We are James and Susan Nagy. If you would have told us a year ago that we would soon be the owners of Gymboree Play & Music Thousand Oaks, we would have laughed. Susan is a clinical pharmacist, has a full-time day job and runs a pharmacy consulting business. James worked for many years as a director of software development and now owns a management consulting business and a website design and social media marketing business. We were working worlds away from anything concerning bubbles, tumbling, singing or finger-painting. What was our gateway into the world of Gymboree Play & Music? Our now four-year-old twins, Alex and Ben.
At the age of nine months, we began bringing the twins into Gymboree. Ben was a delayed crawler and we started bringing them in for the boost in Ben’s skills as well as for the interaction for the both of them. What we found there was an amazing and unique place for both of our kids to flourish. Ben began crawling – they both started walking and each took their first steps at Gymboree. Alex absolutely loved the teachers, the classes and the chance to kick off her dare-devil skills (which she continues to this day). They both blossomed.
As time passed, we started to notice a few things. The number of classes that were scheduled wasn’t as robust as when we started coming or as we hoped to see. We noticed that the gym was starting to need attention and repair. The owners were great people and, after talking to them, we discovered that they owned another location as well and that they were torn between the two trying to make both locations work. The owner talked about wanting to sell and that sparked a somewhat crazy idea - could we buy a Gymboree Franchisee?
The idea that seemed a little absurd at first, started to seem more like a “maybe” than a “no”. We thought we could do it. After a lot of conversation, debate, and brainstorming we decided to go for it. Ultimately, we concluded that it would be a great fit for us. We could take a place that had given us so much and really help turn it around with our years and years of experience in management, customer service, and marketing. We also had the great experience of being existing Gymboree parents.
Decision made, we purchased the store in May 2018 and have been making it our own since then. November will be six months for us and we’ve already made a ton of progress in that small amount of time. We’ve continued to focus on those three key areas of management, customer service, and marketing while keeping in mind our experiences as Gymboree parents and members. So far, we’ve increased the staff from six teachers to ten. We’ve added nine new classes to the schedule including an all-new preschool program. We’ve purchased new products and supplies, painted and repaired the gym. We’ve jumped in and created an all new marketing campaign that has reintroduced us to the community. We’ve also introduced a great new manager to handle all day to day management functions. We are listening to our members and are working to create a place for families that meet their needs.
Our focus has been and will remain the children and their families. Our twins still attend our Gymboree classes. We are still parents first and foremost and we are proud to own a business that allows our children and others to grow and thrive.
Although a surprising decision, it’s been a great one for our family.
We hope that you’ll come in, say hi, and check out your neighborhood Gymboree!