Today we’d like to introduce you to Silvana Arzeno Toledo.
Silvana, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I came to the US from Argentina at age 21 and began a career in San Diego with a 5-star Hotel chain. I progressively climbed the ranks there, managing multiple departments with an emphasis on perfection in customer service. I loved the work and was set on a career in the hospitality industry. However, after becoming a mother, I found it difficult to balance 16-hour workdays with parenting.
Therefore, I transitioned to a new career path within a food distribution company. There, I managed multi-million-dollar revenue accounts for the entire West Coast. While I enjoyed my work, I was again struggling to find work-life balance.
I’d always been an entrepreneur where I worked, innovating within the departments I led. I knew that I wanted to lead my own business and to commit my energy and talents to a cause I was passionate about. While working full-time, I went back to school to get a marketing degree. I then attended The Happy Start-Up School, where I clarified my desire to start a business that was purposeful, impactful, and came from my heart. I wanted to do what had never been done for me: help change the work environment to better support parents.
Collab&Play was born from this vision. It’s a business that is positively impacting the lives of families, providing a way for parents, and mothers, in particular, to pursue their passions and thrive professionally while feeling that they’re not giving up time with their kids. We have proven that work and childcare can co-exist and have created a new model for supporting greater work-life balance.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Launching Collab&Play has not been without challenges. Creating a new business model required a lot of researching, learning, testing, receiving feedback and adapting. Even though all these are challenges in the different stages of the formation of a business, they continue to energize me and to push my personal and professional growth.
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge has been keeping prices affordable while standing on a very expensive real state. Soon after I opened I faced my first difficult moment: changing the pricing structure. I tackled this by speaking directly with each of Collab&Play’s members to explain the new pricing and the reasons for changes. All of my members were very supportive and stayed onboard, a testament to the quality of the service and their love for what we do.
Please tell us about Collab&Play.
Collab&Play is the first one-of-a-kind coworking space with on-site childcare in Los Angeles. We support new parents balancing work and family by providing a collaborative workspace connected to high-quality childcare.
Collab&Play helps women return to work after giving birth; supports breastfeeding mothers; and provides a supportive community where parents can be productive, launch new endeavors, and thrive professionally.
Last year, in partnership with Moms in Film, we launched mobile childcare services at SXSW (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39371208), and this year in Sundance Film Festival (https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/rambling-reporter/sundance-kids-festival-play-space-gives-hollywood-parents-a-break-1073333).
Collab&Play proves that work and childcare can co-exist, and we are thrilled to start our next phase which more details will announce soon. I can tell you that the next stage is going to help many more parents launch their businesses.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Vacations with my family in Argentina! I come from a big family. I am the third of 4 siblings. My favorite memory is when the six of us traveled together to San Martin de Los Andes (a small but beautiful town in the south of Argentina) and spent two weeks in cabins, kayaking on the lake, hiking and exploring other towns around.
My father used to do most of the driving, and he loved listening to music while on the road, so all my best memories from this trip came along with great songs (80’s of course).
- Address: 1800 S. Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA, 91204
- Website: www.collabandplay.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/collabandplay/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/collabandplay/notifications/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/collabandplay
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/collab-and-play-glendale
Bob Christian, Jennie Langley