Christine and Stephanie having their day off poolside

Our Story

Ah, I miss those care-free days

Hey, mama. Remember when you could spend a couple of hours at a coffee shop reading a book? Or book a last-minute manicure appointment with a girlfriend? Those were the days.

But don’t worry! We can help you get those days back. It just might look a little different.

Our story

The Lullabar was created in 2021 by three moms with a mission to find creative ways to get more self-care time – without the guilt.

Like many mothers during the Covid-19 pandemic, we struggled to find balance and rest during a time of extreme burnout and isolation. 

Navigating first-time motherhood during the COVID-19 pandemic

Our story begins with a much-needed relaxation day with my partner Christine and me at the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, CA. We were new moms feeling the aches and pains of managing the “new normal.” 

Like many mothers during the pandemic, life at home suddenly became *extremely* intense. Joining new mom meet-ups, mom picnics, and play dates as a social outlet became an instant no-no, and our lives were suddenly to be lived at home, full-time. The “mom village” that we were looking forward to cultivating as a reprieve became impossible.

In some way, the constraints of Covid led us on a journey of pursuing self-care in motherhood. How cool is that?

Desperate for a little break, we planned a “mom’s afternoon off” at a pool. 

Sitting poolside, Christine and I vented to each other about how difficult it was to get some time for ourselves without feeling the guilt of leaving our kids home. We missed feeling like our old selves and doing things we loved to do before we experienced this burnout. 

We began wondering:

Where can we go to enjoy ourselves with small children? 

Then it led to us asking:

Why aren’t there more child-friendly places?

We said to each other, “wouldn’t it be nice to have an adult-centered atmosphere WITH a play space? How cool would that be?”

Two years later, The Lullabar became a company. 

In those two years (during the pandemic, we might add), we:

  • created an interest list and gathered up to 1000 emails (with zero ad spend)
  • visited every play space that San Diego has to offer (for market research)
  • created a pitch deck and a design deck
  • wrote and rewrote our business plan
  • hired an accountant to validate our business model
  • obtained a real estate agent who helped us submit seven different offers in hopes of securing our first location
  • surveyed hundreds of women to poll their likes and dislikes on our business model
  • established a social media presence on Instagram with over 2000 engaged followers
  • and rewrote our business plan even more.

Most importantly, we brought on a third partner, Christine Dawood, a mom of three and a seasoned public finance professional with a knack for spreadsheets and numbers. 

Left to Right Stephanie Issa Christine Ong Forsythe and Christine Dawood

What started off as a fun idea quickly became our passion. We just moved forward in any way possible to make it happen.

So here we are. Set to open our first location at The Beacon La Costa in Carlsbad. 

In some way, the constraints of Covid led us on a journey of pursuing self-care in motherhood. How cool is that? 

– Stephanie Issa, Co-CEO