Purple Monkey Playroom, located at 2040 N Western Avenue in Bucktown was actually on my initial list when I dreamed up this podcast because I suspected that a playroom would have had a really difficult time staying afloat during the pandemic. Additionally, I had known the owner, Jessica Roubitchek from a couple of Facebook groups that I am in. I am glad to hear that they made it through, and you’ll hear more about how in the interview. It was also interesting to hear how she pivoted her business model a bit to make sure she and her staff as well as their patrons felt comfortable having parties and getting their kids out to play during the pandemic. I took my kids to Purple Monkey when they were young and it’s such a great space! Jessica is so fantastic… I’m excited to share this episode with you!
In Jessica’s interview we discuss:
- How Purple Monkey Playroom was able to survive the pandemic and the wonderful support of the community, including a Go Fund Me campaign
- Starting Purple Monkey and why she chose starting a playroom business as her venture after business school
- If being an entrepreneur and starting her own business is what she thought it would be
- Why she ended up opening Aubergine, an event space, in Logan Square
- The current state of her business given that there still are some COVID-related restrictions as kids aren’t yet vaccinated: private playtime, parties, cleaning, masks, scheduling time, etc
- Bucktown Music – 1890 N Milwaukee Ave in Bucktown, child and adult music classes – Jessica Solares
- Irazu – another vote for this great Costa Rican restaurant in Bucktown, check out the My Chicago Podcast interview with Henry Cerdas here!
- Virtu – 2035 N Damen in Bucktown, a gift boutique with handmade jewelry & artisan ceramics, wood, textiles, paper & metal, owner Julie Horwitz Jackson
- Color Wheel Studio – 2034 N. Damen Avenue in Bucktown – fine art classes for adults