For Kristi Swanson, family time often means time outside with her husband, Brian, and their three children.
“We love to be outside,” said Swanson. “Our whole family, we just like to be outside spending time together. We have three children, and for their birthday parties, we like to get bounce houses or slides.”
After a frustrating experience renting an inflatable for one of their child’s parties, the Swansons decided to buy a used unit for their children last fall. What started out as a family purchase, though, quickly developed into a business idea.
“We just got to talking about it and decided to try it out ourselves, and that’s how we got started,” said Swanson.
After acquiring more inflatable units, both used and new, the couple launched their business under the name Lake Country Bouncers and set to work getting things running. They created a Facebook page and started testing out their units at family parties throughout the fall and winter.
“We wanted to start in the off season to kind of get things laid out so when spring and summer hit, when it would be really busy, we’d kind of have our feet wet a little bit knowing the ins and outs,” said Swanson.
After spreading the word about their business, Lake Country Bouncers soon found rental bookings taking off with the arrival of warmer weather in the spring. The company now has a full inventory of inflatable bounce houses and slides as well as concession items.
Based out of the Swansons’ home in Ivey, Lake Country Bouncers provides party entertainment for a large portion of middle Georgia.
“We do a 30-mile radius from Ivey that’s free delivery,” said Swanson, adding that they will come to locations outside the radius for an additional fee.
While the couple still balances their new business with their day jobs, Swanson said she and her husband divide the labor to make sure they meet the needs of all Lake Country Bouncers clients.
“It’s extremely busy,” said Swanson. “We’re enjoying it. We have fun.”
All inflatables from Lake Country Bouncers are available to view on the business’s website. Pricing is set for a 24-hour rental, with the Swansons delivering and setting up the unit the morning of the customer’s event and returning to take it down the same time on the next day. Units can be rented for the entire weekend for an additional $75. All units are thoroughly cleaned between rentals and after set-up at each event.
For younger children, the most popular units offered by Lake Country Bouncers are the Pirate Cove and Unicorn slide and bounce house combo units. Both of these inflatables offer an eight-foot slide that lands in a small, inflatable pool. Slides can be used either wet or dry allowing fun for all seasons.The back side of each unit features a 15 by 15 foot bounce house with a basketball hoop. Those worried about the safety of children bouncing with wet feet can have peace of mind with the unit’s construction.
“The floor inside the bounce house part has a matte finish, so it’s not as slippery,” said Swanson.
Older children will likely enjoy the 22-foot Tropical Slide and the 24-foot Super Speed slide from Lake Country Bouncers. Both units can be used wet or dry and provide faster paced fun for thrill seeking party goers.
In addition to slides and bounce houses, Lake Country Bouncers recently purchased a foam machine for even more outdoor fun. The foam machine can be rented for four hours and includes one foam packet providing lots of foamy fun. Additional foam packets can be purchased for a fee.
Another way Lake Country Bouncers livens up the party is through concession rentals. Cotton candy, snow cone and popcorn machines are available to rent for $50 each or for $35 each when added to an inflatable rental. The cotton candy machine rental includes 25 cotton candy wands and a choice of two floss flavors. The snow cone machine includes 25 snow cone cups and two 16-ounce bottles of flavoring, and the popcorn machine includes popcorn bags and two popcorn packets.
Swanson said that she and her husband are “all about communication” and want their customers to feel they can reach them at any time in the rental process if they have questions or concerns. They pride themselves on having a personal investment in their customers’ satisfaction.
“We tell everybody when we deliver and set up, ‘We treat everybody’s party and event like it would be ours,’” said Swanson. “We want to make sure that they’re going to have a great time. We want to make sure they have a good experience.”
The most rewarding part for Swanson is when customers share pictures from their parties.
“We like to see all of the pictures,” said Swanson. “I love to see the kids just enjoying themselves and having fun.”