Craig and Erin Conner started Share the Love Kidsclub with a dual hope in mind. To provide a go-to spot for families to connect and provide families the opportunity to engage and help with the current foster care crisis in our state.
I met with Erin, Zeteo coffee in hand, and discussed this awesome place in the heart of downtown Conway.
Homeward: How did you guys get started?
Share the Love: I was a young mom and I wanted a “go-to” spot. I was in a season where I felt really lonely and isolated. Being a mom was a new thing for me. I wanted or needed something that would be my thing. I started researching other places around the U.S. that incorporated play. The difference for me though, was that I really wanted to focus on parents. Most places you go to don’t have seating for parents, and are more “kiddie-ville”. (Which there is nothing wrong with that). I just know that being a parent, it’s the parents that need the break. That’s really just what started all of this. I had the desire to create a space that I would want to go to, that I would want to take my kids. A place that cared about me, away from home where I could meet people, and know that my kids were having fun too.
So, our good friends run Zeteo. For several years, we just kind of sat on the idea and developed a business plan and then when this building came available, we approached them. They had been wanting to open a coffee shop for years, so it all clicked. God just started opening doors.
We both give back. They give back to providing water wells through living water in 3rd world countries and we give 5% of every dollar to the Project Zero and The Call, which help Arkansas foster children. We have adopted two children that we fostered. We wanted our business to be focused on giving back and also creating an awareness of the need of foster parents.
Homeward: That’s great! You kind of already answered my second question about giving back. You give back the 5%. Do you know where directly that goes?
Share the Love: It is really up to those organizations. We really trust The Call and Project Zero and love both of their missions. The Call’s mission is to recruit and train foster parents, within the church. They go in and really share the need for foster parents. They also facilitate their own training, by partnering with DHS. Project Zero’s mission is working with kids whose rights have been terminated with their parents, so they are in a foster family, but the foster family doesn’t want to adopt them, so they are just waiting for adoptive parents. So, their goal is to tell their stories. They take pictures of them in photo galleries, they write little blurbs about them, they create videos and testimonies about them. So all of our giving back, goes to both of those organizations and everything they do.
Homeward: So what do you like about being downtown?
Share the Love: I love it! I’m a downtown girl! We used to live downtown. I just love the community feel. You never feel like you are doing it alone. That was something we always wanted, was to be downtown in the heart of it. You really gain a sense of togetherness and never feel isolated.
Homeward: Agree completely. We love being in the Halter building downtown. Through this blog and being in the heart of downtown, we have met several business owners and do feel that sense of togetherness. So how many kiddos do you typically get in a day?
Share the Love: It really ranges. Tuesday through Thursday are not really as busy as Fridays and Saturdays. Then we also have special events that bring in more. We have one special event a month, that’s usually on a Friday night. We usually have the Conway Train and different activities. We also do birthday parties on the weekends, and offer private parties. We really wanted to create that space that is enjoyable for both kids and parents. They can enjoy a cup of coffee while their kids play or party. We offer a party package that includes cupcakes, coffee and goodie bags too.
Homeward: What are some daily activities that you offer?
Share the Love: We change our activities around. One of our favorites here is “bubble bustin”. One of the new ones is “alphabots”. They are letters that you can change into robots. We also have “water play” Wednesday with water beads and other water toys. We always have kinetic sand available. We also have “ice cream sand play” with an ice cream kit where you can make ice cream cones. We have “ball poppin” with our parachute and play different games with that. We try to change the activities out pretty regularly, providing new and fresh sensory play opportunities for kids.
Homeward: How does it work exactly for a first timer coming in? Are the parents with the child the whole time?
Share the Love: The parents are in here. (Share the Love play space) They can order coffee from the window on this side. We have plenty of seating and wifi for parents to use. We have several parents that will come in and work. We have several stay at home moms or working moms who are kind of flexible with their schedule. We have some working dads that come in too. We also have play staff that are in the play space to facilitate activities, clean up after kiddos, and give parents that re-assuring extra eye. Our staff is there to make it a positive experience, being a blessing to parents.
Homeward: What else do you want the community to know about Share the Love?
Share the Love: That our heart really is in creating community. Our heartbeat is providing a space for parents to feel welcome. I think it’s hard when you become a parent. You kinda feel like you have to forfeit some things. We just really wanted to create a space that the moment you walk in, you feel welcome. It’s a home away from home. A place where people can connect, or take a breather.
Share the Love has SO many awesome activities for both kiddos and adults. Take a look at their summer camps and classes.
Each month, they post a monthly calendar full of activities.
Also, check out their Mom’s nights- May 18th 6-8:00, June 22nd 6-8:00 and July 27th 6-8:00. Homeward Realty is providing FREE coffee and snacks.