Two weeks after Apple Seeds marked its 13th anniversary, the owners closed the indoor play space.
"I think it was on March 12, we decided it was no longer safe to have people come to Apple Seeds," co-founder Allison Schlanger said.
The company furloughed its 60 employees, but instead of shutting down completely, Schlanger, co-founder Alison Berna, and their husbands thought their second business, music classes, was still viable.
"We started to brainstorm how can we recreate the experience that we have in person every single day in our living rooms," Schlanger said.
They quickly recorded a few Songs for Seeds sessions and sent those to their more than 20 franchise locations, but there was more.
Berna said it "fast forwarded" an idea they had had to bring their classes online.
"Our maximum in our Zoom account is 500, and we reach our max every time," Berna said. "So we're thinking this is a good problem to have."
Each class, there are 500 little faces singing and playing along while also learning about colors, shapes and animals.
"We're offering it for free right now because we want to be sensitive to families are stuck at home," Berna said. "Beyond Apple Seeds and franchise members around the country, but to everybody."
With proximity to a franchise no longer being required, families are tuning in from as far away as Dubai.
"If we're trying to find a silver lining in this whole pandemic, in our business world at least, that's a little silver lining for us," Schlanger said.
And that is inspiring for the owners.
"Nothing makes you feel better or warmer in your heart than these kids who are coming alive to the music you're putting out there," Berna said. "It's been such an amazing experience."
For more information, visit SongsForSeeds.com.
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