PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Bay area business is looking to give back throughout the year, providing extravagant sleepovers to children who could use one.
Gretchen Miraglia was a stay-at-home mom for 17 years, aside from “little jobs here and there,” she said.
“But I just got to the point where I was like, ‘gosh, I need something for me. What would I even be good at?’” Miraglia said.
She said her friends and others told her she was good at organizing and creating. That’s when she got the idea for Coastal Dreams Events, after seeing the concept of extravagant sleepovers successful in other cities.
The company was created in September and Miraglia applied for LLC status. She said in a month, she had a company and, within days, she had numerous parties booked.
While she has numerous ideas for experiences for little ones, Miraglia said it’s really up to the child.
“So basically, whatever the child wants. Their imagination is the only limitation. I decided that I… you didn’t have to choose A, B or C, what I think that you want for your party,” she said. “So basically, they give me either a picture or an idea and it may be something I’ve done before but this weekend, it was ‘relaxing beach,’ that was the vibe she went for. So then I get to use my creativity and kind of just go from there.”
Her slumber parties include teepees, twin air mattresses, fairy lights, themed garland, a lantern and more. Add-ons for different themes include personalized pillow cases and sleep masks, personalized painting projects, themed favors, donut boards, balloon garland and more.
Miraglia said she wants to give back every quarter of 2022, providing a sleepover to a child who deserves one. She said the need doesn’t necessarily have to be financial.
“I feel like those people who are dealing with life, sometimes the kids kind of get left behind, even if financially it’s not the biggest strain,” she said.
Eleven nominations have been submitted for a sleepover. While Miraglia said she can only do one party, she’s going to provide extra smiles to the other nominations so they can have a special day, too.
“I have gathered some people in the community who want to donate things. Either their time, supplies, artwork, like all kinds of things that we’ve gotten,” she said. “And we’re going to put together some kind of package, so that each of these kids get some kind of something, whether it’s a pampering day, whether it’s a homemade art project just for their room, and some balloons or cupcakes, so everyone of these kids are going to get something awesome.”
Miraglia said she has now started doing adult parties, as well. She’s paired up with other local women entrepreneurs, for parties to have everything from charcuterie to spray tans.
“Yes, because every party that I had done, everyone’s like, ‘oh my goodness, I wish I could do this.’ So I’m like, ‘I’m hearing this.’ Like everyone wants a night out, right? Like we’ve all been cooped up for so long, so yes, I put together adult parties, which I think would be great for ‘mom’s night out,’ bachelorette parties, that kind of thing,” she said.