Playing games with your friends is a concept we all consider beautiful. However, as we start to grow old, we tend to forget this beautiful concept and think games are just for kids. Funny Bones is a beautiful lounge and board games place that brings back the joy of playing games with your friends back to your life, and yes, do not even think of how old you are because games are for everyone.
Playing games has scientifically proven to reduce stress and give us instant happiness. I found this place when I was living at Lakeshore Etobicoke, and my friends and I used to go to this place now and then. In few days, only this place became so close to our heart that we started spending all our favorite days here, be it New Year’s, Christmas, or Birthdays.
This place is like a home away from home, a party to go to where you do not need an invitation. The owner of this place is Laurie and John. They have given us so much love and memories from their business that this story had to be told. Funny Bones was founded in 2017, and we spoke to one of the Founders, Laurie, to know more about their story.
How did Funny Bones come into existence?
We have been officially in cooperation since 2017. Funny Bones was born because I had a couple of family members survive cancer, and I was in a job where I did not feel like I could grow and satisfy myself. I started questioning myself if I wanted to sit in this cubicle for the rest of my career, and I started asking how I could bring more quality in life and find joy for the world, and the answer was through play. Even though funny bones are a game lounge and we have board games, our backbone is all about the power of play.
We talk about how important it is for children to play for their physical emotion and mental development, but it is just as important for any age. For some reason, grownups forget how important it is to play. We are here to remind people about the power and importance of play.
There are many forms of play. There are board games in the lounge, but there are also enrichment programs for the kids. We have after-school and summer programs for kids. We also have a crochet and paint workshop; all these things are considered play and fall under the same umbrella.
Here is a bit of sneak into the team of Funny Bones:
Laurie has spent most of her career in education, 14 of which at Humber College, Lakeshore Campus. She is the owner of Funny Bones along with her husband John, and they live right in the neighborhood. She is passionate about the importance of play and gamification!
John has an incredible background in various film, television, and live music/event entertainment industries. Alongside his wife Laurie, they are the owners and founders of Funny Bones. John is passionate about games as well; one of his all-time favorite games is Azul!
How did things change in a pandemic?
It took us a long time to pass all the requirements and building codes. We got fully licensed in 2019, and then November, December and January were great months for us with significant profits, but then COVID-19 happened, and we had to shut down. We host Thursday Night Trivia, we moved it to Facebook Live, and we offered it as a free event for our customers. We wanted to bring joy into people’s lives who were at home now.
We started making a list of all other virtual things and games we could play. We have five murder mysteries that we run virtually, and we also have game show kind of events like jeopardy and family feud. You feel like you are on the set of a game show. We do trivia for birthday parties and many virtual events for corporate staff for training and development. We work with various universities and other prominent organizations to help them keep their team together.
How did the community help you during these difficult times?
Our South Etobicoke Community is like a beautiful small town, and the community who knows us has been highly supportive. There is a Facebook group with around 9K members from this community. The community tried to shop local. Many people have expressed to me how much they miss us and how they want to be back at Funny Bones to sit down and play their favorite games.
What message would you give to your fellow entrepreneurs out there?
I think you really must be creative and keep pushing yourself to do better. There were many times in this journey where we could have given up, and people were surprised that we did not. All types of people will tell you, “You are crazy, and it will never work.” You must believe in yourself and keep going. Be innovative and creative and do what you love, and it will all come together for good.
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Author: Ravleen Bali, Content Writer for Onside Media, Canada. If you have any stories or comments, kindly email: –[email protected]