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Starter Company Plus Spotlight – Pillowfort Co.

Meet Amy Gilbert, the creative mind behind Pillowfort Co., a place where the magic of discovery comes alive. Pillow Fort Co. offers a variety of party playscape and toy rentals (Pillowfort Playscapes) that encourage open-ended fun and imaginative thinking. Picture foam ball pits, wooden slides, ride-ons, foam building block sets, and even a mini bouncy castle! The best part? You can have it all at your own home or private venue. And let’s not forget about the aesthetic and simple designs that’ll make your heart skip a beat. Get ready to witness all sorts of beautiful connection as your kiddos run free.

Parents, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, and godparents – here’s the scoop. If you have a child in your life who adores playing with pals and leaps at the thought of jungle gyms and local parks, then Pillowfort Playscapes is here to rock their world. Turn an ordinary day into an indelible memory. You pick the date and Pillowfort Playscapes brings the fun.

Read on to learn more about Amy, why she started her business and how you can book for your upcoming party!


What is your favourite part about being an entrepreneur?

I love the creative freedom that comes with being an entrepreneur! I also love being able to craft a role for myself that supports spending time with my partner and kids.

What inspired you to start your business? What drives you?

Before the pandemic, I operated a boutique vacation rental business and I flipped vintage trailers. I was always hustling – working weekends, evening and holidays. The lockdowns gave me a taste of life in the slow lane. While my 4 kids were home we opted out of online learning and crafted wholesome and fun filled days. I decided to open a home-based daycare to help meet the demand for quality childcare and to continue to enjoy gentle days.

What drives me:

Part 1) I am a survivor of child abuse and I am deeply invested in creating safe + inspiring spaces for children. My deepest wish is for every child to have a beautiful childhood.

Part 2) I am committed to making our community The Most Child-Friendly place to raise young children and to making life easier for families with little ones.

What services or products do you offer? In addition to operating a private home daycare I offer play equipment rentals for birthday parties/special events and sell custom playhouses that are made in Collingwood.


La Casita $100 + tax.  Mini inflatable bouncy castle (6x8ft).  Suitable for children 2-5 years old.

Sweet & Petite $275 + tax.  Includes a 4×4ft foam ball pit, 800+ balls, wooden slide and 3 ride-ons.  For children 1 – 5 years.

Fiesta Royale $350 +tax.  Includes a mini bouncy castle (6x8ft, soft ball pit, 800+ balls, wooden climber + slide, 3 ride-ons and foam building block set.

Pricing includes delivery + set up.  An additional travel fee may apply for locations outside of Collingwood.

What age groups do you cater to? My services and products are catered to young children 5 years old and under.

How did you come up with the idea for your business? I spent a lot of time pondering this question: “what would our community look like if it was the most magical place to raise a family”? The pandemic pushed me to re-imagine my life purpose and inspired me to bring more joy to my community and in particular to small children & their parents.

What makes your business stand out? I hope what shines through everything I do is a feeling of joy, playfulness and wonder.

Do you have any advice for aspiring business owners who are still in the ideation phase but have not yet taken the plunge? For me what works is writing in a journal and re-reading my entries. I find my best ideas come up when I write.

How valuable have the resources at the SBEC been in the start-up of Pillowfort Co. ? The mentorship and support from the SBEC program really pumped up my tires. It feels amazing to receive guidance and feedback in the early stages of launching.

Who is your biggest cheerleader (and why)? My kids are my biggest cheerleaders and fans. In addition, they are always eager to help out, are my product testers and love setting up the play equipment for parties.

What does success look like to you – when will you know you’ve achieved it? Ohhh, I like this question! Success looks like this: I will leave this world with peace in my heart knowing my life had a purpose and I made a positive impact in my community.

What are you favourite local spots to visit on a day off? I love thrift shopping in Owen Sound and trail walks along the Pretty River.

How do you want your clients to feel when they interact/purchase from you/use your service? I want every child to feel safe, loved and cherished. And I want parents to feel supported.

young girl jumping into ball pit

What is your favorite weekend trip? I love escaping to Manitoulin Island. I love the Ferry Ride and the slow pace of Island life.

What is your favourite meal to cook for other people? I am a one dish wonder kind of chef. I love cooking Pad Thai over a campfire!

Learn more about Pillow Fort Co. by visiting the links below.

Website: www.pillowfortdaycare.com
Phone: 705-606-0170
Instagram: @pillowfort.co