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Socially-distanced picnics help couples reclaim date night

When a Louisville mom realized her business concept likely wouldn't thrive during the pandemic, she decided to expand it.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic have changed nearly everything about how the world works. When a Louisville mom realized her business concept wouldn't thrive with those limitations, she could have let the struggle defeat her. 

Instead, she chose to expand her idea and helped even more people in the process.

Bianca Cox-Richardson created Inner Sparkle to help create the perfect sleepover experience for kids and teens. The company sets up “Teepee Parties,” complete with beds, lighting, games and more. 

When she founded the company, Cox-Richardson hoped Inner Sparkle would help children create new memories while saving parents the time and inevitable headaches that come from party planning.

Then, COVID-19 hit. 

Mask mandates and limits on social gatherings meant fewer birthday parties and special events. Instead of scrapping her beloved idea, Cox-Richardson let her imagination do what it does best – create.

“We went up on the Waterfront, set it up for a date night, posted the pictures, and it just went crazy,” she said.

She pivoted her concept from setting up crowded birthday parties to creating peaceful, socially-distanced date nights in the great outdoors.

Inner Sparkle takes care of all the details to set the mood, setting up the picnic table and lights and decorating the space with plates, utensils, pillows and more. The picnic package also includes a bottle of wine and a Bluetooth speaker so couples can enjoy music while enjoying each other’s company.

Cox-Richardson said the new concept has been a big hit.

“Now I know what it means to be booked and busy,” she said.

While she acknowledged that the pandemic has created plenty of challenges, Cox-Richardson said she’s grateful for the opportunity to grow her business - and help couples reclaim date night.

“COVID has really made me step outside the box and be more creative with what I have to offer people,” she said.

Inner Sparkle’s picnics aren’t just for couples. Groups of up to 10 people can enjoy the same set-up for a brunch or dinner party. Items like charcuterie boxes and sweets can be added for an additional fee.

While the picnics are the most popular offering at the moment, Inner Sparkle is also still hosting birthday parties and events for kids. Events can be booked ahead of time online.

For more information on Inner Sparkle’s picnic and party options, visit their website.

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