PEARLAND, Texas – Ellie Stevenson, of Pearland, is turning 7 years old and in the age of social distancing, had to have a car parade, balloons, and bubbles from The Bubble Bus right?
The Bubble Bus was created by Sandy Stewart. She said the bus was made to help kids and their families party with safety in mind.
“We came up with the bubble bus idea, that way we can still go out, still support the kids and put a smile on their faces,” Stewart said.
She said the idea of the bus was the result of being forced to change her business model due to the coronavirus pandemic. Before, she had used the bus as a mobile tumbling gym but COVID-19 meant businesses like hers could no longer operate during the lockdown.
“My daughter and I, we were just pondering like, ‘What could we do to bring some income in but still involve the kids and have fun,’” Stewart recalled.
In the past few weeks dozens of families like the Stevensons have booked the Bubble Bus for birthdays, graduation celebrations -- even makeshift prom nights. Like many small business owners across Houston, Stewart found herself adapting in order to survive.
“It taught me to be innovative, to roll with the punches, to keep going,” Stewart said. “You know, you can’t stop and cry of spilled milk.”
Ellie was impressed.
"It was probably the best birthday I ever had," she said.
People have been booking the Bubble Bus since the transformation, even for baby showers. And this weekend, some moms around Houston will be seeing the bubble bus for some surprise Mother’s Day celebrations.
The Bubble Bus concept is just one of many examples of how local business owners have had to think on their feet during this pandemic.