things. It takes a lot of work to get everything ready and set everything up for each customer, but the best part is when we open the door and the kids (and parents) run in a get the biggest smiles on their faces and get so excited. It makes all the hard work pay off to see how happy they get when they see their little hangout area for their special event.
We do all the work, we tow the trailer and set everything up for our customers, either in front of their home, on their property, on private property, at Lake Pleasant or at an outdoor wedding venue, and we pick up the next day or at the end of their event.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Of course this couldn’t have been done without the support of my husband Chris and the patience of my kids. Their weekends are now taken over by setting up The Slumber Shack all over the Valley and our daughter’s have been very understanding. Chris let me take this crazy idea and helped make it happen. Lots of sweat, tears and maybe a few curse words have been put into creating this business. Our parents and families have also been a huge in helping make this happen, encouraging us to keep going with every obstacle we hit. We are also blown away by the continued support of all of our customers and the community.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Amanda Armbrust
Kelly Sunshine
Kelly Ambrose

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