Play, work, grow and thrive all at the same time? How? Introducing Wiggle and Work, an indoor playground and co-working space with on-demand childcare — designed with babies, toddlers and their grown-ups in mind. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, this is an absolute gem for parents - office space within a play ground where your little ones can jump around under supervision.
Meet Naomi Leigh-Give'On, Founder and CEO of Wiggle and Work. Here's her story:
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Growing up on the east coast, I never dreamed of being where I am today. In my 20s and into my early 30s, I had my heart set on peacemaking in Washington, DC and glamorous global adventures. I did both, and even brought my diplomatic career to LA with me, which I continued for 8 years. In 2010, I met Amir, my future husband and we quickly fell into love and creativity together. In our free time, outside of my government job, and his aerospace and mechanical engineering work, we began working together as community building consultants. Together we created our home in Silver Lake, a space filled with love and chaos. With two rambunctious and sweet boxer dogs, our imaginative son Oden and smiley daughter Selah, we are a family that likes to stay busy - to say the least. Three years ago when our son was born, we knew becoming parents would change our lives forever, but we had no idea where it would take us.
How did you come up with the concept? What/Who inspired you?
Wiggle & Work is an indoor playground and coworking space with on-demand child care. When our son was between about 6 months and 1 year, we had a babysitter who would come daily for a couple of hours, so I could get some work done. Gradually it became impossible to work from our home, and with both of us working together, consulting, teaching, starting new projects, we’d have to go out to a coffee shop to get anything accomplished. We thought there had to be a better way. Why wasn’t there a space dedicated to making the hardest time in a parent’s life simpler -- by offering a place where their children are played with and nurtured, while they can actually get work done only steps away. Make it bookable through a mobile app, just like your pilates or yoga class -- and make it affordable. So we decided to create it ourselves!
Wiggle & Work provides that quality time parents need to focus on themselves and their work, without the guilt-factor. Our coworking with child care is a great way for a parent to separate work and play. It is also a wonderful opportunity for little ones to adjust to being away from mom or dad for a few hours at a time, while also learning to socialize with other children around the same age. Wiggle Care gives parents the flexibility to try out a child care routine, sneak in a few extra hours of work in between part-time day care or a nanny, get work done during school closures, and even prepare children for a transition into preschool. Parents can then connect with each other and continue to pursue their careers, run their businesses, and achieve their dreams. In our always-on work culture, it’s hard to be just present with our babies and toddlers. Having a couple hours to focus solely on yourself while your child is having fun, gives parents the ability to put the computer and phone away and spend more quality time with our little ones!
Your choice of location?
In our neighborhood of Silver Lake, and in all our surrounding neighborhoods, there are parents with young children everywhere, many of whom are not working traditional 9-to-5 jobs. We did research, we surveyed, and we decided on our location in East Hollywood because it’s the centerpoint for so many neighborhoods with creatives, freelancers, consultants and parents with young children! Wiggle & Work is between a 5 and 15 minute drive from: Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Hollywood, Atwater Village, Larchmont Village, Echopark, Koreatown. In a place like LA where it takes 20 minutes to get anywhere, we found the perfect spot.
What's a day in your life?
In between on-demand nursing Selah, my day has to be regimented otherwise I would lose the ability to get anything done. Mornings are for quality time with our children, and a strong latte. We’re out the door by 8:15 for Oden’s preschool drop-off, workouts are complete by 10am and we’re at Wiggle & Work daily from 10:45am-4:15pm. We meet with our clients, staff, consultants, partners, and work to build our company. We pick up our son from preschool at 4:30pm and we either meet friends for an early dinner with the little ones of course, or home for some family time, relaxation, dinner and bedtime routines. Then back to work around 7:30pm until my pillow calls…
What is your best advice for working parents?
Do not let guilt take over your life! Parenthood is a tough journey, and to do it while working, sometimes itfeels impossible. Working parents often get into a destructive cycle of guilt when trying to juggle their professional life and parenthood, by trying to do both at the same time. I recommend separating the two, such that when you work, you only work, and when you are with your child, you give them 100% of your attention. We built Wiggle & Work hoping to help parents get work done and were pleasantly surprised to hear parents tell us that they can now spend more quality time with their children (because they got productive). Think quality, rather than quantity. It is the moments you are with your little ones that they remember and cherish! And your work quality will improve with fewer distractions, even if you are spending less time working!
What are your top 3 must have items as a #MomBoss
Slack! An online shared workspace! It’s the BEST way to communicate and keep in touch with my staff and partners.
Wunderlist! An amazing checklist app, it’s the only way I remember things with all the sleep deprivation...
The Bar Method! As a mom of two and an entrepreneur, I only have so much me time, and so I choose to fill it with a workout that makes me feel strong and powerful, and supported by a community of women (and a few men) along with the amazing owners of the studio in Silver Lake.
Where do you want to see Wiggle & Work in the future?
If 2018 was our birth year, 2019 is our year of expansion. We are planning to open two-to-three new locations in Los Angeles by the end of 2019. We hope to go national and international in the next couple of years! Our vision is to have a member of the Wiggle & Work community able to use any of our locations with just a couple taps on our app. Parents should be supported wherever they are and we want to be part of that support network.
What advice can you give to NEW parents?
You are doing great. Period. If you think your baby is the only baby not sleeping, not nursing, not taking the bottle, spitting out the pacifier, crying all the time...you are not alone! If you think your baby will never sit, crawl, stand, walk...you are not alone! If you think you’ll never sleep again, you are not alone! Every new parent feels a mix of these things -- or all of them. Join a parent and me group. Talk with other parents, you will realize that you are experiencing the same things - and it helps make the transition to parenthood easier. Because it’s not easy. Shoulders to lean on and friends to commiserate with, are vital for survival! And also, if grandparents are in the picture, be gracious, set boundaries, be thankful and give them a little space. They won’t do everything the way you want, but they love your little one as much as they love you.
Ready to give it a try? Get a free trial for co-working at Wiggle and Work and get a 50% OFF deal after your trial (only if you use the link below)
Photography credit: Margaret Gruesbeck / Gruesbeck Studio Heirloom Portraits http://www.gruesbeck.com/