BBW MEMBER INTERVIEW: Mandy Sim, Founder and Direction of Operations, Jam Time

What is your name?

Mandy Sim

What is your occupation?

Founder and Direction of Operations

What is your business name?

How long have you been a Boston Business Women’s Member?

Less than a year

What is your instagram handle?

What is your linked in URL?

Were you born and raised in Boston? If not, what brought you here?

I moved to the Boston area from Los Angeles 10 years ago. Having spent over a decade as an Animation and Visual Effect Producer in Hollywood, my husband and I wanted to move back east for both the amazing schools for our kids and to be closer to our families. Wanting to move to the Boston area away from the film industry is what started my path as a business owner.

Tell us more about your job or company and what led you to your career?

The idea of Jam Time started way back in 2009 when I was living in Los Angeles with my husband, 2 dogs and our little ones just 1 and 3 years of age, while working in the animation and theme park industries. While in L.A., we would visit numerous indoor play centers with our kids for play dates and birthday parties and always found ourselves discussing what could be better, added, or changed to make for a more fun, ideal play space. It was after one of these conversations that we started to build the business plan for Jam Time, using our entertainment backgrounds to create a fun and imaginative space catered to little ones that’s also enjoyable for parents and caregivers. Having always talked of moving back to our east coast roots and with the plan for Jam Time underway, we started doing location research that led us to choose the Boston area for our new home and family business. Having now been open for over 10 years with 4 locations and more underway, Jam Time is the go to destination for parents and young children in the cold months of winter right through the hot and rainy days of summer. Jam Time has been repeatedly been voted the #1 Indoor Playspace in Massachusetts by multiple media sources!

What would your clients say about you and your company?

I love that we are always referred to as a community business! Parents and caregivers truly see not just the passion we have as business owners but the service we provide to young children providing an enriching, creative, and imaginative space where kids can work on fine and gross motor skills, social skills, vocabulary, self esteem, and truly where they can learn through play.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

I was taught early on in my career to never assume. This simple advice has carried with me through my life and has helped my success as a business owner. From client interactions, managing team members, overseeing vendors, and simply being a successful business owner, never making assumptions has taught me to focus on being thorough and detailed oriented to ensure all aspects of my business are successful.

What is your favorite book?

I love any beach read that can help me relax and escape my busy day!

What is your secret weapon? An app, a tool, a organization method, anything?! (Can be a personal or professional life tool)

My absolute favorite program right now is Canva! This online design tool has saved me countless hours creating flyers and social media content! I could not recommend this more!

What is your most recent WIN? How are you slaying it in your career or business?

I am SO incredibly proud that my business survived the pandemic. With 4 brick and mortar locations which were the first to shut down from the pandemic and the last to re-open, with 4 rents to pay each month and months of closures and then months of hesitation to even step foot inside an indoor entertainment venue, we worked SUPER hard to pivot, stay creative and valuable, to connect and be there for our clients even when we could not do so in person. Our hard word truly paid off because all of our locations stayed open and we're already planning our next (5th!) location. We knew in our hearts that families love us and that we provide a service that families NEED and that if only we can weather the storm we will be OK and that was our motivation for keeping our doors open.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Be confident and worry less! Although I still feel like I need to hear that sometimes!

How do you enjoy your free time?

I love to spend time with my family and friends. I love throwing dinner parties and menu planning and baking extravagant deserts! I pretty much love to bake anytime actually! I love gardening in my yard with my chickens wandering about. I like to play tennis and ski and travel - all the things I wish I had more time for!

What is something that not many people know about you?

I am a total board game geek - especially strategy games!

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